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Riverbank Makeover Project 2018

You’ve heard of Home Makeover shows, well in a similar fashion, this year Calgary River Valleys is doing a “Riverbank Makeover” project with a homeowner who backs onto the Elbow River, with funding support from the City of Calgary. This project is in alignment with the City’s recently adopted program, the Riparian Action Program, which is designed to improve and maintain the health of river-adjacent areas as well as the quality and quantity of water flowing through Calgary’s rivers and creeks.

Many people are unfamiliar with the term “riparian”. Its Latin root “ripa” means bank or shore, so riparian refers to the transition zone between the river and the surrounding lands or uplands. This is land where the vegetation and soils are strongly influenced by water. As a result, different types of plants can grow in the riparian zone as compared to the surrounding lands or uplands.

The project this year has 3 main components:

  1. Research about people’s knowledge of riparian issues,
  2. Field work to modify an Elbow River adjacent homeowner’s riparian zone with new vegetation and monitor its success over time, and
  3. Educate the public about the value and function of riparian zones in our ecosystem.

We will be doing a public participation volunteer planting day in September (the date will be finalized soon), and we will also be holding a “garden tour” style event after the planting day is completed, to see what was planted, where, and why.

Stay tuned for more details!


Elbow River Redd Count Education Project

This project was funded in part through a Watershed Stewardship Grant, a program of the Land Stewardship Centre financed by Alberta Environment and Parks.

Calgary River Valleys has been coordinating and sponsoring the counting of Brown Trout redds or spawning nests in the lower Elbow River since 2009. We want to ensure this citizen science continues as an annual count in order to ensure the data collected is as accurate as it can be, that trends over time can be observed, and the location of redds can be used to ensure land use decisions don’t negatively impact Calgary’s blue-ribbon trout fishery. We also wanted to expand this project this year in order to incorporate additional outreach and education about the count and why it is important. This expanded project involves several components:

  • Research and analysis on why the number of Brown Trout redds in the lower Elbow River are changing over time,
  • Video project to document and explain what is involved in counting redds in the river and why it is important,
  • Educational seminars to provide information on the project and present the results of the annual redd count, and
  • the Redd Count itself in the lower Elbow River in November 2017.

Anne Naumann presenting “Redd Counts, Why They Count” at the Bow River Basin Council Quarterly Forum, September 13, 2017.

On September 13, 2017, a representative from Calgary River Valleys presented to the Bow River Basin Council’s Quarterly Forum information on the lower Elbow River redd count data since 2009, including the impacts from the 2013 flood.

To view a short (3:15) video clip from our YouTube channel of our volunteer Biologist, Chris Bjornson, of Golder & Associates, explaining how Brown Trout spawn each fall, what the citizen scientists doing the count should be looking for, and why this annual redd count is important, click here.



CRV on Twitter

The ten latest CRV Tweets on Twitter.

Cool - great videos on river flow youtu.be/omVwCZyuZxk and flood mapping youtu.be/bNasdKVeivk in easy to understand language! Thanks @AB_Enviro twitter.com/Miistakis/stat…

Agreed - #urbanplanning requires creation of #naturalsanctuaries. Science & Best Mgmt Practices supports this. Tools to accomplish this exist within the AB Municipal Gov't Act, and the #yyc Municipal Devel Plan but are not always used #ableg #yyccc twitter.com/shmcconnell/st…

Conflict betw @cityofcalgary Parks & Water staff vs Planning staff. Former on CPAG want to apply best practices in planning (as per City policy) but latter can ignore City policies (incl MDP, Wetland Policy, Parks Policy, etc) to let devel'rs do whatever they want #CityPlanning twitter.com/clgrivervalley…

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