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Grasslands National Park

Introduction

Aven - Benoite
A Three-Flowered Aven is a prairie wildflower that blooms from May to June.
© Parks Canada

Did you know… Grasslands National Park is the only national park in all of Canada to protect the mixed-grass prairie ecosystem?

With over 70 different species of grass and over 50 different species of wildflowers, Grasslands has an important role in protecting the prairie ecosystem! We often hear about problems in the rainforest, but we don’t realize that one of the most endangered ecosystems is right in our backyard – the native prairies! At least 80% of our native prairie has been lost.  In our southwest corner of Saskatchewan, Grasslands National Park contains the most intact and greatest example of the remaining native prairie in Canada.

The grasses are the heart and soul of the prairies and without them, there wouldn’t be a home for such unique animals! This is one place in Canada where you can see the Buffalo roam and the Deer and the Antelope play. Grasslands is home to the Black-footed Ferret – often considered North America’s most endangered mammal! Also, the park is the only place in Canada where you can see Black-tailed Prairie Dogs in the native habitat!

Grasslands National Park also tells the amazing history of the prairie! A story of survival and persistence! Ancient teepee rings and bison drive lanes a just a few remnants of the First Nations people who once called the prairie wilderness home. Old corrals using river willow fenceposts and remnants of early ranching homesteads dot the landscape to remind us of the end of the ‘wild west’ and the transition to settlement.

 

Pronghorn Antelope are the fastest land animal in North America! Pronghorn Antelope are the fastest land animal in North America!
© Parks Canada

The history at Grasslands is a story going back millions of years – to the Dinosaurs! The thousands of fossils found in the park tell us that both land and aquatic dinosaurs once roamed here! The prairie landscape has been a sea, a tropical jungle and has survived the glaciers! And all of these influence what the prairies look like today.

Grasslands is a national park that provides enjoyment and significant for all Canadians. Full of biodiversity, culture and history, Canadians are invited to visit Grasslands National Park and experience one of the last remaining sections of native prairie! Welcome!

 

The Belza Homestead is found in the Frenchman River Valley. The Belza Homestead is found in the Frenchman River Valley.
© Parks Canada