Feature Articles

Elbow River Watershed Partnership Announces Its Canada 150 Photo Contest

Purpose

The ERWP is celebrating Canada 150 by holding a photo contest in 2017. Our goal is to showcase the best photographs of the Elbow River watershed, including the river itself, wildlife, recreation, natural history, environment, culture and people. Each image should convey something evocative about the watershed and what the watershed means to you.

Entry Deadline: Tuesday, October 31, 2017

We require your submitted digital image and completed entry form by October 31, 2017.

Read more: Elbow River Watershed Partnership Announces Its Canada 150 Photo Contest

Southwest Calgary Ring Road Construction Includes Realignment of One-Percent Length of Elbow River

After decades of negotiation, the Southwest Calgary Ring Road (SWCRR) is now under construction. Discussion about a ring road around the city began in the 1970s, when the population of Calgary was about 325,000. By 2013 the city’s population had multiplied four times to more than 1.3 million people. And while talks continued about the southwest portion of the road, a 70-kilometre stretch of ring road was completed northwest, northeast and southeast of the city.

In November 2013, the Government of Alberta and the Tsuut’ina Nation signed a land transfer agreement that would allow the SWCRR to be built. This piece of the city’s 100-kilomtre-plus ring road will run from Highway 8 (near Elbow Springs Golf Course) to McLeod Trail SE. The 31-kilometre stretch of six- and eight-lane divided highway will include 47 bridges – including crossings over the Elbow River and Fish Creek – and 14 interchanges. (For more information on the SWCRR, visit http://www.swcrrproject.com/.

Construction partnership Kiewit Graham Ledcor (KGL Constructors) is charged with designing and building the southwest ring road. As part of the project, KGL will work with Golder Associates to realign a 1.4-kilometre stretch of the Elbow River in the Transportation Utility Corridor west of 37 Street SW.

Read more: Southwest Calgary Ring Road Construction Includes Realignment of One-Percent Length of Elbow River

Literature Review Gathers Decades of Data on Elbow River Watershed

Written by Ann Sullivan

When Bob McAlpine began compiling information about the Elbow River watershed, he was surprised by what he found – and also by what he didn’t find. In pulling together a variety of reports and studies, McAlpine found no record of sampling or any hydrological evaluation of Elbow Lake, the source of the Elbow River in Kananaskis Country. “It’s probably the most important part of the whole river,” said McAlpine, a professional biologist and water quality specialist.

Bob McAlpine (second from right) speaks at Cobble Flats along the Elbow River during the ERWP’s annual general meeting in June 2016.  Photo by Mike Murray

Bob McAlpine (second from right) speaks at Cobble Flats along the Elbow River during the ERWP’s annual general meeting in June 2016. Photo by Mike Murray

“I was shocked, actually, that the source of all our drinking water wasn’t being studied,” he said, although he added that it’s possible the information he believes missing is out there, just not currently available to the public.

Read more: Literature Review Gathers Decades of Data on Elbow River Watershed

Assessment Project Checks on Riparian Health in Alberta’s East Slopes Headwaters

How did riparian areas in some of Alberta’s critical headwaters––including the Elbow River––fare after the flood of 2013? That’s one of the questions Michael Wagner and his field crew hope to answer with the East Slopes Riparian Assessment Project. Wagner, a forest hydrologist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, is field lead and head of logistics and supervision for the two-year project. He’s currently compiling and sorting through data from both last year’s field crews and crews working in Alberta’s East Slopes this season.

Crew Sampling 

Above: Crew samples a stream as part of the East Slopes Riparian Assessment Project.

Read more: Assessment Project Checks on Riparian Health in Alberta’s East Slopes Headwaters

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