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Some trees will be removed during construction. After construction, a maintenance zone where some types of vegetation are restricted will be established to make sure the flood barriers work properly. While we worked to minimize the impact of the barriers, regrettably, a total of 557 trees will be removed between both plant sites. However, we have plans in place to revegetate more area than we remove once construction is completed.

The following illustration gives you an estimate of the trees that will be removed.

Tree size


Small tree

Mature tree

Diameter at breast height

Less than 10 cm

Between 10-25 cm

Greater than 25 ​cm

Number being removed

E.L. Smith: 249
Rossdale: 11

E.L. Smith: 188
Rossdale: 32

E.L. Smith: 59
Rossdale: 18​​​​​

Caring for the River Valley

Doing our part to support vegetation a​nd wildlife habitat is important to Edmontonians and is also a value we share with our communities.

To minimize the impact of our activity on vegetation and wildlife, and to improve the overall ecological structure and function at our water treatment plant sites, we are developing a Vegetation Management Plan.

The goal of the plan is to naturalize areas that are greater than what is removed for the barriers.​​​​​​

This rendering shows how the path to the south of the Rossdale Water Treatment Plant will look once the barrier and revegetation is complete. The project will not touch the vegetation south of the trail between the trail and the river.

The maps below show two states of vegetation

The light green space around the barriers shows the “barrier mainte​​nance zone” where vegetation will be removed to preserve structural integrity. This zone is about 4.6 metres wide on either side of the barrier.

The dark green space shows areas that are being considered for naturalization. This could include wildflower/pollinator gardens, planting more trees, and developing undergrowth around already treed areas.​​​​

E.L. Smith Water Treatment Plant conceptual map

Rossdale Water Treatment Plant conceptual map​

The maps show the expected impact from the flood mitigation project and preliminary areas that are being considered for naturalization. We will plant pockets of vegetation in the areas marked on the map where possible, where human connection points, infrastructure and maintained areas allow.

We will work with the City about how and where to add trees and vegetation on city land outside our fencelines.

Honouring traditional ecological knowledge

As part of developing the Vegetation Management Plan, EPCOR asked interested Indigenous Nations to form a Traditional Ecological Knowledge working group to provide meaningful input to vegetation management at the two Water Treatment Plant sites.

In the first half of 2023, EPCOR held several meetings to walk the sites, discuss shared values and naturalization strategies, and gather feedback to ensure these lands were cared for. We are now incorporating this advice into our vegetation management plan, which will target a return to a natural Prairie Parkland ecoregion as appropriate. There is also a strong desire for harvestable berries and ceremonial sites for Indigenous teachings.

All together, we reached out to more than 30 Nations to engage on vegetation and construction, and have held four pipe ceremonies at the Rossdale Water Treatment Plant so far to help ensure we are moving forward in a good way.​

Supporting urban Indigenous ceremony

We will provide some of the removed trees as part of this project to kihcihkaw askî for ceremonial and traditional uses. kihcihkaw askî provides a natural setting in Edmonton for Indigenous Peoples, groups, and communities to host ceremonies, sweat lodges and facilitate intergenerational learning.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​



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Your questions, input and feedback are important to us​.​​