By Lisa Marie Brennan
You can live in the same city for 50 years and still discover new and wonderful things at every turn if you just look. This is not always easy because stepping outside of our comfort zones can be difficult. We have our usual coffee stops, shopping, and parks we like to frequent. They’re safe and familiar. The ‘burbs are practically designed that way.
After 36 years in Mississauga, my own family recently changed things up and discovered the wonder of Riverwood Conservancy. It’s truly a hidden gem, located on land in Central Mississauga that was once used by First Nations as original trading grounds. Riverwood is a volunteer-run organization that provides programs and services to the community about nature. It is 150 acres of beauty and can offer a true appreciation of what nature has to offer.
As a bird lover, my son was delighted by the Riverwood Bird Trek, which enabled him to get up close and personal with many beautiful birds of the forest. Having chickadees feed from his tiny hand was a wonder – I’d never seen him hold still for that long!
It’s a trail of beauty, with changing topography: The journey begins at McEwan Field Station, continues past a deep ravine and down to the Credit River. Interpretive signs along the way will let you know which birds to be on the lookout for, including cardinals, tree sparrows and downy and hairy woodpeckers. There are dips and peaks to keep things interesting.
It’s more than wilderness though: the Chappell House Gardens will delight you. This heritage building was constructed in 1919, as well as the MacEwan Terrace Garden. Click here to find out more information about Riverwood and how you can get involved. Even if admission wasn’t free, the rich experience here is priceless.
If you are in town, staying at Platinum Suites, Riverwood is a great destination to check out – you could get there by bus – it’s a single street route along Burnhamthorpe Rd. Hope to see you there!