Welch Creek Natural Area


A pristine area where a dense stand of treed fen with abundant tamarack fringes an open, quaking sedge fen that surrounds the narrow ribbon of the creek. Bog orchids and members of the heath family are found here. Hikers should proceed with caution on the saturated ground of the open fen.

View showing sedge fen in foreground, forested fen and upland forest in the middle ground, low forested hills in the background
View showing sedge fen in foreground, forested fen and upland forest in the middle ground, and forested hills in the background (H. Taube)

Map of the Area

Any maps and map views are for general information only. Do not rely on them for navigation or to determine legal boundaries.

Other Information

OVERVIEW. A pristine area where a dense stand of treed fen with abundant tamarack fringes an open, quaking sedge fen that surrounds the narrow ribbon of the creek. Bog orchids (Platanthera species and Spiranthes romanzoffiana) are common, along with members of the heath family and other typical swamp species. There are no obvious trails and hikers should proceed with caution on the saturated ground of the open fen.

TREES. Black spruce and tamarack wetlands; open patterned fen; mature balsam poplar-white spruce stand; plants of uncommon occurrence in Alberta (Carex interior, Drosera anglica). This site lies in the Boreal Forest Natural Region, Dry Mixedwood Subregion.

Origin of the Name

According to a family member, in 1950, Welch Creek and Natural Area were named for Lance Corporal Dwight Earl Welch of the 14th Armd. Regt., Calgary Regiment, R.C.A.C. Welch died on 31 August 1942 aged 23, likely as a result of wounds sustained in the invasion of Dieppe that same year, or other circumstances. He was the son of Harry and Fanny Welch, of Erskine, Alberta. He is buried in the Holten Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands [3,4].

Site Statistics

Site NameWelch Creek
Site TypeNatural Area
SubtypeOrder-in-council (OC)
Natural Region(s)Dry Mixedwood
O.C. No. (Land Ref. Manual)454/71
PASite ID (Map Ref #)376
Site # (Parks Website)472
Total Area64.35 ha. (159.00 ac.)
Steward-StatusRoving Steward
Recreation Activitiesnone noted
IUCNII
Operated ByParks Division
Notes and Comments
Statistics and Details for Welch Creek

References, Further Reading and Links

The following links are provided as a courtesy but are not verified or endorsed by SAPAA. Clicking on the link will cause you to leave the SAPAA website.

  1. Text from the Alberta Parks website, 2012.
  2. Current text available from Information & Facilities – Welch Creek Natural Area | Alberta Parks (accessed 2021-11-26)
  3. June 2021 email and telephone interviews with Randolph Landry, Red Deer, nephew of Corporal Welch.
  4. Lance Corporal Dwight Earl Welch, CVWM (accessed 2021-11-27).

Further Reading

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