The Discovery Nature Sanctuary (DNS), a hidden oasis tucked in the northeast corner of Winkler, provides a safe haven for animals and plants.
People who come to enjoy the natural beauty of this hidden urban landscape will now find a series of ten interpretive panels planted along the trails.
Paul Goossen, Chair of the Sanctuary Committee, says the signage serves as a communication tool.
"It provides the visitor a chance to get more information than perhaps they have and also a greater understanding of the surroundings. We're hoping that it'll improve the visitor experience so they'll get a better understanding of maybe some of the systems and some of the wildlife in the area. Overall we hope it enhances their perceptions of the sanctuary as well as encourages them to engage in conservation."
Goossen says visitors to this urban wildlife sanctuary located in the northeast corner of the city, will find panels on almost all the trails, providing information on monarch butterflies, swallows, balancing farming with conservation and pollination.
Beautifully designed and artistically illustrated by Heather Hinam of Second Nature in association with Michele Buchanan of Bytesyze Design, the sanctuary committee hopes the signage will add to the experience of visitors who frequent the 32-acre sanctuary.
"People really enjoy their time there. It's a place where they can relax, they can talk, they can visit people have lunch at the outdoor classroom that's over there, or maybe they just go for coffee with friends. And it's a time just for solitude, if that's what you prefer. Or a time to reconnect with you know with friends and acquaintances."
Goossen stresses that green areas such as the DNS serve the community in different ways.
"Being outdoors in nature does give you a calmer sense from a mental health perspective. But our green spaces are being limited. There's a lot of habitat that is lost on an annual basis - global wise and also regionally as well. It's important as a reminder that we need to have a space for other fauna and flora that are in the in the area. For children, it's a chance to explore and to learn and perhaps encourage their interest in that area."
Schools can benefit from the project as well.
"Information on the signs will aid students' understanding of concepts learned in classroom settings. With the addition of these interpretative signs, the nature sanctuary becomes an even greater asset to schools which take the opportunity to visit the nature sanctuary as part of their curriculum studies".
The Discovery Nature Sanctuary is open dawn to dusk year round. It is can accessed from Eastview Drive off Highway 14.