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Bioengineering Demonstration & Education Project - Pearce Estate Park to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

Bioengineering promotes bank stabilization and erosion control, creation of fish and wildlife habitat, water quality improvement and increased resiliency to future flood and drought.

The City of Calgary and Alberta Environment and Parks are partnering together in this demonstration to improve fish habitat and stabilize slopes between Pearce Estate Park and the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, while at the same time testing the effectiveness of various techniques. Our goal is to increase awareness and understanding of how bioengineering structures are built, as well as the benefits they can bring to our watershed. The result will be the increased use of successful bioengineering techniques in Calgary and across the province.

Project objectives

  • Creating fish and wildlife habitat
  • Stabilizing steep slopes
  • Increasing City and Provincial knowledge of bioengineering techniques
  • Improving the area’s aesthetic value

Construction in 2018

Construction on this project began in March 2018 and is expected to be complete in Spring 2019. During construction there will be temporary closures of the current regional pathway which will be replaced by a new and improved regional pathway along with a new nature trail. A significant part of the work involves recontouring the steep river bank which in its present form is highly erodible and potentially unsafe. The recontouring work will be done by creating a series of terraces which will reduce the slope, enhance habitat and provide safe viewing opportunities.

This project required the removal of 42 trees to facilitate the recontouring work. Over 150 new native trees and thousands of native shrubs will be planted to restore a natural vegetated corridor and healthy riparian zone. Much of the removed tree material will be reused on site as pole or stake plantings and encouraged to regrow or as simulated fallen trees which will add habitat for wildlife and nutrients to the ground over time.

Temporary impacts during construction will be mitigated with erosion and sediment control plans, and Environmental Construction Operation (ECO) plans. After project completion, fish and wildlife habitat will be improved, and the naturalized corridor will provide enhanced opportunities to experience nature along the Bow River.

The City of Calgary is committed to transparent information sharing and a coordinated approach to delivering services. Business Units across The City, along with the Province, have been working together to ensure coordination across projects in the communities of Inglewood and Ramsay

Project milestones

July - October 2016 Concept Design
Nov. 2016 - Feb. 2017 Preliminary Design
March 2017 - May 2017 Final Design
March 2018 Construction begins
Spring 2019 Construction expected to be complete

Renderings of future landscape

Pearce Estate Park rendering

Proposed River bank restoration and stabilization 

Conceptual site plan. Click on image to enlarge.