Living in Edmonton means living with weather than can change from sun to storm in a few short hours. Planning for occasional deluges of rain or rapid snow melt is called storm water management. It lowers the risk of flooded basements. Beyond that, storm water management reduces the adverse effects of sudden rushes of water into nearby creeks and rivers. These include:
- downstream erosion,
- permanent changes in hydrology, and,
- pollutants picked up from the pavement.
Leading the Way
The storm water management pond in Larch Park is an Edmonton first. Designed to become a fully functioning ecosystem over time, the pond complements the nearby natural areas like Larch Sanctuary. The Larch Pond differs from traditional turf-grass ponds because:
- Melcor preserved and reused soils from the site, carefully maintaining the original layers.
- The native soils retain water, support plant growth and minimize runoff.
- The pond mimics nearby prairie, parkland and wetlands. It creates space for birds, butterflies, frogs and other aquatic life.
- Locally sourced plants (12,000 seedlings!) maintain the genetic heritage of Alberta’s plants.
- The deep roots and trees at the North end of the pond will, over time, serve as carbon sinks.
- Mowing, watering, fertilizer, or pesticides are not necessary. Cost saving and environmentally friendly, patient weeding is all the pond requires.
University of Alberta students are studying the pond to see how it progresses. The goal is a regenerative space, new habitat that works together with the unique landscaping and location of Larch Park.