Just a few blocks from where I live, the students of a small elementary school called Dr. E.W. Coffin have adopted a park called Whispering Woods. What makes Whispering Woods so special is that it is an outdoor learning facility, directly tied in to the students’ classroom curriculum. Through interpretive signs and nature walks (there’s even a seating area built for lectures), the children learn science and language skills, and explore concepts such as the stewardship of nature and the interconnectivity of ecosystems.
Whispering Woods is a small gully filled with aspen trees and native prairie grasses, a piece of land calved off of nearby Nose Hill (which you’ll recognize from my many mentions on this blog). The area was long ago isolated by the construction of a major road and it is surrounded by houses, the school, and a baseball diamond. Yet, when you get right down into the heart of this tiny copse of trees, you can actually forget about the rest of the city – you can’t see the buildings or fences, and the noise of the traffic seems to completely disappear.
I love heading over to Whispering Woods in late June, when the wild roses are still blooming – you can find a ton of them there. Apparently, it’s also a good location to spot crocuses, so I’ll have to make a trip in early April to see for myself. I took a walk into the woods early this morning, when everything was quiet (extra-nice-quiet due to the Family Day holiday here in Alberta). It was a chilly, grey morning and the only sounds were a couple of magpies chattering softly at each other in the trees (I think they were half-asleep) and the sizzling of the nearby power lines in the cold humid air. So beautiful!
Entrance sign (John Laurie Boulevard side, southwest of Nose Hill).
The interpretive signs incorporate the letters of the alphabet.
I’m thinking these belonged to a magpie….
And here I thought I was alone! 🙂
Where are your favourite places to go walking?
Find out more about Whispering Woods at NatureGround.
Reblogged this on 20 Lines A Day.
As I mentioned before I used to live walking distance to this amazing inner-city park. The images are wonderful and capture a wee bit of the wonderful nature living in this park.You never know what animal or new plant you will see. ~Thea
Thanks, Thea! I love living so close to Nose Hill and Whispering Woods – it’s always such a treat to go for a walk! 🙂
Oh, I love the white rabbit (hare?). Lovely post.
Thank you! It was a wonderful morning for a walk! 🙂
Aspens are so beautiful, one of the things I love about the west.
I think sometimes we don’t appreciate them as much as we ought to, as they are so common here. They are definitely beautiful!
I’ve never seen a white rabbit! Reminds me of Alice in Wonderland! What a fun place for the children – love the interpretive signs for each letter of the alphabet. I hope you go back again when the crocus are blooming. What an enchanting sight that would be!
I will definitely go back once it’s crocus season! Crocuses bloom by the thousands on the adjacent Nose Hill, so I’m sure I’ll spot some in Whispering Woods.
Aren’t those interpretive signs wonderful? They were all done by local artists.
I noticed the rabbit’s ears were turning a bit brown, a sure sign that spring is around the corner! He was so accommodating to pose for a photo! 🙂
It’s great that the kids have such a place to go and learn. I love walking down near the water… it’s so peaceful out of season and I often wonder why there aren’t more people out walking there!
I enjoy those quiet places to walk as well…and I like seeing how the landscape is transformed during the winter. I don’t imagine most of your rivers and lakes completely freeze over, do they? You must see quite a few birds near the water.
I see mostly ducks and geese – once I saw a kingfisher. There are also herons and egrets down there quite often too. Our river/canal was partly frozen over last winter, but we haven’t had it really cold enough for long enough this year.
So smart for the city to designate these natural areas. Have you noticed an abundance of bunnies this year? We sure have. We enjoy the River Valley in Edmonton quite a bit being we live downtown. It’s free entertainment really.
We have such a huge bunny population here! They’re so cute it’s hard to get too angry with them when they eat up my flowerbeds in the spring. 😉
It’s fantastic that there are so many beautiful places to walk in Edmonton and Calgary…we are really fortunate!
Love the white bunny…I had planned a garden like this at our elementary school when I was teaching but I was promoted and they never did build it…too bad as this is just fabulous.
A garden or green space like this is such an engaging teaching tool…there is another school close to this one that has built a garden filled with native plants on their property. Really wonderful ideas!
I love the name – Whispering Woods! It looks a lovely place for a walk.
It really is a perfectly apt name! A wonderful place to visit! 🙂