We have posted the report on the Riparian Restoration Bus Tour that Calgary River Valleys hosted on May 29th, 2015. To read the report, click here. There are some interesting pictures of the different projects at the 4 stops on the tour: root wads, willows, rip rap, and a crib wall. Have a look!
You are invited to this FREE Calgary River Valleys event on March 29th. Danah Duke, Executive Director of the Miistakis Institute, will speak on the Call of the Wetland project; a citizen science project aimed at monitoring amphibian activity in Calgary, and designed to engage citizens in learning about the importance of wetlands and connecting people with nature. Danah Duke holds an MSc in Environmental Biology and Ecology from the U of A, as well as a BSc in Biology from McMaster University. She has been the Executive Director of Miistakis Institute for the past 15 years. The Miistakis Institute is a non-profit environmental research institute that is affiliated with MRU in Calgary. This will be followed by our short Annual General Meeting, with a networking wine & cheese to end the evening.
- Date: Wednesday March 29th, 2017
- Time: 7:00 pm with wine & cheese to follow
- Address: Calgary Water Centre, 625 25 Ave SE (see Google Map link)
- Room: Bow River Rooms
- 7:00 pm Sign-in
- 7:10 pm Welcome and introductions
- Guest speaker: Danah Duke, Executive Director of Miistakis Institute
- Q & A
- 7:40 pm Calgary River Valleys’ Annual General Meeting
- 8:20 pm Networking Wine & Cheese reception until 9:00 pm
- by car -- there are 2 options for parking:
- the Water Centre Visitor's lot, accessed from the short spur arm of Spiller Road that runs to the south of 25 Ave SE to 26 Ave SE, it is at the west side of the Water Centre Building, and
- a free parking lot just across Spiller Road to the west, although you will need to input your license plate number into the ParkPlus machine
- by transit -- take the C-train to Erlton Station at the south end of the Stampede grounds, and walk east on 25 Ave SE to the Water Centre (about 10 mins)
NOTE: All are welcome to attend, even if you are not a member of CRV. If possible, RSVP to CalgaryRiverValleys2@outlook.com so we have an idea of numbers.
Calgary River Valleys has been very active recently in providing input to the City of Calgary's planning process for multiple projects. These are in various stages of the decision-making process. At the upcoming City Council hearing on March 20, 2017, Council will be making a final decision on the land use change proposal for the Highland Park valley. These lands are located in the historical valley of Confederation Creek and its tributaries which flow to Nose Creek. Back in the 1960s the creek was channelized inside an underground vault starting in Confederation Park, and running to Nose Creek through these lands. These lands also include two wetlands fed by artesian springs. CRV's concerns regarding this proposal include, among others, the following:
- the legal status of the creek and its historical bed and shores has not been properly addressed; we believe it should be considered Crown land owned by the Province,
- these lands have served as the drainage area for an area larger than 15 square km, reaching to Nose Hill Park, and the proposal calls for the filling in of the valley which will significantly impact the flooding risk in the surrounding areas,
- the proposal calls for the destruction of the two wetlands on site, which appear to be sustainable and not "temporary" as they have been categorized in the developer's report,
- the proposal calls for the destruction of 500+ mature trees that act as living infrastructure to absorb a very large amount of both rainfall and groundwater,
- City Administration has failed to take Environmental Reserve lands on this property, and
- City Administration has failed to uphold a large number of its own policies in recommending approval of this land use change proposal.
Thanks to everyone who attended our Annual General Meeting & 25th Anniversary Celebration on April 20th. It was a great event, and a wonderful opportunity to network. Our first guest speaker was Al Duerr, former Mayor of Calgary, who was instrumental in 1991 in creating and providing funding for Calgary River Valleys (or River Valleys Committee as it was previously known) to work with City Administration toward the following goals (among others) within Calgary:
- promote public awareness in the City's river system
- assist in the establishment of an open space system including pathways and natural areas adjacent to waterways
- serve in an advisory capacity to City Council regarding use and development in and around the City's river valleys
- encourage water-based recreation and improved water quality
- provide a reliable source of volunteer assistance
We accomplished a lot in 2015! Below is just an overview of some of the things we did. To download a copy of the full Calgary River Valleys Annual Report, click here (PDF 1.6 MB). To download the Executive Summary of our Annual Report, click here (PDF 639 KB). Below are some of the highlights:
- Riparian Restoration Bus Tour -- a bus tour with reps from City Council, City Administration, industry, community associations, environmental groups, and others along the Bow & Elbow Rivers to see and hear about the various techniques that have been used post-flood to stabilize riverbanks, restore the riparian area, and protect infrastructure
- Annual Lower Elbow Brown Trout Redd Survey -- a visual survey and count of the Brown Trout redds (fish egg nest areas) completed by volunteers under the supervision of a fish biologist
Communications & Outreach
- Doors Open YYC -- representatives from CRV participated in this event with a booth at the Glenmore Water Treatment plant to engage with the public about protecting and conserving the City's water resources
Policy & Planning
- Bend In the Bow park -- provided input to this proposed regional park encompassing Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Inglewood Wildlands, Colonel Walker House, and Pearce Estate Park.
- Crowchild Trail Study -- provided input to potential upgrades of Crowchild Trail
- Trinity Hills Area Structure Plan -- provided input to and recommendations regarding the new development plan for the site former called Paskapoo Slopes, in an effort to better protect the ecology of the area
- South West Calgary Ring Road -- hosted a facilitated meeting in collaboration with the Weaselhead / Glenmore Park Preservation Society with reps from Alberta Transportation, and a variety of experts in several fields to discuss criteria that would improve the proposed design and reduce long-term impacts on the environment, with the resulting report submitted to the Minister of Alberta Transportation
The City of Calgary has created a "beta" (or test) version of an online map of current Planning & Development applications that is available to the public. The information is provided by the City for anyone to research individual applications and participate in the development and planning process. As of January 4, 2016 the website only shows Re-designation (or Re-zoning) Applications but the City plans in the near future to also upload information about Subdivision Applications and Development Permits. To navigate the map, in the upper left hand side, you can search by (see graphic below):
- the application file number, if you know it
- the address of the location
- the community or neighbourhood of the location
- the Ward of the location, or you can also just zoom in on a location on the map
- the address(es) for the application,
- the file number,
- the name of the applicant (the developer),
- the date the application was submitted,
- the status of the application (i.e. Submitted, Under Review, Planning Commission, Hearing Scheduled, Approved, etc),
- what the application is about,
- the existing designation for the site,
- the proposed new designation for the site,
- next to the "i" in the blue circle you will see the applicable dates related to the application (i.e. deadline to submit comments, date the application will be or was reviewed by City Council, etc),
- if applicable, there will also be a link to provide comment or send input ("Share your thoughts") on the application to the City Planner, which will then also allow you to upload any relevant files or documents from your computer regarding the application,
- the steps in the planning process and where this application is in the process,
- links to related documents that you may want to review (such as the Land Use Bylaw, the Calgary Municipal Development Plan, etc),
- as well as the name, job title, and contact information for the City Planner who is handling that application
The City of Calgary has now approved the proposed long-term biodiversity strategy. The BiodiverCity document outlines a vision for the future of an ecological network that is healthy, connected, and well-managed. The key indicator of success is proposed to be a 20% increase in naturalized open space by the year 2025.
Calgary River Valleys was a supporter of this strategy and provided input to City Council recommending it be approved. For more information, the BiodiverCity Strategy document is posted with a link below.
Click here (6.1 MB PDF) to download the BiodiverCity document.
See the Get Involved > Watershed Policy and Planning menu above for more information on other Planning issues that may be of interest to you.