Episode 25: The City That Wanted to be Prairie

Dustin stands amid a lot of trees at Coates
Dustin stands amid a lot of trees at Coates

How did Edmonton come to be known as a prairie city? Dustin Bajer asked that question on Taproot Edmonton‘s story garden. Finding out the answer – and figuring out whether this area is aspen parkland, or prairie, or forest – challenged our ideas about the land we live on.

This episode is the first of a series of collaborations with Taproot.

Listen first, then read below for more information.

spoilers below

We began our journey with at the Bruce Peel Special Collections, where Jeff Papineau led us through print records enticing settlers to come out to Alberta.

Dustin and Jeff look through materials at the Bruce Peel Special Collections
Dustin and Jeff look through materials at the Bruce Peel Special Collections

Kory DeGroot from the Edmonton & Area Land Trust helped orient us to a site we hoped would offer a snapshot in time of what this land was like before it was turned into farms and cities.

Dustin Bajer with Kory DeGroot
Dustin Bajer with Kory DeGroot

We headed out to one of EALT’s local sites: the Coates Conservation Area.

The border between the Coates site (left) and the canola fields across the road
The border between the Coates site (left) and the canola fields across the road

We found freshwater mussel shells down in the Coates area along the Willow Creek trail!

Dustin holds freshwater mussels in his hand
Dustin holds freshwater mussels in his hand

 

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