• Located in City of Edmonton
• 59 Acres
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Learn more about the features of Larch Sanctuary.
Whitemud Nature Reserve
Wildlife and Habitat
Nestled in the middle of Edmonton lies Larch Sanctuary, a section of the Whitemud creek ravine just upstream of its confluence with Blackmud creek. This 59 acre reserve is on the south side of 23rd Avenue, with housing developments at the top of the banks on either side, so it truly is a sanctuary.
Despite being right inside a major city, Larch Sanctuary retains remarkable biodiversity. The combination of coniferous, deciduous, and mixedwoods forests provide habitat for dozens of species of mammals and birds, including our largest woodpecker, the pileated woodpecker. Moose, deer, coyote, fox and other small mammals find a home here. Snags provide nest sites for cavity nesting species, shoreline vegetation lines the creek forming sensitive riparian areas, and Edmonton’s only ox bow lake provides important habitat for aquatic species, amphibians, and waterfowl.
To further benefit wildlife within the Edmonton city limits, in recent years EALT has installed two bee hotels for solitary bees adjacent to Larch Sanctuary. We are currently working with the City of Edmonton to install a maternity rocket bat box adjacent to Larch Sanctuary in a similar fashion. To read more about the importance of pollinators and how to help them, click here, and to read more about bats and how to help them, click here.
Photos: Minette Layne, Doris May, Veronika Ronkos, Joshua Wasyliw, EALT
Larch Sanctuary provides an important wildlife corridor, as species move around and through Edmonton, between the outskirts of the city and the North Saskatchewan River. Whitemud Creek is a major tributary of the North Saskatchewan River, which provides drinking water for the population of greater Edmonton. In addition to these ecological benefits, Larch Sanctuary also provides residents with a unique place to be active, spend time outdoors, enjoy, and feel connected to nature.
The Edmonton and Area Land Trust worked with the City of Edmonton to place a Conservation Easement on this land, which provides Larch Sanctuary with an additional level of protection, and other benefits. Larch Sanctuary was officially opened in Spring 2017.
Guided Nature Tour
Whether at Larch Sanctuary, or at your home, take a guided tour using the map below, or click here for the tour booklet.