SHAGANAPPI COMMUNITY CREEK ENHANCEMENT PROJECTCategory: 2017, Community Grant, Current, Grant, Water
Shaganappi Park is a community park located in southwest Calgary, Alberta. The park is a popular walking area for community residents and the general public. The park is bordered on three sides by the community of Shaganappi, and borders Bow Trail on the northern extent of the property. There is a popular pedestrian bridge over Bow Trail; bringing large numbers of commuters through the park and past an unnamed creek, hereafter referred to as Shaganappi Creek.
Shaganappi Creek flows through approximately 160m of the park before draining into a storm sewer at the end of the valley, eventually emptying into the Bow River approximately 800m northeast of the park. Due to its nature as a groundwater spring, the tributary has consistent, year-round flows. Over time, the banks of the creek have become eroded, and much of the riparian plant community has shifted from preferred native riparian species such as willow and dogwood, to invasive species such as cotoneaster and lilac. These invasive plant species have created a heavily shaded understory with very little to no ground cover. A walking trail along the creek provides access for dogs, and sections of streambank are impacted by erosion and soil compaction due to foot traffic from dogs and people.
The aim of the Shaganappi Community Creek Enhancement Project is to restore this spring creek and its riparian areas to a healthy and functional state to be enjoyed by the community and the public at large. Even more importantly, the project will demonstrate that meaningful partnerships and community involvement can result in a vibrant community space, and a healthy urban ecosystem. An enhanced and protected creek and riparian area will also provide a natural space within the city for educational programming by local schools and community groups.
The Shaganappi Community Creek Enhancement Project will demonstrate that meaningful partnerships can result in positive changes to habitats which have been degraded over time.