History of our Site
Only 20 years ago the site where the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre resides was a marginally productive cultivated field. The site, which was once a prairie wetland, like many marshes, had been drained so the land could be put into agricultural production.
Due to its low elevation and periodic flooding the site was designated to serve as a regional storm water retention area. Instead of constructing a single-purpose rectangular holding ponds Foundation volunteers worked with the Town of Coaldale and Alberta Environment to pursue a multi-use environmentally creative solution by building a storm water retention site that included:
- reclaiming the original native wetland habitat
- providing land that would house a birds of prey rescue facility
- constructing a new wildlife education facility/tourist attraction
To ensure the natural wetland was sustained though periods of low precipitation the St. Mary’s River Irrigation District agreed to provide water through its distribution system. Other partners joining the project included the City of Lethbridge, County of Lethbridge, Alberta Tourism, Alberta Environment, Alberta Fish & Wildlife Division, Ducks Unlimited as well as local fish and game clubs and many volunteers.
The wetland has matured extraordinarily in just a few short years. Now during summer, the site is teaming with wetland wildlife. Many people find it difficult to believe that in 1988 the entire site was a flat farm field without a single tree, pond or bird.