Save the Slopes!! (Why the Paskapoo Slopes Should Not Be Developed and How You Can Help)

by - Sunday, May 03, 2015

What are these slopes people keep talking about?

The East Paskapoo Slopes, also known as the East lands, are located east of Canada Olympic Park all the way to Sarcee Trail, and are bordered by Highway 1 in the south and Cougar Ridge and Patterson Hills in the north. 

Currently a mountain biker, trail runner, and urban hiker's paradise, the slopes are being threatened by a large-scale development project.

The Big Rock on Ridge Run Trail offers beautiful views and is a great snack spot.

What development is being proposed?

The Trinity Hills development plan is for:
  • Retail and Office Space: over 900,000 sq ft
  • Residential: 2,200 units
  • Hotel: Up to 600 rooms, 50 meters tall!1
The development will be on about 100 acres of the East Paskapoo Slopes; in other words, about half of the slopes will be developed.

Biking the East Paskapoo Slopes

Why is this an issue?

Paskapoo is "one of the oldest archaeological sites in the City of Calgary, dating back to about 8,500 years before present."2 Archaeologist Brian Reeves "counted a minimum of 39 camp and kill sites in just one part of the slopes."3 According to Calgary: Secrets of the City by James Martin, the Paskapoo Slopes were used as buffalo jumps!4

Not only are their historical reasons to keep this land as a park, but there are concerns about slope stability and drainage due to the high number of natural springs in the area. Deforestation and paving would negatively affect water drainage.  Research will need to be done to determine the repercussions of development on the area and surrounding areas (i.e. will there be an increased flood risk for communities downslope?).

The Paskapoo Slopes, given their size, are also home to many plants and animals including deer and coyotes5. If half the land is developed, the remaining fauna will be stressed and the incidences of negative interactions with wildlife will increase.

Finally, the slopes are a refuge from city life. Do we really need more high rises and shopping centres right here? We are running out of green spaces, and once we develop an area, we cannot get it back to wild easily. There are other areas to develop that do not have a high concentration of archaeological sites and springs. The proposed development will be bigger than Signal Hill and Aspen Landing put together, will take up almost half of east Paskapoo, and will only have 2 exits, so traffic in the area will significantly increase. I only have a Bachelor's degree in Geography, but am not sure how anyone could think the Trinity Hills development plan is a good idea.

Little POG would like to keep biking here. #SaveTheSlopes
I highly recommend you visit the Paskapoo Slopes as soon as possible. Once you explore the various trails in the area, you will be more committed to helping preserve this unique area. There are easy to challenging trails for people of all ages. There is a mix of forest and grassland, with views to the west, south, and east. We love biking the green and blue trails, and hiking to the Big Rock. To learn more about fun things to do in the Paskapoo Slopes, please check out Tanya Koob's article here.
The fantastic trail network at East lands (aka Paskapoo Slopes)
One of the old wrecks at the intersection of Beater and Concors Flight

How you can help

  • Sign the petition here.
  • Write to your City Councillor.
  • Make a donation, purchase a lawn sign, or purchase merchandise at Save the Slopes.
  • Show your support for the Paskapoo Slopes on social media with hashtag #SaveTheSlopes


Time is Running Out!

The Public Hearing of Council is expected to be held on July 20, 2015. Please contact your City Councillor before then. If you have time, members of the public are encouraged to speak before City Council (for up to 5 minutes per person). Your voice would be appreciated.

For more information, please visit savetheslopes.org.


Save the Slopes! Mountain biking heaven!

References

  1. savetheslopes.org/trinity-hills-development/
  2. savetheslopes.org/take-a-walk-on-the-history-side/
  3. savetheslopes.org/take-a-walk-on-the-history-side/
  4. hikingwithbarry.com/2015/02/19/paskapoo-slopes-preservation-calgary-hiking-alberta
  5. www.paskapoo.com/significance.htm

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4 comments

  1. WOW, Freakin' fantastic job on this piece!!! Send it to your counselor.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Tanya! I value your feedback. : ) That's a great idea; I think I will!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Excellent article I will sign the petition and I will discover this beautiful place in natures back yard. 😃

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Jeanine! It's truly a gem! I will link up Tanya Koob's story that reveals some of the highlights of the slopes! : )

    ReplyDelete

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