Exploring The Weston Family Tallgrass Prairie Interpretive Centre
Manitoba’s tall grass prairie is like a group of cells. All together, they appear to be a mass with no definite shape or uniqueness. However, as you approach, details begin to emerge. Colour, texture and shapes appear all around you.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) The Weston Family Tallgrass Prairie Interpretive Centre and surrounding area offers visitors of all ages an opportunity to experience some of the last remnants of the tall grass prairie in Canada.
I’ll be the first one to admit that, upon first glance, the prairies appear to be brown and green expanses of grass. Maybe there will be an outcrop of trees breaking up the sea of grass that ripples with the breeze. When you enter the fields of grass, with the wind gently swaying the tops all around you, colour emerges from the monotone pasture before you. Flowers of all colours and shapes rise up to greet you. Brushing past a bluish plant, you breathe in the crisp scent of wild sage. Or, you arrive at an outcrop of trees and find the undergrowth dominated by flowers and shrubs. In June, the flowers could be the bright white bedstraw. In August, the brilliant yellow of goldenrod is all you can see for miles.
As you walk further into the tall grass prairie, you eventually approach shrubs in a clearing. You come across one that appears to be just like the others, but it has berries. While walking towards it to take a closer look, a nearby rustling sound stops you in your tracks. A white-tailed deer watches you before it turns and runs, its tail straight up in warning. A curious squirrel watches this encounter and chitters at you.
These are common encounters in the tall grass prairie near Stuartburn, Manitoba: raw, natural encounters with nature that you don’t have to pay for to experience. Touch, smell and taste (with caution) everything nature has to offer you, right in Canada’s backyard.
Remember the stories your grandparents would tell you about being able to go off into the bush and survive off Saskatoon berries and hazelnuts for days? Here in the tall grass prairie, those stories are true.
Unfortunately, due to habitat loss and human activity, many of Manitoba’s ecosystems are under threat. NCC staff at The Weston Family Tallgrass Prairie Interpretive Centre are working on bringing nature and humans together once again. The interpretive centre offers an immersive nature experience for the public. Easily accessible walking trails makes this NCC property fun for the whole family. Come visit us and experience the tallgrass prairie for yourself!
The Weston Family Tallgrass Prairie Interpretive Centre is one of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s properties featured in Nature Destinations, a program that invites you to take a journey through some of the greatest examples of our country’s natural areas and to connect with nature. Visit naturedestinations.ca.