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Beachwood Area Cleanup & Restoration

The restoration of the Beachwood neighbourhood to a riparian environment is one of the remaining projects necessary to complete the 2013 flood recovery. The purpose of the Beachwood Cleanup & Restoration Project is to remove the infrastructure and return the lands to a natural state.

Work to restore the Beachwood area to a riparian area takes place from January to June 2022. You will find links to resources and answers to questions about this project on this page. We welcome your questions about the project and will update this page regularly. Please visit this page regularly and watch for updates on the Town's social media channels.

Resources

Questions?

We welcome your questions. If you have a question that is not included in the FAQ below, email: engineering@highriver.ca.

FAQ

What happened to the Beachwood area?

  • Following the devastation of this area by the 2013 flood, Beachwood homes identified as touching the mapped floodway were bought out and removed by the Government of Alberta.
  • In 2018, the Town and other utility providers decommissioned the services to the lots and natural vegetation has been allowed to grow throughout the area.

What is happening in 2022?

  • In January 2022, the removal of roads and utilities will be completed. Silt stockpiles will be restricted within the site.
  • In April and May of this year, the following work will take place; emergency and maintenance access will be completed, disturbed areas will be covered with topsoil and seeded with a native seed mix, and a small gravel parking lot will be constructed just off 12th Avenue.

Why is it important to restore this area to its natural state?

  • This area is part of the floodway of the Highwood River, meaning it is a natural corridor or channel that needs to be unhindered to convey water down the river during significant high water events safely.
  • Obstructions and development in this area would lead to higher river water levels during significant high water events.
  • The Government of Alberta purchased lands under the Floodway Relocation Program to prevent this area from being redeveloped in the future, reducing risk to our residents.

What is involved in the restoration process?

  • Actions to facilitate the return of this area to its natural state may include adding topsoil and seeding with native or indigenous plants typically found in the surrounding lands.
  • Resident access to the re-seeded areas may be temporarily restricted to allow the vegetation to establish.

What is the cost of the work being done in 2022?

  • The estimated project cost is $515,000 and is 70 per cent funded by a Government of Alberta Grant for flood renewal projects. The remaining 30 per cent is funded from the Town's Capital Reserves.

How does this relate to the Open Space Master Plan?

  • Restrictions on the grant funding have not permitted the time to meet all Open Space Master Plan recommendations, such as the "Cracks in the Pavement" education. However, it can still support the Forest School concept.
  • This project supports the Open Space Master Plan reinforcing the importance of riparian areas.
  • Refer to page 227 of the Open Space Master Plan for information relating to the Beachwood Cleanup and Restoration project.

What is the timeline for completion of this project?

  • Removal of roads and utilities is targeted for completion by the end of January 2022 but may extend past this date, depending on weather conditions.
  • Work to return this area to a natural state will begin in April/May and be completed by June 2022.
  • The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of June 2022 but may require minor maintenance activities to establish the vegetation into 2024.
  • Once this work wraps up, there may be ongoing maintenance until the Fall.

Will we be able to walk in this area?

  • Residents can continue to enjoy this area as they do currently.
  • Some areas may be temporarily restricted to allow new growth to be established.

Will there be any new pathways or upgraded pathways?

  • No new pathways or pathway upgrades are being constructed. Current pathways will remain as they are.
  • The Happy Trails pathway network passes beside the Beachwood area, and we encourage their use. There are 19 kilometers of paved pathways designed for everyone to enjoy High River’s beautiful natural setting.
  • A dog station will be installed as part of the parking lot construction just off 12th Avenue.