Depending where you live, you may have a storm water pond in your neighborhood. In Edmonton, it’s important to understand the purpose these serve and how to safely enjoy them.
The majority of ponds in Edmonton and area are actual storm water management facilities managed by Epcor. These ponds serve as a way to manage excess water from rain or spring melt. They serve to pull water away from properties to reduce flooding and damage to roadways and property landscapes. Because the water is always moving THROUGH the pond, these ponds can hold quite a bit of danger and shouldn’t be used for recreation.
Skating or walking on the ponds in the winter months is not advised because of moving water underneath the ice means the ice never truly gets thick enough to support a person.
These storm water ponds are a great place to walk or bike around. They add a little piece of serenity into our busy urban life. They are also great opportunities for bird watchers – as I’ve seen pelicans and even great blue herons on the pond near where I live. Walking around the pond is part of my morning routine, throughout the year.
Do remember that these trails are multi-use trails, meaning that both people, bikes, rollerblades and other forms of recreation can be used on these paths. Just remember to notify someone before you pass them (a small ring of a bell, or simply saying ‘passing on left’) so you don’t startle those walking. Pets must also be kept on a leash in all times in the trails around a storm water pond.
The largest storm water pond in Edmonton in Beaumaris Lake located in Castle Downs in northwest Edmonton. Many think and treat it like a lake, but it is not. All the same storm water pond recreation restrictions apply. The only lake in Edmonton suitable for recreation is at Hermitage Park.
The City of Edmonton is working on a plan to bring more storm water ponds back to a natural landscape in a process called naturalization. It makes the area more suitable for wildlife and pollenators. You may see these signs in your neighborhood if your pond is part of the process.
I hope this helps you understand how to be safe and respect the storm water ponds in your neighborhood. Maybe you are encouraged to plan your next home near a storm water pond. It’s a great way to enjoy all the extra wildlife and walking opportunities in your own neighborhood.
In the comments below – tell me about your favorite storm water pond in Edmonton to walk or bike around.