Project Highlights

Kerr Wood Leidal was retained by the City of Calgary for a multifaceted project to restore the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary (IBS) lagoon’s natural connection to the Bow River.  With the IBS designated as a Special Protection Area and a federal Migratory Bird Sanctuary, our team faced the challenge of working within a highly sensitive environment.  Our scope of work encompassed preliminary and detailed designs, procurement, construction administration, and securing regulatory approvals.

The engineering design involved creating inlet channels, a gravel bar island, and fish-passable weir structures.  These upgrades were imperative for improving water quality in the lagoon and reducing risks like fish entrapment during flood conditions.  We also implemented bioengineering techniques to provide erosion protection to the reshaped existing gravel bars that both mitigated erosion along the Bow River’s left bank and sheltered the inlet channel from the main river.  An artist-designed crossing structure adds a unique aesthetic element to the inlet channels.

We integrated innovative bioengineering solutions such as live poplar trunks to facilitate natural channel self-adjustment, steering away from traditional rigid erosion protection measures.  This was essential due to the sensitivity of the site and the ecological importance of allowing the channel to evolve over time.

Construction constraints included migratory bird and fish habitat windows.  Our team successfully negotiated with regulators to extend construction timelines while developing additional mitigation measures in collaboration with wildlife biologists.  Challenges like historical contamination were encountered during construction, necessitating design revisions to minimize impact.

The project was successfully completed in the summer of 2023.

For more details on this groundbreaking project, please visit Inglewood Bird Sanctuary | Engage (