October 2013 Newsletter
Hello Ward 14,
There were two parks in our Ward that were hit hard by the infamous flood of 2013. In this edition of my newsletter column, I would like to give you a bit of an update on how they have fared and what their current state is.
Sue Higgins Park (formerly Southland Park) is a favourite of dog owners from around Calgary. The area is also frequented by cyclists enjoying our city’s beautiful riverside pathway system. At the height of the 2013 flood, almost the entire park was under water. When the water receded, the park was covered with large amount of debris. There was extensive damage to fences and trees along with hazards created by sinkholes and unstable riverbanks, and part of the Bow River Pathway was completely washed away.
Safety is still a serious concern. If you are venturing into the park, please respect that some areas remain closed for your own safety. City staff and contractors have been working diligently to repair the park, and quite a bit of progress has been made. For updates and information, you can search the term “Sue Higgins Park” on www.calgary.ca, where you will also find a map indicating which areas are currently open. While enjoying areas that are open, please be aware that tall grass, muddy sections, standing water (or more likely snow and ice) may be hiding debris. Exercise caution even in open areas, for the safety of yourself and your pooch.
Prior to the flood, a project to improve the park had been underway. With some minor adjustments due to flooding, the scope of the project remains the same: to enhance the park’s natural environment and provide recreational activities by addressing the interests of key park user groups. Ironically, the nutrient-rich sediment left by the flood will be ideal for seeds in the park’s balsam poplar forest, which started germinating shortly after the flood.
Major work on the Sue Higgins Park improvement project will be pushed back until sometime in 2014. Unfortunately, repair of the Bow River Pathway will be a multi-year endeavour due to the massive amount of damage that was done all over the city. Our beloved Fish Creek Provincial Park was hit by the flood as well. The east end, adjacent to the Bow River and Deer Run, was hit particularly hard. There was significant damage done to pathways and bridges along the Bow, including the Sue Higgins Bridge near the east end of Canyon Meadows drive. The bridge is a critical piece of infrastructure providing access to Fish Creek Provincial Park, and a considerable amount of land was lost on the east and west approaches to the bridge. Although there is no timeline for completion, the City will be working closely with the Province to expedite the repair of the bridge. For more information on flood damage in Fish Creek Park, you can visit www.albertaparks.ca
As always, if you have questions, comments, concerns about anything, including parks, you can contact me by phone at (403) 268-1653, or by using the Ward 14 Contact Form.