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Bowmont Park

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Bowmont Park is a large natural environment park that lies along the northern bank of the Bow River in the northwest part of Calgary.

Several projects are now underway to protect and improve the park. Here’s an overview of what you can expect:

Fish Habitat Compensation

This year The City will be working on a Fish Habitat Compensation project in the west side of the park near the railroad tracks. The project is one of several that will create healthy habitat for fish to replace some that was lost as areas of riverbank were repaired after the 2013 flood. This project will include widening of a river side channel to allow water to flow through year-round, and removing and replacing the north pedestrian bridge.

The project will result in some closures and detours for park users beginning in mid-summer and lasting until the end of 2018.

Dale Hodges Park

Construction of Dale Hodges Park on the site of the former Klippert Gravel Pit is ongoing. Most of the work is now complete, and the park is likely to open later this year.

Bowmont Park Management Plan Improvement Project

A section of the off-leash area near the Silver Springs entrance will remain closed until late fall to allow more time for the new plants to establish. A detour is in place. Park’s staff are currently installing entering/leaving off-leash area signs to define the off-leash area boundaries throughout the park.

You will also see new, updated entrance signs and maps appearing in the park.

Naturalization

There is some work underway to improve the health of the park through naturalization work. Invasive plants have been removed and native species were planted to enhance the sensitive grassland habitat, reduce weeds and improve the important wildlife corridor.

Slope Stabilization

Slope stabilization work continues and this year there will be some geotechnical drilling to prepare for a new trail and staircase that will help slow erosion in the park. Users won’t be impacted by this work during 2018, but are asked to please obey signs and avoid newly naturalized areas to let the plants grow.

  


stairs in Bowmont Park

Location: 85 St. N.W. & 48 Ave. N.W.

Area: 164 hectares

Park hours: 5 a.m. - 11 p.m.


Park features

path in Bowmont Park
  • Hiking trails
  • Picnic tables
  • Designated off-leash areas
  • Playgrounds
  • Baseball Field (accessible off Silver Hill Rd. N.W.)
  • Soccer Field (accessible off Silver Hill Rd. N.W.)

Dog bag dispenser installation - pilot program

A pilot program has been launched in Bowmont Park to provide dog owners with bags to collect pet waste. Three dispensers have been installed in key park entry locations. Community volunteers  will help restock the dispensers as bags are used. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact 311.

Dog owners are asked to pick up pet waste when using our parks to keep them healthy and beautiful. For more information on the environmental benefits to picking up pet waste, please see the P.U.P.P.Y. (Pick Up Pooch's Poo Yourself) program. Dog owners are also encouraged to understand the responsibilities of Responsible Pet Ownership.

About the park

Bowmont Park lies along the northern bank of the Bow River in the northwest part of the city. The park was created in the early 1980s and occupies about 164 hectares. The name is a contraction of the names of the nearby communities of Bowness and Montgomery.

Experience nature in the city

Waterfall in Bowmont Park
Waterfall in Bowmont Park

Read the geological history of Calgary on the "walls" of this park. Bowmont contains a steep cliff face that illustrates several chapters of the city's geological history. You can also see an unusual, spongy-looking, geological formation called "tufa." Associated with the tufa is a three-metre-high waterfall. Near the waterfall is a scenic lookout over the Bow River Valley. This park provides an opportunity to experience a mature riverine forest with its abundance of flora and fauna.

Plant Life

Bowmont contains grasslands, valleys fed with permanent sources of water and bushy off-shore islands. There is also a mature Balsam Poplar riverine forest. This type of forest was once very common along river banks across the North American prairies. But, because these forests rely on periodic flooding for regeneration and most of the rivers have been dammed, the forests are under threat throughout much of their range.

Wildlife

The waters of the Bow River are home to species such as Canada Geese, Common Mergansers and several species of gulls. The trees and shrubs along the river are migratory routes for many species of warblers and vireos. There is ample evidence of the presence of beavers as many of the trees have been wrapped with wire to protect them from being chopped down. If you like amphibians, Boreal Chorus Frogs and Tiger Salamanders have been seen in the inland ponds.

History

At the top of the cliff face, you can see a thin layer of soil. This is the rich soil that nurtures the grasslands and crops that are so important in the European history of this area. Under the soil are 18 metres of sediment that were deposited on the bottom of Glacial Lake Calgary. The lake was formed as the last glaciers melted but the runoff was blocked by an ice dam further down the Bow River Valley.

Below the sediments lies the bedrock called the Porcupine Hills Formation. This bedrock was formed about 65 million years ago. When water percolates down from the surface, through the sediments it absorbs calcium carbonate. As it strikes the bedrock it flows sideways and exits out the side of the valley resulting in the falls in Waterfall Valley. The water then deposits the calcium carbonate on the algae covered rocks, producing the tufa.

Two sections of the park have undergone major changes. One area was used for agriculture and commercial greenhouses and the other for a gravel pit and concrete plant. These areas are being restored to a natural environment.