High waters stall clean-up

Continued high water levels have forced postponement of Sunday’s planned Red Deer River cleanup.

Continued high water levels have forced postponement of Sunday’s planned Red Deer River cleanup.

The cleanup was expected to be one of the highlights of the annual Green Deer campaign which has been running since April.

Suzanne Jubb, Red Deer City community and programming facilitator, said Wednesday in a release that the clean up has been cancelled due to trail closures along the river.

The event will be held in conjunction with the Great Canadian Shoreline cleanup set for Sept. 17-25, across Canada.

Red Deer usually conducts its cleanup on the last Sunday of the shoreline week.

Trevor Poth, City of Red Deer Parks superintendent, said on Wednesday that several sections of the North Bank Trail remain closed due to high river water levels.

The River Forecasting Centre with Alberta Environment issued a warning Wednesday afternoon that a high streamflow advisory remains in place for the Red Deer River downstream of the Dickson Dam.

However, it also said water levels continue to recede.

The advisory for the Little Red Deer River was ended on Tuesday afternoon.

This year Green Deer has been running in Red Deer since April 18 and continues until June 19.

Poth said river levels would need to fall another 25 cm (10 inches) before the flooded trail sections could be cleaned up before they reopen.

Waskasoo Park trails at Lion’s Campground, Great West Adventure Park and Kiwanis Picnic Park to the Heritage Ranch pedestrian bridge are closed until further notice, Poth said.

Boat launches at Great West Park and near the Taylor Avenue bridge were both closed due to flooding.

He also said people should use caution near the river and obey all signs.

He also said officials haven’t noticed much river bank erosion but high creek levels early in May caused some banks on the Piper and Waskasoo Creeks to be eaten away.

Poth also said there hasn’t been much damage to the trails as the city has experienced in the past when boat launches and areas such as the McKenzie Trail Recreation Area and wooden pedestrian bridges sustained damage resulting in extensive repairs.

Spring runoff is expected to cause high river levels for a few more weeks, Poth added.

The high levels are still causing havoc for Red Lodge Provincial Park about 15 km west of Bowden.

Portions of the park including the “A” loop and the group areas will open on Friday after being closed for a week.

The remainder of the park will open when the campground is cleaned up.

High water on the Little Red Deer River closed a section of Hwy 587 west of Bowden last weekend.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com