Constructed in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s 100th birthday, Confederation Park is a popular park in northwest Calgary that now requires some significant restoration to its wetland areas.
About the Confederation Park enhancement project
Confederation Park was created in 1967 in the Northwest community of Rosemont to commemorate Canada's confederation. The park spans a large area from 10 St. and 30 Ave., to 14 St. and 24 Ave. NW.
As part of the original design plan, a pond was installed to enhance the aesthetic value of the park and attract waterfowl. Over the years, however, the condition of the pond has deteriorated. The retaining wall, installed to maintain the bank integrity at the east confluence area, has failed, and the soil behind is being undermined. The water level is dwindling due to sediment influx from upstream developments, and the water quality is being affected by nutrient loading from residential lots and golf course maintenance. As well, the creek that feeds the pond is an important tributary to Nose Creek. Restoration and habitat enhancement work done within this reach will be of a great benefit to the downstream reaches. The aim of this project is to enhance shoreline armouring around the west island and weir to help reduce the potential for erosion during high water flows. This project represents a joint venture between The City and the community of Rosemont.
Calgarians may notice some heavy equipment in and around the Confederation Park wetland.
To enhance the shoreline armouring, work will involve the addition of rip rap and sandstone boulders to the banks and bottom of the wetland. Shorelines will also be enhanced using soil bioengineering techniques which dictate the establishment of root mass from native riparian shrubs to add strength and stability.
Please watch for construction activities on site and respect closed areas of the park during the construction period.
What will change at Confederation Park?
The following restoration and habitat enhancement work is planned:
The Deep Pool: will be excavated and accumulated sediment removed to provide for more habitat diversity. The excavated sediment, which has been tested and found free of contamination, will be re-used as pondscaping material.
The Island will be cleared of noxious and invasive weeds and topsoil , which will be replaced by pond sediment, topped with clean topsoil. The existing woody vegetation, such as willows, will be retained during the excavation process. The island will then be re-vegetated using native grass species and riparian shrubs.
The Upstream Weir will be relocated to the mouth of the wetland to provide a two-stage water flow regimen. The low flow diversion will be directed to the side channel, to the north of the existing mudflat; the high flow diversion will be kept to the south of the mudflat - in line with the downstream weir.
Mudflat Side Channel will maintain a pool/riffle habitat - typically shallow with fast-flowing waters. The vegetation edge will be retained and enhanced by additional wetland planting.
The existing wooden retaining walls along the banks at the east confluence area pond and under the footbridge, are failing, presenting a safety hazard to the public. These walls will be replaced with a vegetated crib-wall, designed to both increase habitat value and be aesthetically pleasing. It will provide immediate protection from erosion and bank stability. The wall consists of box-like interlocking arrangement of timbers filled with suitable backfill material. The open spaces between the interlocking structures are layered with willow or dogwood cuttings that root inside the crib structure and extend into the bank. As these roots grow, they further bind the soil, provided long-term stability. At maturity, the vegetation will also provide habitat for birds and add to the beauty of the pond.
Soil anchors will provide stability and support for the retaining wall downstream of the footbridge. The current base has been eroded by high water flow. The footing of the wall will be designed to deflect the erosive force of the water flow.
The Wetland riparian habitat will be rehabilitated to a native condition by planting native grass seed mixes and indigenous riparian shrubs such as willows, red osier dogwood, Saskatoon, wild rose, buffalo berry, and coyote willow.