Fish Creek Provincial Park is named after the creek running east through the park, eventually meeting up with the Bow River.1 Fish Creek Provincial Park is considered an urban park, situated within Calgary city limits, and is the second largest urban park in Canada.2
Why is Fish Creek there, was it created, and who maintains it?
Fish Creek Provincial Park began as a valley – Fish Creek Valley – many years ago in 13,000 B.C. Once the glacier that filled the valley retreated, what remained was the creek bed that exists today.3 Fish Creek Valley has a fascinating history from the time people arrived in 6,500 B.C. A couple of the more recent highlights include the building of the Bow Valley Ranche House in 1896 and the official opening of Fish Creek as a provincial park as we know it today in 1975.4
Fish Creek Provincial Park is managed by the Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks with help from the many volunteers at Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society.5
What natural life does Fish Creek Provincial Park support?
With a waterway and lots of natural space, you can expect many things to do, sights to see, and of course plenty of wildlife! Fish Creek Provincial Park is home to a variety of amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles.6 While all wildlife is amazing, some unique amphibian species in the park include the boreal chorus frog, growing to be only 2-4 cm in size and the wood frog known for overwintering on land and freezing solid!7 You may also be lucky enough to spot deer, beavers, muskrats, or even coyotes in the park, along with an abundance of different birds.8,9 All these animals play an important part in maintaining a healthy, balanced ecosystem. Large natural spaces like Fish Creek Provincial Park are also essential for the wellbeing of people and provide an opportunity to learn more about the natural environment around us and the various species that live there.
Ways to get involved
The official website for Fish Creek Provincial Park has even more information, including some recent publications on various wildlife.10 You can find a “Fish Creek Bird Checklist” that you can use as a birding guide to see how many birds you can find in the park – there may be more than you think!
The Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park website also has some great resources and other ways to get involved, which can be found here: https://friendsoffishcreek.org/.
- Travel Alberta. 2023. “Fish Creek Provincial Park.” Travel Alberta. Accessed February 21, 2023. https://www.travelalberta.com/ca/listings/fish-creek-provincial-park-10792/
- Travel Alberta. 2023. “Fish Creek Provincial Park.”
- Alberta Parks. 2021. “Fish Creek Provincial Park History.” Alberta Parks. January 25, 2021. https://www.albertaparks.ca/parks/kananaskis/fish-creek-pp/information-facilities/history/
- Alberta Parks. 2021. “Fish Creek Provincial Park History.”
- Gilligan, Melissa. 2022. “Alberta announces funding to preserve, protect Fish Creek Provincial Park.” CTV News. December 12, 2022. https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/alberta-announces-funding-to-preserve-protect-fish-creek-provincial-park-1.6191053
- Alberta Parks. 2021. “Fish Creek Provincial Park Nature.” Alberta Parks. February 1, 2021. https://www.albertaparks.ca/parks/kananaskis/fish-creek-pp/information-facilities/nature/
- Alberta Parks. n.d. “Fish Creek Provincial Park Amphibians in the Park.” Alberta Parks. Accessed February 21, 2023. https://www.albertaparks.ca/media/123451/amphibians.pdf
- Alberta Parks. 2021. “Fish Creek Provincial Park Nature.”
- Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park. 2023. “Fish Creek Wildlife.” Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park. Accessed February 21, 2023. https://friendsoffishcreek.org/your-park/fish-creek-wildlife/
- Alberta Parks. n.d. “Fish Creek Provincial Park Information & Facilities.” Alberta Parks. https://www.albertaparks.ca/parks/kananaskis/fish-creek-pp/information-facilities/?tab=Day%20Use