From gravel pits, to wetlands

Mined-out gravel pits could become wetlands and wildlife habitats under an idea being pitched by Lacombe County.

Mined-out gravel pits could become wetlands and wildlife habitats under an idea being pitched by Lacombe County.

When county-owned gravel pits are depleted, they must be reclaimed to the satisfaction of Alberta Environment. But what is left is often difficult to turn back into farmland.

“What we end up with is a big water pond,” county manager of operations Phil Lodermeier told county council on Thursday.

Creating wetlands out of gravel pits also provides a way to spend the compensation the county is required to pay Ducks Unlimited in lieu of wetland habitat lost to projects such as road construction. For instance, in 2011 the county paid Ducks Unlimited $31,000 in compensation for wetlands lost on one construction project and $9,300 is due this year on another road project.

Lodermeier said one of the disadvantages with that system is that Ducks Unlimited is not required to spend the money in the county. It is only restricted to Alberta, and the organization picks where and when the money goes toward a wetland project.

Lodermeier said there are two gravel pits, owned by the county and Alberta Transportation, nearing the end of their lives just north of the county offices, which are on Hwy 12, about three km west of Hwy 2.

“Overall, it seems a great place to start to replace some of the damage we’ve done in road construction and other projects,” said Lodermeier.

Another pair of pits that could be converted to wetlands are located south of Blackfalds near Hwy 2A and Secondary Hwy 597.

In both locations, there are privately owned pits that could be used to boost the size of the wetlands even further.

Coun. Dana Kreil expressed enthusiasm for the idea, and wondered if picnic sites could also be created.

“I think it’s a great use and it helps us to become environmental stewards,” she said.

County Reeve Ken Wigmore also expressed his support. “I think it’s a great plan.”

Council unanimously supported staff continuing discussions with Alberta Environment and Water and Alberta Transportation to identify potential wetlands sites and work out reclamation details.

Just Posted

Red Deer GoodLife no longer installing pool

Red Deer GoodLife Fitness members itching to swim will need to find… Continue reading

Hwy 2 detour Friday

Traffic detoured between Gaetz Avenue and Taylor Drive

Red Deer students are fighting subtle discrimination to help build a culture of tolerance

‘Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination’ marked at local high school

Updated: Man posing as U.S. Marine sentenced

Peter Toth pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing military decorations and documents

WATCH: Red Deerians can have a say about crime fighting

Municipality will poll citizens about policing priorities

Facebook crisis-management lesson: What not to do

NEW YORK — The crisis-management playbook is pretty simple: Get ahead of… Continue reading

Calgary remains interested in 2026 bid, but awaits word from feds, province

Calgary city council approved a slate of moves towards a possible bid… Continue reading

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to girl, 14, in Canada, police say

American authorities say a 14-year-old girl in Canada has been charged with… Continue reading

Comedian Mike MacDonald remembered for gut-busting mental health advocacy

If laughter is the best medicine, then standup veteran Mike MacDonald was… Continue reading

The Weeknd, Bruno Mars to headline Lollapalooza in Chicago

CHICAGO — The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White and Arctic Monkeys will… Continue reading

No rest for the retired: Opioid crisis fills empty nests as grandparents step up

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — She is a Newfoundland woman who worked hard… Continue reading

Duclos defends gender-neutral language amid criticism from opposition

MONTREAL — Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos defended Service Canada’s decision to ask… Continue reading

Lawyer and negotiator: Thomas Molloy is new Saskatchewan lieutenant-governor

REGINA — Lawyer and negotiator Thomas Molloy has been sworn in as… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month