Building Biodiversity

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A collaborative research project with the City of Vancouver and City studio that sets out to design suitable green infrastructure along a stretch of Still Creek to increase local ecosystem biodiversity and resilience. Along with a key objective of improving water quality, we strive to design an aesthetic communal green space.

School:

SFU

Department:

Environmental Science

Course:

Environmental Science Capstone (EVSC 400)

Instructors:

  • Anna Hippmann

City of Vancouver:

  • Julie McManus
  • Cassandra Humes

Student Team:

  • Brandon Garrett
  • Mattias Feigl-Schmidt
  • Shannon Donovan

Term:

Fall 2023

Summary

For this project, we have strategically designed suitable green infrastructure that will support the current and future keystone and key indicator species to increase resilience and biodiversity of the local ecosystem. Nestled within the core of a densely urbanized area, this narrow stretch of Still Creek along Cornett road has been subject to pollutants and disturbances stemming from the ongoing anthropogenic activities around it, negatively impacting the water quality within the creek. In addition, the escalating impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather events, exacerbates the challenges faced by these green spaces, intensifying the strains on their health. Being that we are only permitted to work within the terrestrial zones of the site, our project proposes reformation of the riparian landscape, installation of insect hotels and small-scale wildlife corridors, the use of myco-filtration, and additional introduction of species that support ecosystem functioning. The species we wish to design for are salmonberry, chum salmon, aquatic and terrestrial fungi, and bees. By strategically designing a green space that supports these keystone and key indicator species, we believe that their presence will increase the total systems functioning and well-being. In turn, this local site would become more resilient and then be able to support an increase in biodiversity. We seek to contribute to the ongoing restoration of the urban ecosystem along Still Creek; upon completion of the implementation of the proposed green infrastructure, we hope other environmental initiatives will be inspired by our work and implement similar designs in other suitable urban areas.

 

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