Watch the video above: Official opening of Rosewood’s Hyde Park
SASKATOON – Elmer and Agnes Hyde were on hand Wednesday afternoon at the official opening of Hyde Park.
123 acres of naturalized wet lands have been preserved in Saskatoon’s developing neighbourhood of Rosewood and it’s named in their honour.
“It’s unbelievable., more than we could wish for,” said Elmer.
In 1937, Elmer’s parents, Hermine and Orville, settled just east of Boychuck Drive. Elmer recalls it being a dirt road at the time.
The Hyde family not only farmed the land, they also used to live here.
North of Hyde Park in Lakewood’s commercial district just off Boychuk Drive where the Hyde’s old farmhouse used to stand.
With a small dairy herd and 6 quarters of prairie land, Elmer and Agnes took over for his parents, raising their two children in the area as well.
Hermine died two months ago. Elmer said she would have been pleased with the park and said his parents were very environmentally friendly, avoiding the use of pesticides and herbicides in their farming operations.
The Hyde’s sold the land to the City of Saskatoon in 1964 for $60,000 and the city began making plans to develop it into a new neighbourhood.
The wetland marsh is home to dozens of species of native plants and animals.
Bob Rogers with the Saskatoon Wildlife Federation knew the area was at risk.
“I’m a retired science teacher so I thought if we had a restored marsh here in the city, what an opportunity that would be,” said Rogers.
In 2000, with development on the horizon, Rogers began lobbying city councillors to build around the wetlands for environmental reasons but also advocating the use of the ponds to store water and avoid residential flooding during major storm events.
The city agreed, altering its development plans and deciding on a neighbourhood that would back the natural habitat.
“It would definitely elevate property values. People want nature, people want to be involved with nature,” said the city’s manager of parks, Darren Crilly.
The area will be used for education as an interpretive and educational centre where signs point out plants and animals native to the land.
An off-leash dog park is destined for the area and officials are hopeful a sponsor will step forward to fund a floating dock to increase the educational experience for children.
Ducks Unlimited Canada as well as the Saskatoon Wildlife Federation committed $100,000 to see the park come to fruition.