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DescriptionGrasslands National Park encompasses the grasslands in two separate blocks between Val Marie and Killdeer in the southern part of the province. When completed, the park will preserve 900 square kilometres (350 sq. mi.) of Saskatchewan's original mixed-grass prairie, including such topographic features as buttes, badlands and coulees. Among the wildlife species found in the park are black-tailed prairie dogs, golden eagles, rattlesnakes, short-horned lizards, pronghorn antelopes, mule deer and more recently, reintroduced plains bison and black-footed ferrets.
These grasslands also have a rich history. The first recorded discovery of dinosaur remains in western Canada was made in the badlands in 1875. Proof of early habitation includes remnants of tepee rings, ranch buildings, corrals and old homestead shacks.
Ranching operations exist in the area, and some of the proposed parkland is still under private ownership. Before entering the park, contact or stop at the visitor center located in Val Marie to obtain information, maps and permits. The center also conducts interpretive programs, guided hikes and special events.
Park open year-round. Visitor center open daily 9-5 (also Fri. 5-7), July-Aug.; Thurs.-Mon. 9-5, Victoria Day weekend-June 30 and Sept. 1-Thanksgiving. Admission is free. Write Grasslands National Park, P.O. Box 150, Val Marie, SK, Canada S0N 2T0; phone (877) 345-2257 (West Block Visitor Centre) or (306) 476-2018 (East Block Visitor Centre).