CRRP Study – Project Description

The numbers below refer to the Detailed Map.

Click here for the Map Overlay.

The preferred concept plan is illustrated in Figure 1 with a typical cross section shown as Section 2.  The essential features of the plan are described below with numbers representing locations on the figure.

1.  Property Line Survey

The existing property line is to be surveyed and registered as the legal property line prior to relocation of the River.

2.  On-line wetland

An on-line wetland is to be located immediately downstream of March Road in the northeast corner of March Road and the CNR tracks in a naturally depressed area. The wetland is to be created with deeper open water pool, island and shallow areas for growth of aquatic vegetation (wetland vegetation symbol). The island is designed to obstruct flows and lengthen the flow path through the on-line wetland. The bottom will be undulating to create a series of shallow and deeper areas to trap sediments. Coarser particles will become trapped in the deeper water areas and the shallow regions when colonized with aquatic vegetation will provide a filtering function. The on-line wetland should be accessible from March Road for clean out. The open water area may also be suitable for ducks and the deeper pools may provide habitat for fish through the winter and summer months. The pond will also create additional elevation between Carp Road and the on-line wetland allowing for the recreation of a meander pool-riffle channel form.

3. Railway Line Buffer

A tree-planting program to establish a buffer zone between the railway line and a proposed pedestrian trail is proposed using white pine and spruce trees and other species as available. A buffer zone is also proposed along the River Corridor

4. River Corridor

Create a corridor for the River and shift the River alignment as far northeasterly as practical and feasible through the eastern half of the Study Reach. Excess material cut from the northeasterly side is to be placed on the southwesterly side of the River. The berms along the channel are to be removed and a new floodplain created.

5.  Meander Pool-Riffle

Downstream of the March Road on-line wetland a meander form is to be created. The active channel, the channel that conveys flow during dry weather period is to be constricted by narrowing the channel and increasing bank height to the maximum degree practical and feasible. The intent is to increase the velocity of flow through the active channel by increasing flow depth and reducing friction losses in the channel. While the bank full channel will likely be in the order of 12 m, a meandering low flow channel will be constructed within this larger channel with a width in the order of 2 – 4 m to concentrate flows and create the necessary combination of depth – flow – velocity to sustain a pool: riffle characteristic. The bankfull meander pattern has a length of about 200 m and a meanderbelt width of about 80 m. This is somewhat compressed compared to the historical pattern, in an attempt to provide some gradient.

6. Amphibian Habitat

Depressions forming shallow pools are to be constructed in the floodplain.  These depressions will resemble partially filled in oxbow lakes that are connected to the active channel during flood flow events. The water retained in these features provides breeding areas during the spring freshet (snowmelt period) and amphibian habitat otherwise. During spring freshet, some of these features will be connected to the river, providing spring spawning habitat for species such as northern pike.

7.  Central On-Line Wetland

A low area located slightly northwest of the center of the Study Reach, on the property boundary between the Rivington and Caldwell lands, is subject to flooding and is of very low gradient. It is proposed that this area be excavated to create an on-line wetland feature similar to that proposed for the March Road wetland. The perimeter of the wetland is to be irregular with an island and undulating deeper and shallow flow areas. The deeper pools may be suitable as duck habitat and enhance aquatic habitat value. The wetland will provide for additional sediment removal and a water quality enhancement function.

8.  Meandering Pool-Riffle Form

The channel through this Reach will emulate the historic meander pattern.

9. Preserve Stand of Trees

Two existing stands of trees located on the southwest side of the River near Carp Road are to be preserved.

10. On-line Skating Pond

Immediately upstream of Carp Road a pond is to be excavated south of the current alignment of the River. The River is to be diverted southwest slightly to provide a greater buffer zone between the on-line pond and the residential properties on the northeast side of the River.

11.  Springs

Create drainage swales resembling linear wetlands to collect spring water from the southern portion of the study site and convey it to the Pond. These swales are to provide amphibian habitat and help dry out the higher lands that are to be used as part of the proposed Pedestrian walkway.

12.  Buried Telephone Cable

A telephone cable traversing the site from just south the Carp Road Bridge across to the railway line at approximately the central point of the Study Area then along the railway line east to March Road. The location of the cable needs to be confirmed and alternatives to relocate or work around the cable and a junction box (located in the vicinity of the proposed pond) needs to be addressed.

13.  Riparian Planting Program

A tree- planting program involving water tolerant indigenous species is proposed for along the length of the meander pool-riffle portion of the channel. The planting program should result in a riparian zone measuring 1.5 tree-canopy diameters in width (based on mature trees).

14. Terrestrial Planting Program

The floodplain zone should be planted with tree species that require periodic inundation to thrive. A diversity of tree species is considered desirable.

15.  Parking Lots with Signage and Viewing Areas

Parking for several automobiles is proposed for locations off Carp and March Roads adjacent to the River. Signage indicating the nature and objectives of the Program, partners and benefits are to be constructed adjacent to viewing areas at both locations.

16.  Pedestrian Trail

A pedestrian trail has been proposed through the Project Reach as part of a larger trail system. The walkway would parallel the railway line northwest of March Road and linkup with Riverton Street. As part of this trail system it is proposed that the Carp Road parking area and the on-line Pond be incorporated as a second loop. The trial would begin at a stairs descending from the Parking Lot off Carp Road. The trail would cross the spring feed swales (11) using arch bridges. The bridges can be designed to be removable to prevent risk of damage due to ice.

The trail would then split with one branch proceeding northeast to form a short loop around an amphibian habitat feature just east of the Pond. This loop would access the Pond, which should be used for skating in the winter.  In the summer a boardwalk into the Pond would allow hikers to watch frogs, minnows, dragonflies, snails, turtles, water snakes and other creatures.  Signage would be provided to inform observers of what kinds of creatures inhabit Ponds in the region, what they look like and how they live.

The second trail would proceed southeast along the River to the central online wetland. At the downstream end of the wetland the trail would cross the River via a larger removable footbridge. The trail would then link up with the main trail running along the north side of the River.

17.  Farmland Productivity Enhancements

A number of enhancements to the existing farmland, southwest of the river are proposed. Excavation material from the project will be used to increase the elevation of the lands southwest of the River Corridor boundary shown on Figure 1 and Section 2. It may be necessary to first stockpile topsoil from these areas, for later replacement over the excavated material. The impact will be to increase the elevation of these lands, in the order of 0.5 m, which, combined with the excavation work, will reduce the extent and duration of flooding on these lands. The resulting land will be available for use as improved pasture as a minimum, offsetting any loss of agricultural lands currently in use for pasturing.

Livestock fencing and a livestock watering facility are also proposed. The exact location of these features has yet to be determined, however, it is anticipated that the fencing will ensure that streamside vegetation within the river corridor is protected.

The combination of tree planting, fencing and reduction of the extent of flooding within the study area will act as a deterrent to geese that use the area in the spring and cause crop damage. While nesting waterfowl will still use the area, the spring densities should be reduced.

All excavation material will be utilized on site, either to fill in parts of the old channel and remnant features or to raise the elevation of existing farmland. While preliminary estimates are crude, it is estimated that in the order of 38,000 cu. m. of material may be available for grading areas outside of the river corridor. Construction materials for the river channel and inline wetland features are minimal, as the channel would essentially be re-configured to the new alignment without the need for offsite material. Small quantities of pea gravel, cobble and boulder material would be required to provide some coarser material in riffle sections and to diversify the habitat in some of the pool and wetland features to provide cover and shelter. Some large woody debris may also needed to be imported for use in provided underwater shelter for fish. Some of this woody material may be available locally. It is expected that there will not be a need for aquatic plant materials, as an abundant supply is available onsite and seed sources exist upstream that will rapidly colonize the new channel.

Overall, the project will replace approximately 1400 m of channelized river with a riverine wetland feature that includes 2 inline wetland features (potentially 3 if the skating pond is constructed), several offline floodplain wetlands, and approximately 1400m of meandering channel with a greater diversity of instream habitats than is currently present in the existing channel. From a fish habitat perspective, this would represent a net gain of fish habitat.