Estern SlopesAt Redwood Meadows House on Friday, April 17th, 3-6 pm.

University of Calgary, Environmental Science Program, is presenting studies on Ecosystem Services of the Eastern Slopes.

The Environmental Science Program studied the Impact of Septic Systems in Bragg Creek in 1999-2000. We now have water services. They studied the flood of 2005. The government plans to dam the Elbow River. It appears that we should pay attention to what they are doing.

Topics include:
Air Quality
Carbon Sequestration
Water Quality
Water Quantity

Info is on the ENSC website,

We know that Bragg Creek is a special place. It’s in our name, in our forest and in our people. Our ecosystem services support a population of over a million people in the city of Calgary. We’re like the canaries in the coal mine.

One of those special people is Mary Reid. Dr. Reid is the Director of the BSc Environmental Science Program at the University of Calgary. Their home in West Bragg Creek is “off the grid”. That means they produce their own energy. They don’t use the mechanical systems that the rest of us take for granted. Their home is a science project in itself. They aren’t alone. Another family, down the 762, also use alternative systems to operate their home. We’ve also got creative people, lawyers, entrepreneurs and innovators doing all kinds of extraordinary things – something to brag about.

When I learned that the U of C Environmental Science Program was holding an open house at Redwood Meadows House on Friday, April 17th, 3-6 pm to present student projects on Ecosystem Services of the Eastern Slopes, I decided it was time to take a look at what that meant for us in Bragg Creek.

We live in a natural environment, in the Foothills of the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains. It’s pretty rugged country, populated by bears and cougars. I often say it’s like living in a wilderness park at the end of civilization. It’s also a pretty harsh environment. Ever tried to grow a tomato here? It doesn’t work, without artificial support. We are very fortunate that the University of Calgary, with all its resources and bright, young, inquisitive minds has chosen to help us understand the ecosystem we live in.

This is not unprecedented. At the turn of the millennium Dr. Cathy Ryan coordinated a similar research project to study Water Quality Impacts by Septic Systems in Bragg Creek. At that time the Calgary Herald ran a front page headline about 4 cm tall saying, “Bragg Creek Water Contaminated”. The moratorium on development in the hamlet came after that and the installation of water services in the hamlet came after that. Dr. Ryan’s students were surprised to find that the Elbow River in Bragg Creek wasn’t contaminated. Only later did they figure out that contaminants were flowing underground, through the alluvial aquafer; the gravel bed surrounding the river that the hamlet is built on. The contamination was produced in Bragg Creek, but it flowed downstream. That study helped change our lives.

U of C Environmental Sciences also studied “The Flood of 2005, Lessons Learned”. It appears that the lesson learned then and again in 2013, led to the current effort to dam the river. Another life change.

I don’t know if the findings from this current project will change our lives, but I’m paying attention.
Water Services in Bragg Creek

Impacts on Water Quality in the Upper Elbow River

Our Water for Life

Water Management Plan