A magnifying glass, a bag of birdseed and a camera are all you need to become amateur naturalists in Ottawa. No matter where you live in the city, there’s a great outdoor spot just waiting for you to explore this summer.
Start with a little-known gem that’s right in the centre of town—the Fletcher Wildlife Garden. Located just across the street from the Museum of Agriculture and Food, the Fletcher Wildlife Garden aims to create a series of different environments housing a variety of animals and plants. We love their cultivated rock garden and pond, the field of carefully selected wildflowers that provide food for all manner of butterflies and a large amphibian pond where you’ll find frogs, turtles, ducks and blackbirds. Keen nature lovers will want to check out the junior naturalists club, The Macoun Field Club. Good to know: leave the stroller at home, allow extra time to explore the swing set and remember the main trail is dog-friendly.
Over in the West End sits a little brown cabin called the Wild Bird Care Centre, a charitable organization that takes in lost or injured birds and nurses them back to health, then releases them back into the wild. Visit between noon and 3 pm any day of the week to see injured birds being treated by trained, comforting staff. There are recovery rooms for ducks, geese, robins, sparrows, and more—our favourite is the incubator room where baby birds spread their fledging wings.
Cure your cabin fever, get some Vitamin D or see a new part of town. Just get moving to one of these 9 Great Outdoor Spots in Ottawa.