There aren’t that many places throughout the city where you can still hear the ripple of a river, the rustle of tree leaves, or the music of a songbird. Edmonton often seems like the antithesis of an ideal natural oasis because of its modernity and development, but it has its own hidden treasure in the form of the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Sadly, while one might assume that all areas of the river valley are protected from corporate development, that is not the case, which is why we, the North Saskatchewan River Valley Conservation Society, have stepped in.
The North Saskatchewan River Valley Conservation Society works tirelessly to protect the natural areas critical for the habitat of plants and animals along Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River Valley, with the view in mind that the land should be preserved for future generations to enjoy. Maintaining these spaces is critical for the education, research, recreation and inspiration of all Edmontonians, as well as maintaining what few natural areas are left within the city for local wildlife.
The good news is that due to our work the City of Edmonton has initiated the Southwest Ribbon of Green project, which will develop a strategic plan for the Southwest River Valley; Oleskiw Park; and Wedgewood, Whitemud and Blackmud Creek ravines.
We played a critical role in getting the Ribbon of Green project’s $650,000 budget funded by City Council. In June 2015, we were successful in getting City Council to pass a motion directing the Administration to prepare an unfunded operating budget service package for consideration by Council during the 2016 Budget deliberations. At the 2016 budget deliberations in December 2015, we were successful in getting City Council to approve the motion and budget.
The Ribbon of Green plan will return to City Council in 2018 for final approval and will be the critical document in determining the future preservation and conservation of the Southwest River Valley; Oleskiw Park; and Wedgewood, Whitemud and Blackmud Creek ravines.
This gives us two years to build strong public support to preserve and sustain a river valley system in this part of Edmonton that meets the needs of environment, wildlife, and people. Join us in making this happen!