|Comox Valley Nature Viewing Guide|
|Roy Stewart Morrison Nature Park and Malcolm Morrison Sr. Park|
Bill Heybroek drawing
|Arden Creek: Krista Kaptein photo||Pileated Woodpecker: Krista Kaptein photo|
|Explore peaceful streams and lush rainforest at Morrison Nature Park. Waterways including parts of Morrison and Arden Creeks, and tributaries of the Puntledge River, protect many species of salmon, trout and lamprey. The Morrison Creek Lamprey, found only at Morrison Creek, is considered endangered. Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western redcedar and Sitka spruce are part of a mixed forest that also includes bigleaf maple and red alder. Swords ferns, deer fern and lady fern are abundant here, and in the spring watch for western trilliums, pink fawn lilies, and ground-covering false lily-of-the-valley. Yellow-flowering skunk cabbages light up the muddy, marshy sections of the park in the early spring. Watch for woodland birds such as Pileated and Hairy Woodpeckers, Pacific Wrens and Varied Thrush. At night it’s possible to hear a Western Screech Owl. This 31-acre park is close to schools and residential areas in Courtenay, with many access points. One can also connect through to more trails at Masters Greenway, Rotary Riverside Trail, and Puntledge Park.|
|Geographical Description||Confluence of Morrison & Arden Creeks - tributaries of the Puntledge River. The Greenway comprises two City Parks and the forested area of the School District grounds.|
|Area/ Trail Length||Roy Stewart Morrison Nature Park: western 13 ha;|
Eastern 23 ha: School District 71 grounds. Several hills, some trails with roots.
Malcolm Morrison Senior Park: .5 ha., flat trails.
|Habitat||Riparian 2nd growth forest, marsh.|
|Highlights||Good fish habitat due to year-round flow from springs in headwaters; Morrison Creek Lamprey (found nowhere else in the world) Part of longer greenway system.|
|Best Season||Spring for flowers; autumn for fish; year-round for woods.|
|Main Access||Park entrance at 2150 Embleton Cres.|
|Secondary Accesses||Footpath between 1580 & 1590 Embleton Crescent at cul-de-sac. |
From Arden Rd north of 656 Arden Rd.
From Ecole Puntledge Park Elementary School at the west end of 4th St.
From Lake Trail Middle School at corner of 5th St & Willemar Ave.
|Cautions||Trails can be wet in winter & flood occasionally; trails may be unsafe during strong winds.|
|Jurisdiction||Roy Stewart Morrison Nature Park: Nature Trust property managed by City of Courtenay. |
School grounds: SD71.
Malcolm Morrison Senior Park: City of Courtenay.
|Birds||Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron, Common Raven, Brown Creeper, Varied Thrush, American Robin, Western Tanager, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Hammonds’ Flycatcher, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Rufous Hummingbird, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Spotted Towhee, Warbling Vireo, Pacific Wren, Yellow Warbler, Pine Siskin, Dark-eyed Junco.|
|Mammals||Beaver, Roosevelt Elk possible, Black Bear.|
|Fish||Red-listed Morrison Creek Lamprey (Lampetra richarsoni var. marifuga), Pacific lamprey, western brook lamprey.|
Spawning coho, chum salmon, pink salmon; cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, stickleback.
|Insects||Blue-eyed darner, Pacific forktail.|
|Trees||Large Douglas-fir & Sitka spruce, some grand fir, western hemlock, redcedar; large bigleaf maple, red alder & cottonwood; Pacific ninebark, red-osier dogwood , beaked hazelnut, cascara, Pacific crabapple.|
|Shrubs||Red elderberry, salmonberry, thimbleberry, red huckleberry, Oregon grape, snowberry, red-osier dogwood, some Nootka rose, baldhip rose, salal.|
|Flowering Plants||Pink fawn lily, trillium, false lily of the valley, skunk cabbage (swamp lantern), water parsley, rattlesnake plantain, vanilla leaf , tiger lily, mitrewort sp.|
|Ferns, Lichens, Mosses||Mostly sword fern; some spiny wood fern, oak fern, maidenhair fern, lady fern, deer fern, bracken fern.|
Lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria), antlered perfume (Evernia prunastri).
Over 26 mosses identified including Plume moss ((Dendroalsia albietina) , rare on Vancouver Island.
|Invasive/Non-native species||Some holly, ivy, broom. Creeping buttercup.|
|You will be able to Click here for a Plant List.|
|Mushrooms||Witch's butter, polypore sp.|
|Regulations||Dogs on leash; dogs not allowed on school playing fields; bicycles allowed on trails.|
|Facilities||Roadside parking; interpretive signs at Embleton Cres.|
|Other Features||Plaque at Arden Rd. entrance. Several bridges. Remnants of historical log flume.|
|Other Connections||To Masters Greenway at north end of Arden Rd.|
|History||You will be able to Click here for the Conservation History.|
|FMI||Morrison Creek Streamkeepers|
|City of Courtenay Parks|
|City of Courtenay Official Community Plan|
|Nature Trust of BC|
|Morrison and Arden Creeks Watershed Map|
|Fish Species in the Courtenay River Estuary and Baynes Sound 2001|
|© 2011 Comox Valley Naturalists Society|