Beavers in the Park
Beavers have certainly been busy in the west end of Fish Creek Provincial Park – felling trees, building dams, flooding pathways, and greatly impacting park visitor experience in some areas. You may have seen beavers or the signs of beaver activity in the park and in recent years the issue of beavers has been escalating in significance for the park and community. Did you know that these water loving mammals also provide many ecological benefits? Their instinctual activities include the building of dams, which:
- Act as speed bumps, decreasing the risk and costs of major flooding and slowing erosion.
- Pool water, allowing sediment suspended in the flowing water upstream to settle out in the pond before the water continues downstream.
- Create unique habitat for plants, insects, amphibians, fish, songbirds, waterfowl and mammals.
- Retain water in times of high flow to slowly release in times of low flow.
- Improve water quality downstream of the dam.
- Recharge groundwater reserves – This groundwater is then released back into the stream during times of low flow, such as late summer.
By gnawing and felling trees, beavers help the riparian poplar forests in Fish Creek Provincial Park to regenerate. Stumps often re-sprout, naturally diversifying the age class of the forest by creating young trees with old roots. Without beavers in the park, old stands of poplar may not be replaced naturally by younger trees. Inspired by the substantial beaver activity between Marshall Springs and Bebo Grove in Fish Creek, the Friends of Fish Creek are launching the Beaver-Human Coexistence Project. The goal of this project is to balance the needs of beavers and park visitors on the landscape.
Working with our partners at Alberta Environment and Parks, The City of Calgary, Cows & Fish and Miistakis Institute, we will be cultivating a greater understanding of the important role this member of the wildlife community plays in the Fish Creek valley. The Friends of Fish Creek are working to foster a harmonious balance with our resident beavers by installing some simple technology that will allow beavers to pond enough water for winter survival, while preventing the flooding of nearby pathways. We will also be offering a variety of interactive opportunities for the public to learn more about the good that beaver bring to the park and to see these technologies in action. Stay tuned to www.friendsoffishcreek.org to learn more!
Dedicate a Brick to Show Your Support for Fish Creek Provincial Park
Have you seen the individualized engraved bricks in front of the Cookhouse at the Bow Valley Ranch in Fish Creek Provincial Park? Now is your chance to dedicate a brick in the next phase of our brick project – the Fish Creek Community Terrace – which will be installed in front of the Cookhouse near the existing brick pathway. Leave a lasting legacy in Fish Creek as a gift for someone, a special milestone for you and your family, or simply to show others that you support Fish Creek Provincial Park. If you have a small or large business or are starting an entrepreneurial enterprise, consider having a brick engraved with your company name or website. Bricks are only $250 and you will receive a valuable tax receipt for your donation. For more information, please contact the Friends of Fish Creek or visit https://friendsoffishcreek.org/brick/.
Membership Year Runs Until December 31, 2021
The Friends of Fish Creek recently changed our membership year to reflect the calendar year and as result of that October is the best time of year to renew your commitment to Fish Creek Provincial Park! Membership shows that you care about the sustainability of this park, and while annual rates are very reasonable, funding through membership is essential in helping us to strengthen our conservation messaging and continue our stewardship activities. As a member you will receive more than one year of membership benefits, which include admission to Fish Creek Speaker Series presentations, discounts on courses like the popular Birding Course, and discounts at select local businesses. For more information, please contact the Friends of Fish Creek or visit https://friendsoffishcreek.org/membership/.