Meewasin Northeast Swale

The Meewasin Northeast Swale is an ancient river channel that begins at Peturrson’s Ravine and carves a 26 km long path adjacent to the South Saskatchewan River. The Swale contains considerable areas of native prairie grasslands and offers high quality biodiversity, proximity to urban areas, economic benefits for education and recreation, and a natural filter for our air and water. The Swale’s wetlands also provide flood control for the surrounding community. Within City limits, Meewasin manages 300 hectares of the Northeast Swale on behalf of the City of Saskatoon.

The diversity of environments offers a large variety of plant species (more than 200), birds (more than 100), and numerous mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and insects that are present in the Meewasin Northeast Swale on a regular basis.

The Swale is home to several rare, endangered or culturally significant species, including:

  • Plants: Crowfoot Violet, Western Red Lily, Narrow-leaved Water Plantain, Sweet Grass
  • Birds: Sprague’s Pipit, Barn Swallow, Loggerhead Shrike, Horned Grebe, Short-eared Owl, Common Nighthawk, Sharp Tailed Grouse
  • Amphibians: Northern Leopard Frog

With less than 20% of native prairie remaining in Saskatchewan (Bailey, McCartney & Schellenberg, 20101), native grasslands are now one of the most imperiled ecosystems on the planet (Gauthier & Riemer, 20032) and are considered endangered (Trottier, 19923).

The Greater Swale has signs of human habitation and use over the past several centuries, including a remnant section of the Moose Woods – Batoche Trail, Middleton’s staging camp on the trek to the Battle of Batoche, the site of the telegraph line that linked North America to Europe by way of Russia, the site of the old town of Clarkboro and tipi rings from the encampments of the original residents of the Saskatoon area.

Northern Leopard Frog

More recent archeological remains are the lime kilns near the swale and the holes left by the movement of large limestones used to build the University of Saskatchewan.

Losing this native prairie and wetland means the loss of thousands of years of natural and cultural history.

Click here for a detailed map of the Swale that outlines parking areas, and separates the Ecological Core and Recreational Zone.

Click here for a location map of the Meewasin Northeast Swale area, and see below for additional resources.

2016 Meewasin Northeast Swale Brochure / La Baissière du Nord-est de la Vallée Meewasin

Meewasin Northeast Swale Resource Management Plan

Meewasin Northeast Swale Master Plan

Meewasin Northeast Swale Development Guidelines

Meewasin Norhteast Swale CanNorth Mitigation Planning Report 

Bailey, A., McCartney, D., & Schellenberg, M. (2010). Management of Canadian prairie rangeland. Swift Current, SK: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Government of Canada.

2 Gauthier, D., & Riemer, G. (2003). Introduction to prairie conservation. In P. Partnership (Ed.), Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan 2003-2008. (pp. 1-8). Regina, SK: Canadian Plains Research Centre, University of Regina.

 3 Trottier, G. (1992). A landowner’s guide: Conservation of Canadian prairie grasslands. Edmonton, AB: Ministry of Environment, Canadian Wildlife Service.