The banks of the Elbow River on Stampede Park are busy with trucks and construction activity as the Calgary Stampede gets ready to break ground for Riverfront Park this summer and reclaims the flood-damaged riverbank.
In preparation for Riverfront Park construction, the Calgary Stampede is required to remove approximately 50 trees from the east side of the river. Two hundred ten trees will planted in this area by the time Riverfront Park opens in 2016. Prior to the flood, the Stampede had planned to recycle these trees, however many of them have been approved to help with the riverbank restoration which happens to coincide with their removal.
The Calgary Stampede has been working closely with our environmental consultant AMEC on the riverbank restoration since the flood. The project includes removing debris from the Elbow River and replacing vegetation vital to the river valley eco-system. The reclamation also requires that live trees lay in the river (length-wise) with their roots placed to the water’s edge. The live trees prevent further erosion as well as preserve the natural ecology of the fish habitat. This is where we are able to re-use many of the trees mentioned above.
In addition to re-using these trees, approximately 30 new trees will be planted on the south riverbank.
“The river valley is our home and we take the care of this land seriously,” said Warren Connell, vice-president, park development. “We feel very fortunate to be able to give these trees a second life as we work to restore the riverbank.”
The government has approved a footbridge that will replace the blue bridge lost in the flood. Construction began on Monday, March 10.
Major construction on Riverfront Park is scheduled to begin after Stampede 2014. New trees and grass will be planted starting late fall 2014, with completion scheduled for the summer 2015.