To truly appreciate the Larch Park’s unique Storm Water Management Pond, and to understand the story behind the community’s landscaping guidelines, it helps to know about a bit about local ecosystems.
Edmonton is located in a long strip of Northern prairie that extends from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains into Saskatchewan called the Rough-Fescue Prairie. This ecosystem dominated the landscape when bison and fire were the major disturbances across the landscape. Alberta’s native grass, Festuca hallii or Plains Rough Fescue was one of the dominant grasses. It shared this space with hundreds of grasses, sedges, shrubs and forbs (non-woody perennials), which in turn supported many other organisms.
Photo: Clark EcoScience
Aspen stands occupy moist habitats across South and Central Alberta, especially in drier regions. These stands make an important contribution to the landscape’s habitat mosaic. Birds nest in the trees, and amphibians hibernate in the leaf litter during the winter – and are prone to being stomped on, which is another reason to stick to trails!
Coniferous and Mixed Forests
There are mixed forests of spruce and aspens in the neighbouring valleys of the Black and Whitemud Creeks. Black spruce forests ring wetlands and live in moist soils. White spruce live in drier soils of upland slopes in the valleys. The understory plants of spruce can be different from aspen and prairie ecosystems, increasing the biodiversity of the area.
Interested in more about ecosystems and how they work? CLICK HERE