BIGHILL CREEK PRESERVATION SOCIETY WATERSHED STUDYCategory: 2017, Community Grant, Completed, Grant, Water
Bighill Creek is a moderate sized tributary of the Bow River, entering the Bow River at the Town of Cochrane. The upper reaches are all active farmland and the creek arises in its entirety from springs; approximately midway along its length is a small, increasingly heavily used provincial park (Bighill Springs Provincial Park). Between the Park and Cochrane, the creek bisects a cattle ranching operation. Finally, the fast growing Town of Cochrane straddles the mouth of the creek. Furthermore, there are plans for extensive gravel pit development near the Provincial Park.
For more than a decade it has been recognized by government authorities and the public that Bighill Springs Creek is in need of a watershed plan. Developmental pressures are creating an urgent need to understand the impact all these different land uses are having on the water resource. Cows and Fish, the Bighill Creek Preservation Society, and other partners are conducting a science-based watershed study. The results of this baseline study of the water quality and riparian health will guide the project partners in recommending to governing authorities what land use changes could be needed for optimal water quality and long term health and function of the watershed.