What was once an old gravel pit in Hermitage Park has been transformed into the City of Edmonton’s first wetland built exclusively for stormwater treatment and river protection. With the help of marshes, pools and natural vegetation, the new $7.5-million Kennedale End-of Pipe Constructed Wetland cleans stormwater before it flows into the North Saskatchewan River.
Built by the Drainage Services Branch and funded in part by the Canada-Alberta Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (CAMRIF), the wetland is a cornerstone project of the City’s Stormwater Quality Strategy.
“The North Saskatchewan River and the river valley area are some of Edmonton’s most important assets,” said Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel. “The protection and stewardship of the River is a responsibility we all take very seriously. I am proud to say that our City is leading the way in environmental protection with innovative projects such as this wetland. It’s an investment in our future and the collaboration between all three levels of government was crucial to its success.”
The City’s other thirteen constructed wetlands are used primarily for flood protection with stormwater treatment as a secondary feature.
Besides providing an enhanced green space in the community, the Kennedale Wetland serves as an educational tool to demonstrate the functions of wetlands and their importance in the environment. It is expected to operate indefinitely and will allow the city to continue to develop and grow as an urban centre without harming local watersheds.
The Kennedale Constructed Wetland was recently recognized by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with a Sustainable Community Award for Water. The project also helps bring attention to The Way We Green, the City’s new long-term environmental strategic plan.