Category Archives: Natural Areas

The mostly undeveloped wildlife habitat areas of the park.

Tick Season Hits McLaren

Tom Scott gives us a heads up that ticks are currently abundant in McLaren Park. “In the past two weeks alone I’ve found 3 different ticks on me, although none had clamped down (thankfully). I don’t recall finding any ticks in the previous 8 years that I’ve been going to the park. My dog remains tick-free thanks to the medication she uses.”
Tom explains, “the ticks I found on myself have been identified as Dermacentor variabilis, also known as American Dog Tick and Wood Tick. This species is not known to carry Lyme Disease, but it can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It’s unlikely, though, that the ticks in McLaren carry this disease. I don’t think this is an urgent health concern for park users, but something to be aware of.”
Suggestions when going to the park: Apply mosquito repellent, especially to your legs and even if you’re wearing pants. Also, it’s a good idea to check yourself after returning from the park. Ticks tend to go for warm moist areas, such as armpits and groins.

Report motorcycles in the park!

In recent weeks a number of motorcycles have been riding at high speeds through the trails and meadows of McLaren. This threatens natural habitat and pedestrian safety.

Riding a motorcycle in a city park is against the law! Police encourage anyone seeing motorcycles in the park to call 911 immediately.

Coyotes and foxes in the park!

There have been numerous sitings of coyotes in McLaren Park this year. And, there is good evidence that a family of foxes have located here as well.

City coyotes are generally not a threat to humans. Timid by nature, they have adapted to the urban environment and are able to find plenty of food. However, these rules-of-thumb change during breeding time. Two coyotes seen together – like those recently sited in McLaren – are likely a breeding pair and can be more agressive, particularly when the pups arrive. (Click image for info on coexisting with coyotes. For a more detailed brochure, click here.)

If you see a coyote:

  • Do not approach it. Back away calmly.
  • Do not offer it food.
  • Important: control your dog! Coyotes and dogs do not mix and your dog will lose a fight. Smaller dogs can even be killed. Keep your dog on leash in areas where coyotes have been sighted.
  • If a coyote approaches you, make yourself large, shout, if necessary throw something (not food!) at or behind the coyote, and move away slowly towards a more human-populated area.