Scene 2: Police Point Park
To honour the 1883-1893 North West Mounted Police detachment, this wilderness park was established by the City of Medicine Hat and the Province of Alberta in 1975 as an area for hiking and nature study. The park is home to 300 year old Cottonwood trees, yucca plants, deer, porcupines, herons, and Bald Eagles, wolf spiders, wood ants and more. Native plants and animals in the park are adapted to life-giving floods that in some years can cover a significant area.
Sagebrush, Cottonwoods and Cliffs
A. Prairie Cottonwood
These heritage trees depend on flooding for regeneration and forest survival. You will see them in many forms: centuries old with dying or dead limbs, mature and vibrant, young trees, perhaps seedlings during flood events, and fallen dead and decomposing trees. All forms are important and contribute to a healthy nature such as wildlife habitats, food, and helping to build soils. Periodic flooding allows their cottony seeds to germinate into the newly laid silts, sands, and clays. And quickly build deep roots to the water table.
Cottonwoods and More!
Who Lives Here?
B. Silver Sagebrush
A valuable food and cover for animals such as Pronghorn antelope and the endangered Sage Grouse. The Blackfoot chewed the leaves of sagebrush to relieve thirst.
C. Pollinator Garden
A new City and Interpretive Centre learning program. Bees, butterflies, humming birds and bats provide vital pollination services to flowering plants and for our food. Healthy nature provides so much life!
Prairie Coneflowers and Gaillardia
Bees at Work!
D. Cedar Waxwing
Hear their high pitched, “trilled bzee” and sighing whistles. You may find these birds perched in the tops of Chokecherry bushes and enjoying a meal of berries. In heavy berry-crop years Cedar Waxwings may overwinter.
Cedar Waxwings on Chokecherry
E. Enchanted Forest
Located north of the Interpretive Centre this forest of Prairie Cottonwoods, Manitoba Maple, Chokecherry, and Saskatoon provide respite for park visitors to learn and benefit from nature’s bounty. A biodiversity of plant and animal species are found in the Enchanted Forest.
- All photos by Len Moser