Scene 3: Jeffries
The Jeffries Scenic View above Parkview Drive was named after Chris Jeffries (1894-1963), a pioneer of organized sports in Medicine Hat. The Jeffries trail provides an incredible view of grasslands, the South Saskatchewan River and Ross Creek Coulee. In addition to steep grasslands you will see natural springs and wetlands. Across the Canadian Pacific rail line you will view the copper roof and spires of St. Patrick’s Church, a National Historic Site.
Grasses and Coulees
ID’ing Wildflowers and Plants
A. Water is Life
From the Jeffries Trail, see the Cypress Hills in the far distance and imagine its abundance of water and life. Where does this water flow? Picture the hill creeks like the Gros Ventre and Bulls Head Creeks which flow north through coulee draws, and then drain into the Ross and Seven Persons Creeks. These waters flow into our city and merge at Strathcona Island Park. This water then flows into the South Saskatchewan, a river that began its journey in the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Near Police Point Park the river will change its easterly direction and wind its way north to meet up with the waters of Central Alberta, and soon join up with the North Saskatchewan River. East of Prince Albert, it becomes the Saskatchewan River. A mighty river that travels east into Hudson Bay, Manitoba. We are all connected and dependent on nature and water for our livelihoods.
Water is Life
B. St. Patrick’s Church.
A historic and city land mark, built in 1912, using continuous-pour concrete construction, and with magnificent towers reaching some 46 m in height.
Inspiring Catholic Church in Riverside
Beauty of Hoarfrost
C. Nature’s Protective Skin
Live ground cover plants like Moss Phlox and nature’s litter (previous year’s weathered plant’s grey leaves and stems) gives life to the Dry Mixedgrass. Together, these live and decomposing materials protect the soil from wind and water erosion. This helps to seal in precious moisture that is needed to protect and support plant roots and their growth, which would otherwise be exposed to the hot sun and drying heat.
D. Butterflies Galore
Like this beautiful, Melissa Blue you can see many different kinds of butterflies fluttering about the slopes and brushy areas. Butterflies carry out important pollination services to flowering plants. Observe them feeding on the flower nectar, and also providing a source of food to many wildlife species.
E. Lazuli Bunting
Flashing the blue of lapis gemstone and splashes of orange. You may spot this attractive bird in the brushy hillsides of Jeffries Scenic View.
Lazuli Bunting – Photo by Milt Spitzer
F. Palliser Air Shed
The Palliser Air Shed Society was established in 2003 to monitor the ambient air quality in the Medicine Hat/Redcliff Region. Air quality is known and valued to ensure clean, healthy air for both the present and future.
Air Quality Monitoring
- All photos by Len Moser except where indicated otherwise under photo.