Water Quality Monitoring
In 2013, the Friends of Fish Creek have completed a multi-year baseline water quality monitoring project which resulted in the production/creation of the Fish Creek Water Quality Analysis Project Report. The report includes information about the sampling program, photos of the sampling sites, discussion on each of the water quality parameters tested and recommendations for park users and nearby landowners on how to protect water quality in the Fish Creek watershed. Of particular interest, one can find a chart linking visitor/landowner actions with specific water quality parameters on page 20.
The Fish Creek Water Quality Monitoring Project was made possible by the diverse, generous and meaningful contributions of many individuals and organizations. ALS Environmental provided laboratory analysis as in-kind support, while the Bow River Basin Council, the Alberta Conservation Association and the Land Stewardship Centre of Canada provided annual financial support for the project. Access to the creek at the Priddis/Tsuu T’ina sampling site was
provided by Trakehner Glen. Thank you also to Alberta Parks for supporting this project in a number of indispensable ways. A heartfelt thank you to all involved, including the following volunteers: Sarah Dixon, Addison Dragland, Caitlin Gifford, Elizabeth Hoyeck, Naomi Parker, Jenn Sutey.
The author wishes to thank the various funders and landowners for their ongoing support, as well as the volunteers and staff of the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society for their dedicated efforts to contribute to this project.
Fish Creek Watershed
Fish Creek originates in the foothills southwest of Bragg Creek before flowing through the MD of Foothills and Tsuu T’ina First Nation before entering Fish Creek Provincial Park and finally flowing into the Bow River near Hull’s Wood. It is a diverse watershed that includes spruce forest, riparian (riverine), wetland, aspen parkland and grassland ecosystems.
Part of the Friends of Fish Creek’s mission is to engage the community on topics relating to watershed stewardship through educational opportunities like Minibus Tours and Creekfest water festival and also to offer opportunities for public involvement in hands-on stewardship activities such as weed pulls and riparian restoration projects.
What is a Watershed?
Fish Creek Provincial Park is a wonderful space for recreation and reconnecting with nature. The Friends of Fish Creek monitor the water quality, wildlife and plants in the park in order to better inform users on how to protect this valuable resource. By teaching people how to become stewards of the park, we can engage the community through education to conserve this truly unique naturalized urban park.
With the financial support of Land Stewardship Centre, the Friends of Fish Creek launched a pilot project in 2013 to take a closer look at the vegetation in the Lafarge Meadows area of Fish Creek Provincial Park: A native grassland plant community A plant community near an engineered wetland. To learn more about the Vegetation Monitoring Pilot Project, check out the Wetlands and Weed Whackers article “Wetlands and Weed Whackers” on the Alberta Conservation Association site.