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All that remained of a willow opposite City Hall this spring!. V i b r a n t Exciting Nature on our doorsteps. St ri vi ng to be ou r be st!. REEP River Edge Enhancement Project. Report #1 – Project Year 1 – 2005 Inventory and Enhancement Recommendations.

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all that remained of a willow opposite city hall this spring
All that remained of a willow opposite City Hall this spring!



Nature on our doorsteps.


reep river edge enhancement project

REEPRiver Edge Enhancement Project

Report #1 – Project Year 1 – 2005

Inventory and Enhancement Recommendations

about many things trees trails beavers water bridges birds weeds people biodiversity is key
About many things … trees, trails, beavers, water, bridges, birds, weeds, people … biodiversity is key
why a reep report
Why a REEP Report?
  • St. Albert citizens … highly value the Sturgeon River and its associatedgreen spacesand the walkway system – Red Willow Park
  • City Staff … indicated willingness/desire to work with local, interested groups and individuals interested in maintaining or even improving green spaces such as this area.
  • BLESS … already runs a Summer Nature Centre program on the edge of the river and saw an opportunity to muster volunteer support of its membership and other citizens for river edge enhancement activities … increase biodiversity
early in 2005 facts evident
Early in 2005 … facts evident
  • 1. Our river park system was fantastic but not perfect … what ever is?
  • 2. There were grant $$$ to support environment actions taken on behalf of river edges … riparian environments.
  • 3. There were keeners in St. Albert … both in its city staff and in its general public - in particular BLESS
so the road to action
So … the road to action
  • People talked …
  • Grants were applied for …
  • Funds were secured …
  • BLESS volunteers & city staff made commitments …
  • A summer student, Sarah, was hired …
  • Work … lots of work … an inventory done …
  • Results reviewed / alternatives to the status quo were discussed / recommendations flowed …
  • A report now exists / has been reviewed / has BLESS OK
  • This presentation seeks Council acceptance.
the support
The Support
  • Dollars from …
    • Alberta Conservation Association
    • The Suncor Foundation
    • TD Friends of the Environment Foundation
    • Alberta Government STEP
  • Labour from …
    • BLESS Volunteers and Summer Staff
    • City Staff …
      • Roger Belley, Kevin Veenstra, et al.
the report the product
The Report… the product
  • Draft 1.10 …
    • Section 1. Background
      • goals, methods, definitions
    • Section 2. Recommendations
    • Section 3. Appendices
      • inventory descriptions
      • air photographs / maps
      • photos
      • Summarized area sizes
quick overview
  • Five Reaches – C, D, E, F, G
  • 66 Areas – mapped

10 Special Projects

  • ‘Reaches’ – six bridges
  • Air photos - map uniform or identifiable ‘areas’
  • ‘Study zone‘ defined by walkway or 25 metres

In Reach C … 7 ‘areas’ mapped

In Reach C … 2 special projects

sample recommendation 66 areas 66 area recommendations
Sample Recommendation66 areas = 66 area recommendations
  • Area C6 - Recommendations:
  • Minimal disturbance of this area is suggested other than occasional monitoring for beaver damage to trees and shrubs. Some of the more significant (larger) trees could be individually wire-guarded but only if periodic (biannual) assessments are made to avoid ‘wire strangulation’ of the growing tree trunks.
sample recommendation 10 projects 10 proposed enhancement sites
Sample Recommendation10 projects = 10 proposed enhancement sites
  • Proposed Enhancement Site 10C –
  • A set of appropriate plantings of shrubs, minimally on the downriver side (closest to the walking bridge) of the outflow point would quickly offer some masking of this aesthetically poor view. Moderately tall shrubs like willow or alder or even white birch should help to hold the soil.
wishful thinking
Wishful Thinking?
  • Implement this month - creation and placement of some beaver exclosures with overseeing of a city staff person.
  • Soon – This initiative may flow into the future Environmental Advisory Committee’s list of priorities or as a model for future community involvement.
  • Next Yearand Beyond
    • Obtain long-term grants funding – Alberta Ecotrust most likely source
    • Continue test plantings with city staff assistance
    • Do MORE of the proposed project sites
    • Invite and involve other groups and individuals from the community to become active as well
asking from council and staff
Asking from Council and Staff

1. Acceptance of the report in principle with the expectation that Council will refer the recommendations for consideration by the Administration with the hope of establishing an ongoing working plan for implementation.

2. Support for the first phase of activity this fall, the installation of wire exclosures in at least two of the 66 studied areas in order to protect specific trees at risk to beavers.

3. Support of city employees to ensure the project activities conform with city safety, parks and other policies.

all that remained of the willow this spring
All that remained of the willow this spring!

What the willow looks like today! A new beginning … every year!