Yorath Island, Saskatoon,
Description of the woods:
Yorath Island Conservation Area includes 151 acres of unique cottonwood forest
situated in the riparian valley of the South Saskatchewan River, south of the
city of Saskatoon, in the province of Saskatchewan.
As isolated communities of complex habitat, forested islands are both highly
valued and rare in the prairie ecozone. Yorath Island is one of the largest
wooded riparian habitats remaining in the prairie region, and its proximity to
the city makes it an exceptional and fragile resource. On the island, the
forest cover varies greatly both in height and species composition, but
dominant tree species include cottonwood, ash, maple, and yellow willow. The
cottonwoods of this area represent the northernmost edge of the North American
range, and persevere only in the floodplains of river systems. They are one of
the largest North American hardwood trees.
As with most riparian forests in this area, the woodlands of Yorath Island have
a dense understory, with at least 23 different shrub community types present
and several areas where open meadows provide sufficient light for smaller
shrubs and a mix of grass species. Only in this assortment of vegetative
species can the cottonwood forest regenerate, as cottonwoods themselves require
full sun to thrive, rising majestically above the dense foliage. The diversity
in vegetative species has resulted in an equally diverse provision of habitat
for wildlife, and bird species are abundant here. Of particular importance is
habitat favourable to species such as Cooper’s Hawk, which is on the
C.O.S.E.W.I.C. protection list. Additionally, coyotes, red foxes, river
otter, porcupine, beaver, and both mule and whitetail deer have been sited,
despite nearby urban and agricultural development, likely due to the natural
state and relative isolation of the island.
Access to the island is by boat only, which can be launched from Poplar Bluffs
Boat Launch, Fred Heal Canoe Launch, or one of two boat launches in the city of
Saskatoon. The island is viewable from either Maple Grove, off Cartwright
Street (southwest of the city of Saskatoon), or from the northern end of Chief
Whitecap Park (off Saskatchewan Crescent, south of the city). As both areas are
conservation parks, please keep to the trails.
This woodland is under the protection of the
Meewasin Valley Authority
Pictures of the woodland:
||Click arrow to show other pictures
To locate your woodland:
Click here to see the whole 151 acres of Yorath Island
on a map. This map can be zoomed in to show an aerial photo and zoomed out to
show a map of how to get there.
Provincial Property Information is as follows:
All of Section 12, Township 36, Range 06, Meridian 03.
Copyright © 2008-2009 Trees In Trust.