Wagner Natural Area is approximately
1.6 km west of the junction of Yellowhead Highway 16 and Highway 44.Turn south on to Atim Road (Rge. Rd. 270), then east on to the service road. Follow the service road east to the gravel parking area and the entrance gate to the Natural Area.
Mailing and Property Address:
26519 Highway 16
Spruce Grove, Alberta,
|Wagner Natural Society would like to thank all the volunteers who came out May 14, 2016!! Spring is early this year! Click here to see what was happening on May 14, 2016
David painting inside the picnic shelter
Dave removing graffiti
Natural Areas are Alberta Government-owned and protected lands with a dual purpose: To allow some recreation but also to preserve aspects of the province's biological and physical diversity. Alberta's Natural Areas are not highly developed for recreational use because of the fragile nature of the property. Natural Areas are valuable for educational purposes, for research studies, and observation of a minimally-changing natural landscape.
In 1983, the Registered Charity, Wagner Natural Area Society, was accredited, and became the Volunteer Steward and Manager of the property under the provincial Stewards program, presently within the Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture department of the Alberta Government. The Society holds a recreational lease on the Natural Area and has a Water License covering the water that passes through and under the Natural Area and its surrounds.
Located between Edmonton and Spruce Grove, in the middle of fields and industrial development, Wagner Natural Area stands out as a microcosm of boreal forest. Its varied habitats include calcareous fens and marl ponds, willow swamps, drier coniferous and deciduous forests, creeks, and hay fields. These habitats, most particularly the fens, account for the rich diversity of plant life including several wild orchids, carnivorous plants, and mosses. Insects, amphibians, and birds are abundant, with larger mammals such as white-tailed deer and moose also inhabiting the area.
A special ecological feature of Wagner is its fens - areas of water-saturated peat existing because groundwater, carried through underground sands and gravels called aquifers, rises in the form of springs to the surface of the ground. The water then moves overland towards Big Lake, or accumulates in marl ponds.
Known to naturalists since the 1940's, the Natural Area was named for William Wagner, the owner of the property, who was instrumental in having the Alberta government give the original property of 320 acres (129.5 hectares) formal protection in 1975. Subsequent land purchases by the Alberta government and the Nature Conservancy of Canada have extended the protected area to 251 hectares (620 acres) covering a range of vegetation communities.
Because of the moisture content in much of the soil, it is advisable to have waterproof boots with you when visiting the Natural Area. In the spring and summer, it is also advisable to have insect repellent with you to fend off any mosquitoes who may find you. While there is no drinking water in the Natural Area, a Picnic Shelter and Outhouse is provided near the head of the Marl Pond Trail. Wagner Natural Area is not an off-leash area for dogs because of the fragile nature of the Area. Prohibited in the Natural Area are: Lighting Fires, Cutting Trees, Camping, Hunting. The Natural Area is a pedestrian-use only area. There is no garbage removal from the Natural Area, so visitors are requested to pick up after their dogs, and to take all garbage away with them.
A 1.5 km self-guiding Marl Pond Trail leads southwards from the main gate.
Dates have been selected for activities at Wagner this spring:
May Species Counts
- Saturday, May 28 - Birds
(May 2015 Bird Species List is here)
- Sunday, May 29, - Plants
Father's Day Orchid Walk
- June 19, 2016
Please click on "Events" page for more details.
NEVER NEVER PICK OR REMOVE OUR PLANTS - LEAVE THEM FOR EVERYONE TO ENJOY!
Montropa unifloraTo read more about Indian Pipes
**TO WATCH AN AMAZING VIDEO OF WAGNER NATURAL AREA FROM THE AIR**,
please click on this link:
This video is courtesy of Andrew and Mike Hendry, shot with a quadcopter in August of 2014
Wildlife Conservation Link
Dr. Gilbert Proulx, PhD, CWB
Director of Science
Alpha Wildlife Research & Management Ltd. www.alphawildlife.ca
He is looking for some funding for
research on wolf and coyote predation on Alberta livestock. Please see his
website for more information and if you would want to contribute.