Friends of Wedgewood Ravine

Let me introduce myself; I am Adrian Jones and live close to the ravine. I am a City of Edmonton Master Naturalist and have taken as a project the Stewardship of Wedgewood Ravine.

I would very much like to bring together a group of interested people to work together to protect and nurture the ravine, “Friends of Wedgewood Ravine” for want of a better name. The group would work with the relevant City Departments, particularly in noxious weed control (Canada Thistle, Common Tansy, White Cockle/White Campion for instance) and in litter control (minimal actually) and in bird watching, plant identification and recording and anything else that the group felt was important.

The ravine fascinates me, an almost pristine area within the city, minimally used except for the road running through it connecting 184 St to Cameron Heights (the old road to the Smith Water Treatment plant).

A brief history: the ravine runs almost on top of the old, pre-glacial valley, Stony Valley, that drained into Beverly Valley, close to where the North Saskatchewan river now flows. Stony Valley was presumably then filled with glacial till, a mix of sand, mud, and rocks that lay under the glacier. The glacier arrived around 21,000 years ago and melted around 12,000 years ago leaving a real mess of rubble and a large lake, lake Edmonton from whence cometh our clay!! As this dried, winds blew up big sand dunes which are most prominent south of Stony Plain now and which are drained by Wedgewood Creek.

The creek cut down through the rubble depositing much sand as it went plus leaving large boulders brought along under the glacier, sandstone, gneiss and granite, the latter from NWT plus quartzite from the Rockies.
The south side, facing north is mainly clothed by coniferous forest, mostly White Spruce while the north side, facing south is mainly clothed with deciduous trees, mostly aspen poplar but with a great variety of other trees including Birch, Alder and on the bottom meadows, Beaked Hazelnut, Alder, Willows, Balsam Poplar and many shrubs such as High Bush cranberry, Chokecherry, Saskatoon, wild raspberries, Sarsaparilla and much more.
Birds mostly commonly seen and heard are Chickadees, Nuthatches, Ravens, various woodpeckers, while in the summer warblers and Vireos are “heard but not seen” (the opposite to the perfect Victorian child!). Interestingly the Magpies don’t particularly seem interested in the place. There are many other birds flitting through the underbrush or in the treetops and Saw Whet Owls are heard in the early spring.

The most common mammals seen are squirrels, deer and coyotes and the 2 families of beavers resident in the ravine however there will be many species in the undergrowth that we rarely ever notice. Jessica Monk and John Helder will be our City contacts.

My phone number is 780-940-3187 and my email is [email protected]. A meeting in early Fall might be reasonable to identify priorities and to plan.
Adrian Jones