Wascana Marsh is a thriving 223 hectare marshland located within Wascana Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Its existence dates back to 1913 when a planner had the foresight to establish the Wascana Game Preserve. Part of the preserve became a federal migratory bird sanctuary in 1956 and remains an important migration stopover site for over 115 species of birds. Today this area is known as the Wascana Waterfowl Park.
This 23 acre site is a fenced off portion of the naturalized area of Wascana Centre for the protection and conservation of birds and wildlife. The site is accessible only by foot. Pets and bicycles are not allowed in this area. Schools regularly use this area for outdoor classrooms to learn about and experience nature in the city. This area was part of a commercial market garden prior to being purchased when the Wascana Centre was created. There are some escaped garden plants like asparagus and irises growing among the remnants of the caragana shelterbelts. In recent years, there has been intensive removal of the caragana and other weed species in an attempt to bring it back to a more natural habitat and to encourage more native species of wildlife.
The sanctuary was created in 1956, six years prior to the establishment of Wascana Centre. Over 200 breeding pairs of Canada Geese nest in Wascana Marsh each year. The main duck species that regularly nest in the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries (MBS) include Mallard, Northern Pintail and Blue-winged Teal. However, the MBS also attracts at least 115 species of migrants, including large numbers of spring and fall staging waterfowl, with up to 7500 Canada Geese at a time in recent years. Canada Geese from the Wascana flock were used in restocking programs throughout Saskatchewan and as far away as Quebec, British Columbia, Florida and New Mexico at a time when conservation of this species was a priority.
Where MBS are located on federal land, Environment Canada is responsible for the management and protection of migratory birds, nests, eggs and habitat. Where MBSs are located on provincial land, Environment Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests, while the chief game officer of the province is responsible for the management of habitat. Where MBSs are located on private or municipal land, Environment Canada is responsible for the protection of migratory birds and their nests. Habitat management is the responsibility of the landowner.