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Clean Ups in Fish Creek

Have you noticed any litter in Fish Creek Provincial Park? Do you know of a group that might be interested in taking part in a clean up?

The Friends of Fish Creek support groups hosting litter clean ups in the park by providing equipment and safety checklist. After the clean up, the outing organizer returns the equipment along with the checklist to the Friends of Fish Creek. Volunteers helping with these independant projects will report on the number of participants, the number of hours the group picked up litter and the number of bags of garbage collected.

If you are interested in hosting a clean up, please email Kumiko at kumiko@friendsoffishcreek.org


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Fish Creek Restoration

A successful example of stewardship in action!

The Friends’ Riparian Restoration and Stewardship Program is part of our larger, overarching Watershed Stewardship Project that provides different opportunities for people to lend a hand in the care of Fish Creek Provincial Park.  As part of this program, we have worked with a variety of community partners and keen volunteers since 2014 to execute riparian* restoration work along the easternmost stretch of Fish Creek.  Hands-on tasks such as willow cutting and transplanting, scarifying soil and spreading mulch and locally-sourced native seeds help restore some healthy balance to this area  that has been heavily impacted by human use.  These projects generally take place in the fall each year, however in 2017 it is possible that we’ll also do some work in the spring; if you are interested in helping out, please stay tuned for details in the New Year.
 


2016 in Review!
Over the course of two days in October 2016 we worked hard with 33 volunteers (160 volunteer hours!) in the execution of this restorative work at two different sites:
  • Hull’s Wood – 192 willow stakes and 6 rooted poplar seedlings planted
  • Stream Changes Loop (near Bow Valley Ranch, east of Bridge 11) – 93 willow stakes and 5 rooted poplar seedlings planted
We have also begun to emphasize the importance of monitoring the work we have done in the past.  With support of our volunteers (of course!) we developed and piloted a restoration monitoring protocol at the Hull’s Wood site that will help us to determine the degree of success of our restoration work as we move forward.  We’ll use this protocol in 2017 for the first time at the Stream Changes site!
 
The Friends’ take every opportunity to support other organizations in the riparian restoration work they are doing in the watershed.  In 2016, the Friends supported the following projects:
  • Friends’ volunteers helped execute a restoration work day spearheaded by the Bow River Chapter of Trout Unlimited near Bridge 9 in Fish Creek Provincial Park
  • They also supported the Elbow River Watershed Partnership in their restoration work at the headwaters of Fish Creek (near McLean Creek in Kananaskis Country)
  • We supported a cottonwood planting project organized by Trout Unlimited Canada and the Nature Conservancy of Canada on Legacy Island (south of Calgary in the Bow River) as part of our Community Toolshed Project; this project allows us to store and lend tools to other watershed stewardship groups that may not have the resources needed to carry out their projects successfully. 

We are excited to see so much great work being done in the watershed and to be a part of it all!

This year, our Riparian Stewardship Projects were made possible through funding from:

It also represents a continued and successful partnership with Alberta Parks, The Venturers Society, Cows and Fish,  and Trout Unlimited Canada, to whom we are grateful for their guidance, time and expertise!

Watch Hands and Heart, a digital short story created by the Friends, to get a glimpse of the importance of restoration work in the park.

*A Riparian area is the strip of vegetated land next to a water resource which provides numerous essential ecological services.  Acting as a natural buffer, it protects water from negative impacts associated with pollution, provides shoreline stability to prevent erosion, protects water quality and offers a movement corridor and wildlife habitat to the rich diversity of species who use it for parts or all of their life cycle.  At times, however, these areas can become so impacted by human activity that they lose their ability to provide these services, and the “health” of  the riparian area becomes compromised.  To learn more, visit the Cows and Fish Website.


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Weed Whackers

Invasive plants find their way into Fish Creek Provincial Park in a variety of ways, including dispersal of seeds via wind and/or water from surrounding neighbourhoods and backyard gardens.  These plants out-compete native plant species for sunlight, soil and water resources, leaving less forage for native wildlife.  Our Weed Whackers program brings volunteers together to actively engage in pulling these “weeds”, giving our native plants a better chance at survival!   We focus on “winnable battles”, those species that have not yet become pervasive throughout the park and which we have a chance at controlling through this kind of hands-on effort!

We have the following Weed Whacker sessions scheduled for this year:

  • Yank the Yellow Clematis! (Bebo Grove area) – Thursday, July 6th from 6-8:30pm
  • Rip Out the Rocket! (Shannon Terrace area) – Thursday, July 13th from 10am-12:30pm
  • Beat the Burdock! (Votier’s Flats area) – Friday, August 4th from 10am-12:30pm

If you are interested in volunteering for any of these weed pulls and do not yet have a MyVolunteerPage volunteer account with the Friends, please contact Shana Barbour, Program Coordinator, at shana@friendsoffishcreek.org

 

 

 


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Trail Care

Trail Care Volunteers work to maintain the Single Track Trail network in Fish Creek Provincial Park. By having designated trails for cycling and hiking, the development and use of unauthorized trails has been diminished significantly over the years and vegetation has had an opportunity to regenerate.

Special thanks to the Calgary Mountain Bike Alliance and Alberta Parks for helping to make this program possible.

Skills Park Update

Thank you to the 10 hard working volunteers from Corby Spirit and Wine who came out to Bebo Grove on June 2. We had a productive day conducting routine trail and park maintenance. The Friends are also grateful to have been chosen to participate in Corby’s national Responsib’All Day.

4 Volunteers from the 253 South Heritage Scout group came out on the evening of June 15 to reclaim a 104 m section of trail on city land that joined 2 trail sections behind Evergreen. 

On July 9 the CMBA completed trail maintenance on approx 600 m of trail near Bebo Grove and on Sep 27, CMBA volunteers built a wetland crossing structure and completed maintenance on approx 17 m of single track near Bridge 1. 

Nine volunteers from Deloitte came out for the second year in a row as part of Impact Day on the snowy morning of Oct 7 (pictured above). 50 m of unauthorized trail was reclaimed near Bebo Grove. Volunteers also worked at reclaiming trail sections near Marshall Springs. Thank you to the volunteers from Deloitte.  

Please click below to view the Single Track Trail Map.


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Tree Wrapping

Beavers are an important species that provides many ecological services such as slowing of water, absorption of water into the ground and creation of habitat for other species of wildlife.  Although their presence can be beneficial to natural ecosystems, infrastructure such as trails, water filtration systems and engineered stormwater wetlands can be damaged by their activity. 

In this program, volunteers wrap the base of poplar and cottonwood trees with stucco wire to deter beavers from moving into areas near sensitive park infrastructure. This proactive approach will decrease potential damage to trails, water filtration systems and engineered stormwater wetlands by encouraging beavers to inhabit more natural areas that will benefit from their presence.

We’re sorry, but we will not be accepting volunteers for this program in 2017.  Thank you for your interest and we encourage you to visit our events calendar by clicking on the green button below.  Hope to see you in the park soon!