Building in harmony with the natural environment is the cornerstone of the Grand Concourse philosophy for all our projects. Several special projects (see below) have provided the opportunity for major habitat restoration and environmental enhancements.
Virginia River Bank Stabilization (Kilkenny and Guzwell)
In 2008 the Grand Concourse Authority undertook two major stream bank stabilization initiatives aimed at reducing stream sedimentation and erosion along Virginia River and one of its tributaries. Large stone retaining structures were installed at two major locations and native plant materials were added.
Funding for this project was provided in part by the Walmart Evergreen Grant program.
In cooperation with Environment Canada, the Grand Concourse has installed 11 hen nests along the wetland section of Bidgood Park ( a female duck is called a hen).
According to research, these nests have up to an 80% success rate in providing a safe place for ducks to lay eggs in the spring. Be sure to visit this site and take a few pictures and send them to us.
Green Spots Naturalization
In cooperation with Environment Canada, the City of St. John's, the City of Mount Pearl, and the Grand Concourse Authority have participated in a naturalization project aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the metro area.
The project involves the naturalization of some of the green spaces that are currently being mowed. Existing naturalized sites were also enhanced as a part of this initiative. Greenhouse gas emissions from lawn mowers will be significantly reduced as a result of this project. The Green Spots Naturalization involved the planting of over 6,000 trees, shrubs and plants in the metro area and included the participation of hundreds of volunteers. Every year the Grand Concourse Authority continues to plant trees, shrubs and seedlings along our walkways, open spaces and in designated corridors in the metro area.
Shell Naturalization Initiative
Naturalization and tree planting took place in 2005 in the green belt at the Elks Club Park, making this a naturalized ecological corridor. This initiative augmented the other work that the Grand Concourse Authority was doing to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the City of St. John's. Work was done with support from the Shell Environmental Fund. A wide variety of native seedlings, trees and shrubs was planted by a local youth group, under the guidance of Grand Concourse Authority staff. The plantings marked the natural boundary of the no-mow areas and provided new habitat for wildlife along the popular Riverdale to Mundy Pond Link. This initiative created an opportunity to increase public participation and developed awareness of the value and function of naturalized landscapes in an urban setting.
Rennies River Stabilization
Increased stream sedimentation was having a negative impact on the already sensitive aquatic habitat that exists in the Rennies River. In 2005/2006, the Grand Concourse Authority restored a severely eroded riverbank along the river. This restoration is aiding in preserving brook trout, brown trout, and the recently re-established salmon habitat in Rennie's River.
To stabilze the river bank, large boulder retaining/erosion control walls were constructed along the river's edge. Vegetation was planted along this section to enhance fish habitat.
When completed, the banks of the Rennies River in this area were fully restored, fish habitat was improved and the public was informed of the need to protect sensitive aquatic habitats, especially within an urban environment where aquatic life is more at risk.
Bowring Park Duck Pond Rehabilitation
This project was completed over two years (2002-2003) with the assistance of the City of St. John's, Environment Canada, the Bowring Park Foundation, Service Canada, ACOA and DFO. The project included bank stabilization, the construction of a fish ladder to enhance fish migration, and habitat enhancement which included the addition of diverse plant life, the development of a wetland hatitat and terrestrial restoration.
This site is heavily used by visitors to the park. Fencing was installed to protect sensitive areas, and interpretive signage was used to inform walkers of the fish habitat that exists along the Waterford River, which feeds into the Duck Pond. The project received an Honour Award from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects and was praised by DFO and local fisheries experts who found the restoration project beautiful, functional, and most of all, great for local habitat.