Living in Edmonton means living with weather than can change from sun to storm in a few short hours.
Planning for deluges of rain and rapid snow melt is called storm water management. At its most basic, various approaches lowers the risk of flooded basements. Beyond that, storm water management ponds reduce negative consequences of sudden rushes of water into nearby creeks and rivers. These include:
- downstream flooding,
- 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 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 into the pond.
- The pond is designed to mimic nearby prairie, parkland and wetlands. It creates space for birds, butterflies, frogs, toads and other organisms.
- Locally sourced plants maintain the genetic heritage of Alberta’s plants.
- No mowing, watering, fertilizer, or pesticides are needed. In exchange for environmental and cost savings, patient weeding is all that is required.
- Over time, the deep roots and trees at the North end of the pond will serve as carbon sinks.
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.