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Calgary's Biodiversity

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In March 2015, Council approved Our BiodiverCity, Calgary’s 10-year biodiversity strategic plan. The plan is based on principles for the protection, development and management of Calgary parks and ecosystems in support of biodiversity. Our BiodiverCity aims to provide a framework for City staff to foster more resilient, biologically diverse open space and neighbourhoods that support positive outcomes for Calgarians, visitors, wildlife and plant communities.

The strategic plan builds on the City of Calgary Biodiversity Report 2014. Our BiodiverCity introduces biodiversity by aligning it with nature, discusses pressures on biodiversity and outlines our current responses to these pressures. The introductory sections are meant for everyone, to engage people with nature and biodiversity in the context of our city. The document culminates in a strategic plan, developed for those who will implement the plan and hold The City accountable.

Our vision

Calgarians value our city’s diversity and richness in wildlife, vegetation and landscapes; The City of Calgary and citizens work to integrate our actions and the built environment with an ecological network that is healthy, connected and well managed.

Our guiding principles

  1. Ecological literacy
  2. Ecological resilience
  3. Collaboration
  4. Integration

Measuring success

By 2025, we will:

  1. Evaluate landscapes in Calgary and set targets for conservation measures to identify, protect and manage ecological cores and corridors.
  2. Restore 20 per cent of Calgary’s current open space to increase biodiversity.
  3. Identify invasive species in Calgary’s open space and complete strategies for their management.

BiodiverCity Advisory Committee

In the fall of 2015, The City of Calgary mandated the BiodiverCity Advisory Committee:

The BiodiverCity Advisory Committee provides Council and Administration with strategic advice on matters affecting urban biodiversity in The City of Calgary. The Committee advances the commitments and procedures identified within Our BiodiverCity, Calgary's 10-year biodiversity strategic plan and The Durban Commitment: Local Governments for Biodiversity.

Committee Agendas and Minutes

​Year ​Agendas ​Minutes
​2016 January / February January / February
​2015 November / December ​November / December

Biodiversity projects and initiatives

Targeted weed control using goats – pilot project

Calgary Parks is planning a pilot project this spring using goats to control weeds, including Canada thistle. This pilot initiative will take place in two Calgary parks - Confluence Park/West Nose Creek Park and a parcel of land within the Nose Creek valley north of Country Hills Boulevard N.E. In other North American cities, targeted grazing has proven to be an effective and economical means of controlling the growth and spread of weeds in a variety of ecosystems.

The intent of this pilot is to explore alternative methods of conventional weed control, and to evaluate the effectiveness of grazing as a weed management tool in Calgary’s parks. If this initiative is successful, the program may be expanded.

The goats will be managed by a professional shepherd and trained herding dogs, which will reside on site 24 hours a day for the duration of the pilot. Additional details will be shared as they are finalized. Please check back for project updates.

Elimination of invasive species

Caragana is being removed from South Glenmore Park, Edworthy Park and River Park to increase the biodiversity of the existing native tree stand.

Naturalization initiative

Designed to introduce a greater variety of native plant communities in our parks.

Invasive plant prevention and management

The Invasive Plant Strategic Management Plan is part of The City's ongoing commitment to managing pests and invasive species.

Calgary's tools for conservation

The City has developed a number of policies and tools that guide the conservation of biodiversity. These are statutory and non-statutory policies and guidelines that collectively guide us at The City to work towards better protection of natural area biodiversity.