Cypress River Millennium Park

Like most people, I’ve often fantasized about putting on some sort of magical Kevlar onesie, a pair of robotic stilts, and barreling through the marshes of the prairies just to see what’s up. What’s in there? What happens if you fall in push someone in?

Well, if you happen to be travelling along the Provincial Trunk Highway #2 of Manitoba in late July you can find out! (“But wait!” you ask…”Find out about pushing someone in, or about what’s in there?”) Anyway, along the way you get to visit the town of Holland’s giant windmill (take that, real Holland!) and gaze upwards at the majesty of the anatomically-correct, definitely female, Sara the Camel. All within a 15 minute drive from Cypress River. It’s a win-win-win!

Little ol’ Cypress River Millennium Park was constructed in 2001 and has a covered picnic area and boardwalks through a typical southern Manitoba wetland area. I imagine it can be absolutely horrifying at the height of bug season (hence the Kevlar), but for some reason at the end of July 2015, it was perfect.

So let’s learn about wetlands! (“Oh, do let’s!” *claps hands gleefully*) Wetlands refer to marshes, bogs, swamps, and fens, and according to the Manitoba Water Caucas (ha, caucus), “Canada has over 127 million hectares of wetlands, one quarter of the world’s total.” So what is their deal? Well, according to the water folks: Plant and animal habitat, flood and drought prevention, water purification, replacing groundwater, and storing carbon. Neat. And marshes are just like us! According to the Canadian Journal of Botany, marshes “vary in reproductive strategy and tolerance to water levels and salinity.” We have so much in common.

It’s like looking into a mirror.

Something I noticed is that neither article mentioned the possibility of using marshes to dispose of bodies and/or create marsh people. That’s because the word we are looking for is bog, bog people. Under certain conditions, bodies thrown into peat bogs can indeed become mummified. So if Canada is chock full of bogs, and human habitation here dates back thousands of years, then it stands to reason that we must have at least a million bog people lying across the country just waiting to be discovered and/or reanimated.

Something to think about as you stroll the boardwalk.