Hodgson Wetland is a permanent wild marsh (approximately 2.2 hectares) located in southeast Edmonton, Alberta. This unique natural area is protected by the city of Edmonton since 2002. The wetland has a border of sedge, willow and cattails that serve as an ecological buffer, protecting water quality and providing nesting and feeding habitat for waterfowl. Approximately 200 meters to the west is a constructed companion to the natural wetland, built to hold and filter storm water. Both wetlands provide habitat for ducks, grebes, geese and other water-loving birds, frogs and muskrats.
Native plants (e.g., Poplars, Pin Cherry, Saskatoon, Buffaloberry, Snow Berry, Wolf Willow, Dogwood, etc.) have been planted along the upland corridor to the northwest of the natural wetland. This corridor acts as a stepping stone in the city’s ecological network of natural areas, creating a functional connection between Hodgson Wetland and the Whitemud Creek that lies approximately 400 meters to the east. Such functional connectivity allows birds and small animals to move between the wetland and the Creek, and enrich the wetland with wildlife and birds from the river valley.
There has been active involvement of Hodgson Wetland Stewardship Group since 2009 in maintaining the wetlands area. Sidewalk ringing the natural wetland, and viewing platforms provide an opportunity to view open water, emergent vegetation zones and upland plant areas. An added benefit to the viewers is that the wetland is adjacent to a paved road and therefore is easily accessible. Although modest in size, Hodgson Wetlands system offers people to enjoy and learn about a variety of native plants and birds.
-Ambika Paudel, Master Naturalist 2015