Cross Country Skiing in Harper Park!

With all of the snow we have received in the last several weeks there is now a plethora of options in the Peterborough Area when it comes to cross country skiing. If you’re looking for more of a back-country experience in the city, look no further than Harper Park. On February 11th we cut a trail through the park and conditions are ripe for an excellent skiing adventure! To access the park you can leave your vehicle on the side of the road and ski in on the trail marked on this map! Be sure to share your adventure on the Harper Park facebook page or @harperparkptbo on twitter.

Happy Skiing!


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Harper Park: A Splendid Year in Review

This year has been a big one for Harper Park! There are so many wonderful events, people, and stories to share. We started the year with an incredible session hosted by the Peterborough Dialogues where the community collectively created a vision for the future of the park. So many excellent ideas and stories were shared between those who care for the park. It was clear from that point we had quite the special group of people to work with into the future. Big thanks to Kim Zippel, Peter Pula, Ben Wolfe, Cheryl Lyon, Jo Hayward-Haines, Dhoog and others for helping to organize the event. The renewed energy and spirit from that event helped spur our actions throughout the rest of the year!

Just before our summit we were pleased to find out that the wetland that dominates Harper Park was designated as provincially significant! This was all made possible by the hard working members of the Peterborough Field Naturalists. New …

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Harper Park Reveals its Autumn Colours as We Search for that 100th Species of Bird

A group of 4, Kim, Scott, Marilyn and I headed into Harper Park on a sunny, crisp Nov. 16th morning.  The eBird list for Harper Park has grown steadily as more Naturalists enjoy a walk through Harper Park identifying and reporting to eBird both resident and migrating birds.  In fact, the eBird list has reached 99 species.  We were in search of that 100th species.  Chickadees, Blue jays, Cardinal, Red-breasted nuthatches, a Golden-crowned kinglet, Downy, Hairy & Pileated woodpeckers and Crows all serenaded us that morning, but we were unsuccessful in sleuthing out that 100th species.

So, Folks!….The challenge is on for someone to report to eBird the 100th species before the end of 2017! To find the list of 99 species, Check out the website,  Scroll down to Explore Hotspots.  Type in Harper Park and ‘enter’ on Peterborough-Harper Park.  You can also print off the list of birds reported so far.

As we continued through Harper Park we …

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Holy Cross Students Profile Harper Creek Watershed

Students at Holy Cross secondary school as part of their geography class produced videos featuring the Harper Creek watershed. Students explored the many aspects of the watershed that make this place special. Featured are the fish, birds, mammals, reptiles, water, trees, people, and land that make up the watershed. They also explored many of the threats that face the waters and the local park ecosystem. The videos are an excellent introduction to the watershed and provide incredible background on the area. Watch the stories produced by students at Holy Cross and let them us know what you think! We will be posting more videos in the weeks to come, so check back soon!

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Late Fall in Harper Park

Its cold and it’s getting dark. Daylight savings has just passed and dusk is arriving by 4:30. There is the first snow of the season in the forecast and flurries can be seen on the radar to the west. I quickly make my way into the park after leaving my vehicle on the side of the road. The public works folks have been testy with me lately about leaving my car on the side of the road, but its a public park and a public space, so they are more than welcome to leave me alone.

After passing the first thicket of White Cedars a Roughed Grouse startles me as it flutters out of the bushes next to the path. I’ve come across hundreds of Grouse in my life, but even still they always seem to elicit a shock from me. At this point in the day the casino construction is in full swing, its quite noisy to say the …

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Life of a Radio Tagged Brook Trout

Scott Blair and company have been hard at work tagging brook trout in Harper Creek. This study will discover how brook trout move throughout the stream as the seasons and weather change. You can find out more by visiting the study page.

Below you can witness the process of capturing the brook trout using electrofishing, preforming a little bit of surgery and depositing the fish back into the creek.

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Support the Democratic Management of Harper Park!

On October 2nd Peterborough council will vote to place the future of Harper Park in the hands of a single consultant. City council claims that people who care about the future of Harper Park will be asked to provide input on its future. City council has always ignored and rejected the input of the community on the care of this incredible park space.

This request for $112,000 to plan for the future of the park is also a waste of your tax dollars. The work required to complete a report on the future of the park has already been completed. The citizens and scientists of Peterborough have already documented the park better than any consultant ever will.

We are asking that the future of Harper Park be placed in the hands of a not for profit partner involving community members. Partnered together we can ensure that Harper Park is protected for ours and future generations.

Visit Harper Park

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Peterborough Field Naturalists host an i-Naturalist walk through Harper Park

September 10th proved to be a sunny, warm delightful morning as 13 people arrived at Harper Park for the Peterborough Field Naturalists’ inaugural iNaturalist walk.

With smartphones in hand, we gathered for a quick overview.  iNaturalist has become a popular method to engage citizens who want to learn about the nature around them, and to document observations of species for further scientific research.  An inventory of the species in Harper Park will provide a baseline of biodiversity, and help to monitor and assess changes due to the impacts of development. All good stuff!

Although iNaturalist is user friendly the website and the Getting Started video are worth exploring. But first, everyone needed to make an iNaturalist account from the website,

In order to maintain a species list for Harper Park in one spot, The Harper Park Stewardship Initiative Project was setup in iNaturalist.  Therefore, the next “to do” was JOIN this project and make certain each observation …

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Where Roads and Wetlands Meet

Its a beautiful summer afternoon. We’ve just driven through a torrential downpour and arrived at Harper Creek. You can still detect that fresh earthy smell after a storm. We’ve come down to pay a visit to two of the most recent development projects in the watershed. As we pull off the road we can already see the significant changes that have taken place on the site of the future casino. The developer of the site has gone to great lengths to backfill the site with soil. Nearly a meter and a half of material has been deposited on top of the former wetland. Looking in areas where fill has not been placed, it is apparent why such great effort to fill the site has taken place. Patches of water, mud and aquatic plants permeate the site, signaling water at the surface of the soil, or just below. Years of degradation have still not managed to beat back the inexorable march …

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