Wascana Park

April 2008

Regina Plain Native Prairie Restoration Site

Located north of the First Nations University of Canada.

(Click on a picture for larger view)
(Unless otherwise indicated, photos by Don of

Left Panel Side Centre Panel Right Panel Side

Welcome to this restored native prairie, part of Regina's natural history! Over 80 species of native prairie grasses, forbs (wildflowers), sedges, and shrubs were seeded here in the fall of 2003. As the vegetation fills in and the prairie matures, the site will closeley resmble the Regina area before European setlement.

The Prairie Ecozone of Saskatchewan has been divided into 69 landscape areas. A landscape area is a region with uniform landscape features and climate. Landscape areas differ in land forms, vegetation, and soil texture.
The Regina Plain Landscape Area is a level to gently rolling glacial lake plain with dark brown soils. About one-half (1.1 million acres) of the Regina Plain Landscape Area is associated with a heavy clay soil texture.

While Regina was surrounded by prairie only a century ago, prairie is now extremely scarce on the heavy clay soils of the Regina Plain Landscape Area. In fact, less than 0.05% is left. As the prairie disappears, we lose the diversity of plants and animals it supports. We also lose the genetic characteristics of its plant species.

What is Genetic Biodiversity?
Genetic Biodiversity is the variety of different genes in one species. Different genes may help a species survive different enviromental conditions. For example, when clay soils become saturated with water, oxygen may not be available to plant roots. Therefore, native vegetation growing on the heavy clay soils of the Regina Plain Landscape Area may need specific genes in order to tolerate these conditions. However, in areas with sandy soils that dry quickly, native plants need special genes to endure low moisture conditions. Genetic biodiversity will ensure the survival of native plant species under climate change conditions.

To preserve genetic biodiversity, the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority collected seed from the remaining patches of prairie on the clay soils of the Regina Plain Landscape Area. This seed was planted in the Regina Plain Native Prairie Nursery in the Riverside Memorial Park. Preparations for this site began in 1999 by removing exotic weed species. The harvested seed from the nursery plants were than planted here to restore this site to native prairie.

Restored prairie areas help preserve genetic biodiversity, create wildlife habitat, and provide recreational and educational opportunities.
You are invited to walk through the area and discover the beautiful colours, scents and sounds of our native prairie.

Cairn April 2008 Cairn April 2008