Northeast SwaleSaskatoon, SK
What is a Swale?
After the glaciers receded from the prairies, the river that is now the South Saskatchewan carved a river valley through which the river still flows. Over time the river shifted leaving ancient channel scars and more recently oxbow lakes. The Northeast Swale is one of multiple scars around the city of Saskatoon. The scars offer a variety of habitat, including wetlands, riparian areas, and native prairie.
Why is it important?
It provides habitat for 200 different species of plants, over 100 species of birds, and many different mammals, amphibians, and insects. There are several endangered, rare, and at risk species at the Swale. With some of these being culturally significant.
One of the most important things is the current connectivity of the area, this provides a corridor for animals and plants to freely move about. With urban encroachment, the habitat is becoming fragmented which will lead to a higher risk of biodiversity loss. As the city of Saskatoon grows in and around the Swale, not only is fragmentation and issue, but isolation from other natural areas.
As of 2019, the EGA’s biggest concern is for the potential negative impacts to the ecological integrity of the Northeast Swale and the swale systems in and around Saskatoon due to a proposed highway development.
We firmly believe that the Saskatoon Freeway should not be built through the Northeast Swale.
The Swale needs to be protected from further fragmentation. Our City and our region need a variety of healthy and intact ecological corridors to support biodiversity.