Text Box: Stream Tender Magazine

“ December 2013 Issue”



    The community of Williamstown, in the City of Airdrie, was the site of the 2013 Diageo fall planting program. This site is located on a new development on the north side of the city, and it is virgin ground for any planting projects, up until this fall.

    A volunteer force of nine workers, from Diageo, Evergreen and BVHD, planted 170 willow and tree plants in late September. The entire program went really fast and the crew had the plants in the ground in under 2 hours.

    This is a perfect site for a planting program. The property is comprised of class 1 & 2 wetland, and waterfowl utilize this section of Nose Creek throughout the open water season.

    Over time, when the willow and tree plants have matured, they will become important habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. The extra cover of willow will enhance nesting habitat for both waterfowl and nesting songbirds.

    All of the plants went into the ground in the transition zone between the class 1 wetland habitat and the class 2 zone. Eventually, the willows will start to establish themselves closer to the water’s edge. When this happens, the long term benefits to the creek’s fishery will be realized.

    The Williamstown area on Nose Creek is a large piece of property and we can look forward to many years of future planting programs on this site!

Above: This photo was taken over a week later. You can see a few of the new plants, especially if you zoom in a bit. The planting area covered approximately 200 Square Metres of riparian zone.

Left Photo:

The planting crew takes a break to get a group photo for the album. In the background is Nose Creek. As you can see it could use some willows and trees!

Fall Inspection Tour on Nose Creek Airdrie

Right Photo:

    The photo on the right shows some of the plants in the Willowbrook community of Airdrie. This photo was taken in late October and the leaves of the plants are turning color at the site.

    The plants that have made it this late in the season, without rodent damage, will be off to a great start, next growing season.

    During this season’s planting in Willowbrook, a total of 775 willow and tree plants were planted by partners Canadian Pacific and the Honda Canada foundation.

    The Willowbrook site should show some positive results after a few years of growth.

Willowbrook Planting Site

Sierra Springs Planting Site

Right Photo:

    The photo to the right shows some of this year’s willow plants in the Sierra Springs Community of the City of Airdrie.

    The photo was also taken in late October and it shows a very good survival rate on this particular reach of the Nose Creek. The plants are doing very well and they should be off to a great start next spring, when the frost has left the ground.

    In total, 2,446 willow and tree plants were planted by partners Microsoft and Walmart/Evergreen in Sierra Springs.

Bighill Springs Creek  -  Fall Planting Update!

    With Bighill Creek only a block away from my house, it is easy for me to keep a close eye on things! I have monitored the willow crop from this year’s planting program very closely and I am happy to report that the plants are doing very well.

    I have a number of photos that I have taken of some of the planting sites, so that I can use them in future reports for “before and after” results of our planting efforts. However, this summer, I did some more baseline photos for my records, along with some video footage as well.

    It will take approximately 5 or 6 years, before the planted willows and trees are tall enough to show a substantial result, but at that time the media records of the sites  that I have filed, will come in handy.

    This year was a great growing season on the Bighill Creek and despite some major flooding, the survival of the willow crop is very good. Even the amount of rodent damage is down, when compared to previous years!

    Because the Bighill Creek is so close to where I live, the stream is of special interest to me. Also, knowing that both brown trout and brook trout utilize this stream for their re-productive spawning events, I know that the planting program will have a direct benefit towards improving the spawning habitat on the lower reach of the stream.

    This year, partners in the planting program planted a total of 2,946 willow and tree plants on the creek. The partners involved are Shell Canada, Inter Pipeline, ATCO Pipelines, the Cochrane Foundation and the Cochrane Community Grant Program.

    Last year, a total of 2,586 plants were planted in the 2012 program. This brings the total of plants for the last few years of the Bighill Creek Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Program to a total of 5,532 willow and tree plants.

    The visible results of this program will become quite apparent by the time the plants grow into maturity!

2014 Riparian Recovery and Enhancement Programs in the Works!

    Bow Valley Habitat Development has started working on next year’s riparian planting programs. As was the case in this year’s programs, existing and new potential partners will be approached about support for the 2014 planting season.

    Both Nose Creek and Bighill Creek are in next year’s program objectives. Hopefully the same interest will be realized, as was in the 2013 program.

    Permissions in writing have already been obtained, from the City of Airdrie and the Town of Cochrane, so efforts to find enough partners will be the focus of BVHD’s attention in the following months.

    Starting in 2014, a new stream will be added to the riparian recovery program for this area. West Nose Creek will be another stream system that will receive the attention

that it deserves!

    There will be three different planting sites available on West Nose Creek, to start with. Permission to plant in the City of Calgary, a piece of public access property just outside of the City of Calgary, and a conservation easement, will be part of the 2014 program.

    I am very excited about this new stream and I feel that it has a lot of potential for future rehabilitation work!