In 1972, my dad’s business needed room to expand and he purchased five acres of land in Kinokamau Plains just to the northwest of the city’s boundaries. At that time, access to his land from 137 Avenue was a dirt road along 170 Street (it is now called Mistatim). Four large wetlands bordered the east side and they supported a large biodiverse population. It was a joy to drive out to the shop and witness the seasonal changes as they occurred. By the 1980s, the road was paved and almost all of the wetlands had succumbed to city development.
Just recently, I had the opportunity to cycle the bicycle path that runs west along 137 Avenue from 136 Street all the way to Ray Gibbons Drive and the Enjoy Centre in St. Albert. The city had improved the industrial landscape west of St. Albert Trail with a bike path bordered by a drainage system that abounds with bulrushes, a few varieties of native plants, and red-winged blackbirds.
At 163 Street, a remarkable sight came into view: a preserved area of wetland surrounded by a path and planted trees fronting the new Edmonton Humane Society building. I was so pleased to see that the board had both foresight and compassion to preserve the native ecology in their design. I discovered that EIDOS was responsible for the plan. EIDOS is a landscape architectural, urban and environmental planning firm committed to responsible stewardship of natural habitats. Some other examples of their work include the southwest extension of the Henday, the Epcor Tower, Roper Pond, Terwilligar Recreation Centre, and Louise McKinney Park.
Dianne Eustace, Edmonton Master Naturalist 2015