Happy Rolph’s Bird Sanctuary and 9/11 Memorial Walkway

IMG_3268After 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. Here’s a video that I posted to Instagram of the bridge going down!

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.

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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.

IMG_3265IMG_3288I 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.

IMG_3275IMG_3277IMG_3279IMG_3286IMG_3289Here’s a video of the geese at the Bird Sanctuary for you to view:

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.

IMG_3290IMG_3293IMG_3295IMG_3294IMG_3298IMG_3299I 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


Part of the #Sunday Traveler series! Read all about Chasing the Donkey’s trip to the Paklenica National Park and link up at the bottom of the post! There you can view all the other participating blogs!

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22 Responses

  1. Ming Lim
    | Reply

    I got sidetracked by your cat’s blog. omg! He is adorable.

  2. BavarianSojourn
    | Reply

    What a beautiful place for a memorial…

  3. Noel Morata
    | Reply

    What a beautiful walk and yes the memorial is perfect, I enjoyed my visit today, thanks

    • Justin and Lauren
      | Reply

      Thank you. It was an unexpected find, and it was very nice to walk along the path and think about that day, and the lives that were sadly cut so short…

  4. Corinne Vail
    | Reply

    Early spring can be hard to capture, but you did a great job…love those pussy willows!

  5. Rachel
    | Reply

    That could have been a very nice walk, and it does seem like it’s worth checking out. I love your photos, especially those flowers and that duck, or goose?, it’s just so cute! ;)

    • Justin and Lauren
      | Reply

      That one goose was pretty unique looking, wasn’t he! I hadn’t seen one like that before. It was a really nice walk!

  6. Time Travel Plans
    | Reply

    Nice photos, and it’s great that there’s a memorial for the Canadian victims since we rarely hear about non-Americans who died that day.

    • Justin and Lauren
      | Reply

      Yes I agree! A memorial to remember the Canadians, and all of the lives that were lost that day.

  7. slightly astray
    | Reply

    Lovely pictures of Spring! I feel like I missed spring this year because I left the US before it started, and now I’m going into winter in South America… so it’s so nice to experience it virtually! :)

    • Justin and Lauren
      | Reply

      Oh what a shame that you missed Spring, but it is really fun that you are in South America! I think it is worth missing Spring this time to be there :) Spring is such a great time of year and I’m glad that it has finally arrived here after such a long winter!

  8. frankaboutcroatia
    | Reply

    Wonderful photos! And a great discovery since you ended up here without really planning it.

  9. Looking at the map for interesting things to do sounds like a good way to find unexpected adventures. Also, your kitty is adorable! More cats should blog :)

    • Justin and Lauren
      | Reply

      Yes it definitely helps – sometimes Google maps can show you all kinds of random things that you didn’t expect to find in a place! Aww thank you about our cat too, we love him! :)

  10. What a great find! I love all the Canadian geese photos. It’s such a rewarding walk to find something that’s so important. We put so much thought here to the 9/11 Memorial and I hadn’t thought of other memorials outside of the US. So glad to see this beautiful walk.

    • Justin and Lauren
      | Reply

      Yes, it is a very modest memorial, but I do like the idea of planting a tree for every life that was lost. Thanks for stopping by our blog :)

  11. LILY LA
    | Reply

    Beautiful photographs :) love the flowers especially!

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