I choose the Roper Pond area located at 7004 McIntyre Rd, Edmonton for the Hidden Gems of Edmonton series, because I work just a block south of this natural area. I am able to walk outside on my lunch breaks and get fresh air, enjoy the flora and fauna in the area and come back to work refreshed. I have seen moose, deer, rabbits, coyotes, gophers, and a large variety of birds, including owls, plants and insects, though I have yet to see any amphibians. This area is part of the Millcreek ravine, which flows from the Millwoods golf course and under the Whitemud freeway, past my office and under Roper Road to a pond which when it overflows, fills a larger pond with an island. There has appeared to be some recent plantings, as well as bird houses and bat houses placed in this location. It is located immediately west of the southside soccer centre, so this is a good place to park and walk. It is a loop trail that can easily be done in less than ½ hour. Driving by this industrial area, you would never know this neat natural area existed in the heart of Edmonton. I am thankful that this exists as it gives me a chance to get some exercise without having to walk by the roads and breathing in all the pollution, as well as the ability to enjoy some nature right in my area.
Tracy Renz, Edmonton Master Naturalist, 2015