A pleasant rolling landscape and a variety of plant communities make up the J.J. Collett Natural Area, 635 acres of Aspen Parkland habitat underlain by ancient sand dunes. Over 18 km of trails wind through the mosaic of shrub lands, aspen groves, and strands of white spruce on moist shady hillsides and meadows typical of the area. The area is used extensively for educational activities and recreation.
The topography of J.J. Collett Natural Area is predominantly rolling hills formed from glacial till, with about a quarter of the area being comprised of sand dunes, which have become stabilized by plants over a period of many years.
Located just outside of Morningside in one of the fasted growing corridors in Western Canada, preservation of this area’s unique physical and ecological diversity is of the utmost importance.
Until the mid 1960’s this area was privately owned. In 1974 the provincial government and Alberta Wildlife Foundation jointly purchased the land, in trust, to be used for environmental education. In 1976 the site was designated as the J.J. Collett Natural Area in memory of John Joseph Collett, the son of the previous landowner who was a forest technology student devoted to the preservation of natural resources.