Cities need to find a balance in urban planning and the environment, which is why Edmonton councillors want to see local wetlands protected, says Mayor Stephen Mandel.
During an unveiling yesterday that will see city crews restoring the Maple Ridge Wetland area on 18 St. near 63 Ave., Mandel said finding that balance is vital for growth in Edmonton.
“We need to find ways at identifying wetlands,” said Mandel.
“Then we need to find ways at preserving them — even in industrial areas” just like Maple Ridge, said Mandel.
City officials say preserving wetlands that risk being damaged by urban growth and human activity can also improve local water quality, as well as adding a higher aesthetic value into often-unsightly industrial areas.
“Wetlands protect the groundwater and it prevents land erosion,” said Colleen Cassady St. Claire, a biological science professor with the University of Alberta.
“By protecting a series of wetlands we will also have wetter, more enjoyable places to live.”
Through the city’s Natural Areas Conservation Plan, the city will work with private companies to identify natural areas in need of restoration.