Friends of Fish Creek Watershed Public Awareness Campaign, Phase two (2012-2013)

Final Project Report: Friends of Fish Creek Watershed Public Awareness Campaign, Phase two (2012-2013)

Goals and Objectives

The Watershed Stewardship Project will mobilize local communities into protecting and preserving the ecological integrity of the
Fish Creek Park and its waterfowl habitat. Many of these residents consider Fish Creek Park to be a “part of their backyards.”
Volunteers in the Friends Watershed Stewardship project monitor wetland wildlife, such as amphibians, snakes and beavers.
They participate in tree wrapping and invasive weed pulling, particularly around riparian areas, in order to protect aquatic
ecosystems. The water in Fish Creek is monitored and its quality and flow measured and assessed.

The goals of this project are:

1) Increase the number and species of waterfowl being able to use the habitat in Fish Creek Park.

2) Improve the water quality of Fish Creek.

3) Help local residents understand what they need to do to protect the quality and quantity of water in their watershed and wetlands.

4) Engage local residents and recruit new volunteers to become involved in protecting the watershed and wetlands.

5) Help ensure best practices used in management of Park and Watersheds in order to enhance and protect habitat.

Activities 

April 2012-June 2013: Plan Phase Two of the Watershed Public Awareness Campaign including water festival. Update educational
material and develop new fact sheet, so that “watershed” and related terms such as “wetlands” can be better understood and valued
by the public.

June 2012: Protect and enhance the Fish Creek Park watersheds and wetlands by launching the Watershed Public Awareness
Campaign with a water festival in the Bow Valley Ranch section of Fish Creek Park.

June-November 2012: distribute educational material, make presentations, and educate residents at festivals and other events.
Engineered wetland tours and invasive weed walks offered to public.

June-November 2012: Recruit volunteers throughout the Public Awareness Campaign. Organize invasive weed pulls and tree wraps.

December 2012-March 2013: Analyse survey results, prepare reports, and distribute to Alberta Parks and  Environment among others.

Benefits to Waterfowl, Wetlands-Associated Species, and/or Other Wildlife

The Friends’ Public Awareness Campaign will contribute towards the sustainability of the Fish Creek Watershed and the wildlife it
supports. The Campaign is expected to increase the number of volunteers involved in protecting the watershed through beneficial
activities such as tree wrapping, invasive weed pulling and amphibian monitoring. Through these activities waterfowl habitat (tree
cavities, emergent vegetation, native shrubs and grasses) will be protected and even enhanced.

Project Location

At 1,348 hectares, Fish Creek Provincial Park is one of the largest urban parks in North America, larger even than Vancouver’s Stanley
Park. Fish Creek Park is bordered by 18 growing Calgary communities, with 135,000+ residents, and three million visits to the Park
recorded each year.

The Park has some natural wetlands, and twelve engineered wetlands installed fairly recently. Over two dozen waterfowl species use
Fish Creek Park for overwintering, migration, or nesting. Waterfowl that nest in the Park include the Canada Goose, Mallard, Common
Goldeneye, Wood Duck, the Common Merganser, and less commonly in recent years, the American Wigeon, Green-winged and Blue-
winged Teal and Northern Shoveler. The Northern Pintail and Lesser Scaup are occasional winter migrants.

Project Contact

For more information on this project, please contact Nic DeGama-Blanchet, Executive Director, Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society,
Calgary, AB.