WOW Public Day is an outdoor nature festival held at Wascana Marsh offering free wetland and wildlife activities, entertainment, and guided hikes for people of all ages. This annual festival occurs in late May. Originally a full day, plans for this year are to hold several of the most popular activities concentrated in a half day format. Many groups are involved in making this festival a success. This includes:
The WOW Festival began in 2005. The purpose was to engage the public in nature-based activities. In the past, we have had tents set up on the north side of Wascana Hill. Public day, itself, was set to coincide with International Migratory Bird Day. Due to the unpredictability of the weather at the beginning of May, the festival is now held at the end of May and the location has been changed to the Habitat Conservation Area located in Wascana Marsh. Preceding School and Public Days is a fundraising dinner to raise monies for interpretive components at the Marsh, and as Public and School Days are free, to help cover the costs for these events as well.
Over the years, we have had many activities for all ages including: early morning bird hikes, kite flying, arts and crafts, nature-based treasure hunts, live animal, bird, and reptile talks, owl pellet dissection, Ducks Unlimited Pond Dipping, goat grazing, lunch hour guests, native plant information and giveaway, invasive species identification, guided nature hikes, a specialized nature app, and SOEEA activities such as solar oven baking and geocaching. The ‘Great Sit’, with local bird expert Frank Switzer, has been held every year since the inaugural Public Day in 2005. Frank has kept a tally of all the bird species seen during Public Day and has answered many questions about Regina birds and birding in general.
For many years, Fries Tallman Lumber donated lumber and supplies for the birdhouse building activity and the shop classes of Cochrane and Balfour graciously cut all this lumber into precut sections for easy assembly. Enthusiastic youngsters built their own bird houses at the festival and then took them home to attract their own feathered friends.
Our festival could not have been possible without our many volunteers! Our volunteers have included students from local schools, university students, members of nature groups, as well as many other people with a love of nature. The Saskatchewan Science Centre hosts a Volunteer Appreciation Night every year to help thank our volunteers.
The Prairie Conservation Action Plan has been hosting a PCAP Speaker Series whereby an invited guest speaker discusses a topic relevant to Wascana Marsh.
A few years ago, we introduced our wildly popular Ecotent. This became an arena for local nature-based groups to showcase all they do to promote and conserve all aspects of nature.
Please join us in our celebration of wetlands and wildlife!
In 2008, the WOW festival received the Lieutenant Governor’s Greenwing Conservation Award which recognizes contributions to wetland conservation in Saskatchewan.
The festival is free for everyone and cannot be run without sponsorships. Our fundraising goal is to raise enough money annually to cover the costs of the festival and the promotion of the natural aspects of Wascana Marsh. This is approximately $6500 dollars annually. We are very grateful to our many sponsors over the years. If you would like to become a sponsor please contact us.