Workers with the City of Cranbrook will begin correcting flooding and erosion issues along a portion of Joseph Creek in the near future.
Officials with the city said the issue is largely caused by reduced channel capacity and encroachment from non-native willow trees.
Authorization of the Joseph Creek channel restoration project at 15th Avenue South and 1st Street South comes from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). It is the culmination of several years of consultation with the Ktunaxa and ʔaq̓am local governments, the Ministry of Environment and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Most of the work will take place in July and August, but vegetation removal will begin in April, as the DFO permit is in effect from April 1st to 22nd.
“The vegetation removal will include cutting down the non-native golden willow that make up the majority of vegetation along the project area. The willow removal work must take place in April per the requirements of the authorization to avoid any potential bird nesting impacts,” said Mike Matejka, roads and infrastructure manager.
Some of the restoration work will impact on-street parking and residential access. Notices will be sent out and signs will be placed while work is underway.
Cranbrook staff said the project’s stated purpose is flood and erosion mitigation, but the city and its partners intend to show that this work will lead to a healthier and more diverse creek environment.
“Once the creek channel work is complete the site will be re-planted with a diverse range of native trees and plants that are much better suited for the creek function and habitat,” said Matejka. “The final site restoration will be similar in nature to the riparian habitat improvements that have taken place at Idlewild Park and in Kinsmen Park immediately downstream of Victoria Avenue.”