An ecological enhancement project, on the Perimeter Trail from 16th Avenue to 20th Avenue near 200th Street, started July 2015 and will continue over the next few years. A 2.7-hectare section of parkland, formerly hayfields and rental residences, will be made into wetland and pollinator meadow habitat. We will start with ephemeral wetland construction and some initial native plantings. The remainder of the enhancement plan can be realized incrementally as budget and partnerships develop.
A series of shallow depressions and bioswales will be made to capture rainwater to create wetland habitat. Rainwater that currently runs into ditches and the 200th Street storm drain system will be diverted into a series of shallow depressions and bioswales, eventually leading to a shallow ephemeral wetland at the north west corner of the project area. The ephemeral wetland is designed to retain water seasonally, drying up most summers. Seasonal wetlands suit native amphibians, but discourage invasive bullfrogs (their tadpoles require permanent ponds). Native trees, shrubs and other vegetation will be planted or seeded around the wetland to provide additional habitat for song birds, small mammals and perching raptors and to increase habitat corridor connections to larger forested areas of the park.
POLLINATOR MEADOW HABITAT
Portions of the former hayfield will be plowed and replanted with native grasses and flowers to establish native pollinator habitat and to enhance the beauty of the corridor.
The more productive hay fields, east of the trail corridor, will remain in a haying program for the foreseeable future.