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After visiting Rise Above Restaurant & Bakery, I drove a little ways down the road to Happy Rolph’s Bird Sanctuary. I hadn’t heard of Happy Rolph’s before, but I had some time to kill while our kitty, Chickpea was at the vet. I found out about this park using Google Maps, scanning places of interest in the area near the vet’s office. Have you ever done this before to look for something to do? I had no idea what to expect before I arrived, but it was the perfect day to explore – the sun was shining brightly in the sky without a cloud in sight! Spring was here at last.
On the way, I had to drive over a bridge that crossed the Welland Canal. There were some boats traveling through the canal that day, so the bridge was up and I had to wait to drive across. I waited….and waited….and still, no sign of a boat. I’m glad that I had some great music to listen to, or else I would have been really bored! Finally, this HUGE freighter ship from Montreal comes slowly passing through.
After crossing the bridge, it was only a short drive towards Lake Ontario to reach the bird sanctuary. Upon arriving, there was a nice park near the driveway where lots of parents brought their children to play. I also noticed a fenced in area with some smaller barns that is home to a small petting zoo with barnyard animals. Unfortunately, none of the animals were out because it was still too cold – the petting zoo opens at the end of May.
Flowers finally in bloom after a long winter!I walked past the swing sets and across the park towards a small path that I had all to myself. I passed some beautiful flowers that were finally in bloom after our harsh winter. It was such a welcome sight to witness Mother Nature coming out of hibernation at last.
I continued my walk down the path and reached the pond for the bird sanctuary, where many wild birds live peacefully. I saw some ducks and geese, including some Canada Geese and another white and black goose. Many other birds live in the giant trees that surround the pond. It was really lovely to enjoy the tranquil view of the pond and the lake, hearing only the gentle calls of the geese as they communicated to one another.
I left the bird sanctuary pond area and continued my walk along a path by the lake. The lake was very calm and the sun was shining brightly. Signs of spring were showing up everywhere – small buds were forming on the trees, and I could see many shades of green dotting the landscape.
I turned the corner and discovered something that I totally did not expect – the 9/11 Memorial Walkway. This section of path was dedicated to Canadians that died in the World Trade Center building during the terrorist attacks of September 11th. While I do not personally know anyone who died in this tragic event, I was able to pause and think about all of the lives that were affected that day, and how many innocent lives were lost. 27 Canadians died that day, and each person was memorialized by a plaque and a deciduous tree. With the calming view of the lake, it really was such a perfectly peaceful place for this memorial path.
|Happy Rolph’s Bird Sanctuary & 9/11 Memorial Walkway
2 Northrup Crescent
St. Catharines, ON
Open: Daily 7:00am – 9:00pm