EPLA Tour - July 28 - Calgary - Harvie Passage & Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

July 28, 2020 - July 28, 2020

July 28 - Calgary - Harvie Passage & Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
Zoe Wimmer - O2 Planning + Design

Meeting Location: Bow Passage Overlook


Project Bio:

Harvie Passage is a culturally, ecologically and recreationally important reach of the Bow River in Calgary. Harvie Passage Weir was constructed in 1904 to divert water into the Western Irrigation District Canal, and is a critical piece of infrastructure to the agriculture industry east of Calgary. This weir created a high level of risk to water users and blocked fish passage. This led the province to complete a project in 2012 that increased public safety through adding a side channel to circumvent the weir and constructing smaller steps to effectively reduce the drowning hazard and allow fish passage with the added benefit of creating a whitewater amenity for paddlers. One year later the project was destroyed in the 2013 flood, closing Harvie Passage to the public as a result.

Under the Disaster Recovery Program, Alberta Transportation rebuilt Harvie Passage with Klohn Crippen Berger (lead, river engineering), O2 Planning + Design, (landscape architecture), SG1 (river and safety engineering), Recreation Engineering and Planning (whitewater design) and Terra Erosion Control (bioengineering). The new project gave the province an opportunity to improve on the 2012 design. Project goals were adapted to include an improved integration of public space into the river channel features.

O2’s scope of work involved creating an activated pedestrian waterfront to accommodate all park users from strollers to paddlers; improving habitat through riparian restoration and bioengineering; integrating the channel with Pearce Estate Park; and signage and wayfinding.

The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is a well-loved and ecologically significant natural area within the inner city of Calgary. Although in decline for some time, the need for restoration within the sanctuary was identified after the 2013 floods. Working closely with the City of Calgary, O2 developed a restoration plan for the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary following the rigorous City of Calgary’s Habitat Restoration Project Framework. The purpose of the restoration plan was to develop a documented, rigorous restoration approach for the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary that ties project performance to specific, measurable performance metrics to compare the restored habitat to a reference habitat. The aim of this project was to improve the ecological quality of the degraded habitats in the sanctuary by minimizing or removing environmental stressors and assisting in the regeneration of the balsam poplar forest and shrubland communities. It was important to maintain the rich mosaic of habitats that are naturally present at the site; with a focus on restoring the riparian forest. The project has been in constructed in three phases over the last few years and is currently in its penultimate year of maintenance with FAC scheduled for next fall.


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