The Elbow River Riverbank Makeover Project 2018

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PaelmerPhotoArts / Pixabay

About Calgary River Valleys

Calgary River Valleys (CRV) is an independent, not-for-profit organization led by volunteers dedicated to building a strong and effective voice for river valley protection and water quality in Calgary. This summer, we are implementing a pilot project with funding from the City of Calgary Water Resources department – The Elbow River Riverbank Makeover Project 2018. The goal of this project is two-fold: (1) help homeowners protect their property from flood damage and erosion over time and (2) help homeowners learn what they can do to become even better stewards of Calgary’s rivers and water resources.

How to Protect Your Property by Stabilizing Your Riverbank

Instead of traditional engineering solutions—such as retaining walls—we are advocating the use of locally adapted native vegetation which build deep root structures in the soil and will increase riverbank stability, reduce water velocity and energy during high water events, and filter contaminants from going into the river. CRV has recruited a homeowner who is willing to work with us to plant a variety of native vegetation adjacent to the river on their land to stabilize their riverbank and protect water quality and habitat in and around the river. This homeowner’s backyard will serve as a demonstration site to show how other homeowners can also use similar techniques in their own yards. Another part of the project will involve surveys to help us assess river-adjacent homeowners’ knowledge of riverbanks and river stewardship. This project is made possible through funding from City of Calgary which allows CRV to provide this service to candidate sites free of charge to the homeowner. In order to help achieve both of the above goals CRV is providing the resources and materials required to protect their property from flood damage and increase water quality in the Elbow River.

How You Can Participate

If you live beside the Elbow River, and/or are interested in learning more about this pilot project, how to protect your yard from erosion during annual or semi-annual high water events, and contribute to better water quality in the Elbow River, we want to hear from you. CRV is looking for volunteers to help plant the demonstration site with native vegetation in September, as well as river-adjacent homeowners who are willing to participate in a short survey. Please contact CRV by email at: [email protected] or [email protected] or by phone at 403-268-4867 or 403-268-4632. You can also find more information about this project on CRV’s website: