This post was submitted by Alan Wiebe at the Seine-Rat River Conservation District
Historic community of Rosenthal
The Rosenthal Nature Park is a public space located in Mitchell, Manitoba, and is the site of the historic community of Rosenthal. This village was home to some 25 families who established themselves in the mid-1870s before relocating prior to the census of 1881. The presence of artifacts and the preservation of this site are intrinsic to the history of the local area that is characterized by rapid population growth and development.
Rapid population growth and development, and the severity of high water events in the southeast has culminated in an urgent need to rethink surface water management strategies and development planning. The Rosenthal Nature Park is an innovative model for sustainable development and integrated watershed management. It demonstrates the viability of utilizing the natural functions of wetlands to retain and slow high water flows; reduce surface water runoff in urban and semi-urban areas; and purify water quality with native plant species.
The design of the Rosenthal Nature Park is comprised of walking trails that connect the wetland and upland ecosystems of the park to wildlife observation areas. Observation areas throughout the park offer a visually pleasing and comfortable environment for visitors to encounter local wildlife.
The wetland ecosystem is characterized by a lake and peninsula. This constructed wetland is planted with native aquatic plant species from local donor sites and is an ideal habitat for native and migratory water fowl.
The upland ecosystem of the park is seeded with a wild flower mix that flourishes into a colourful array of flowering plants that invite various butterfly species to the area. A forage mix seeded alongside the existing bushes bordering the northerly edge of the park provides the ideal vegetative ground cover for deer foraging. Grassland birdhouses and waterfowl houses placed throughout the park offer waterfowl and shorebird species places to nest.
Today, the Rosenthal Nature Park is bursting with life. The range of plant and wildlife species throughout the park contribute to greater biodiversity in the area and reflects an intentional effort to bring together the human and physical environment.
Strong partnerships transform Rosenthal site
The site of the Rosenthal Nature Park was formerly used as a borrow pit to shape the berm surrounding the Mitchell lagoon. Seine-Rat River Conservation District (SRRCD) members of the Manning Canal sub-watershed worked together with the SRRCD Board and staff, as well as the RM of Hanover, to restore ecological function to the site. The RM of Hanover and the SRRCD subsequently entered into a cost-share partnership to re-naturalize the site for public use.
Connecting with nature
Connecting with nature through outdoor exploration is an essential component of the Rosenthal Nature Park. The park is modeled after the Tourond Creek Discovery Centre (TCDC) in Kleefeld. The TCDC is a green environment that is visited by families, nature lovers, and school groups. Teachers use the site as an outdoor classroom by facilitating hands-on learning activities that encourage outdoor play. These activities are designed to give meaning to environmental education by allowing students to interact with nature through fun, outdoor activities. More information about the TCDC is available online at www.tourondcreekdiscovery.ca. While the Rosenthal Nature Park provides opportunities for environmental education, it is a unique green environment that is now open for you to explore.
The naturalized environment of the Rosenthal Nature Park supports a broader vision for community health. It integrates active transportation and outdoor exploration into a unique green environment that facilitates the discovery of meaningful connections with nature.
The Rosenthal Nature Park is located north of Mitchell on Randolph Road and east of Road 30-E.