Whether your interests embrace nature, wildlife or even shopping, Edmonton brims with environmentally friendly options in the city and surrounding regions.
Enjoy a day crossing KALYNA COUNTRY, Canada’s largest eco-museum, home to more than40 designated natural areas and 1,000 km of trails, all just east of Edmonton. Along this 300-km stretch of North Saskatchewan river valley you’ll be able to view all manner of creatures, from bald eagles and bears, to birds, fish and wildlife. Be sure to stop at COOKING LAKE-BLACKFOOT RECREATION AREA or the adjacent ELK ISLAND NATIONAL PARK, home to herds of free-roaming bison, moose, deer and elk, as well as more than 250 species of birds. Hike amongst the many trails, or canoe across the motor-free lake. Experience the BEAVER HILLS DARK SKY PRESERVE PROGRAM, aimed at raising public awareness on light pollution. Overnight at ELK ISLAND RETREAT, just 15 minutes from Elk Island National Park, a unique setting for rest, relaxation and reflection. Bring the RV along, or rent a tipi for year-round camping. Immerse your imagination in the history of First People’s culture; attend one of many offered Aboriginal Culture Programs.
On your second day, discover nature in the city! THE JOHN JANZEN NATURE CENTRE offers programs, events, exhibits and information to encourage awareness and understanding of naturein an urban setting. Visit the Exhibit Room, the living pond or the active, working beehive to see nature close-up! Be sure to stop in at the MUTTART CONSERVATORY, Edmonton’s premier horticultural attraction, featuring more than 700 species of plants. Ask about the ORCHID SPECIES PRESERVATION FOUNDATION OF ALBERTA, helping to develop a world-renowned orchid species collection. Head south on Queen Elizabeth II Highway to THE DEVONIAN BOTANIC GARDEN, home to an authentic Japanese Garden, floral gardens and collections of native and alpine plants, all situated in a rolling landscape of pine trees and wetlands. Start your third day with some shopping!
Start at SOUTHGATE CENTRE, which meets 25 per cent of its energy needs through wind turbines, part of eco-incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at six major malls across Alberta. Head west for adventure in WEST EDMONTON MALL. Be sure to stop at the SEA LIFE CAVERNS, home to more than 200 species of colourful fish, sharks, stingrays, reptiles and penguins. Interactive exhibits and daily live presentations allow you to get up close and learn more about these remarkable creatures. Hear about the African penguin-breeding program, which helps this protected species survive by providing a stable, safe-breeding environment. WEST EDMONTON MALL is an accredited member of the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums(CAZA) which is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums(WAZA) and the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN). West Edmonton Mall is also a member of the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA).