Albertans love to get out and explore nature, especially during the summer months. That’s why this summer, thousands of Edmontonians suddenly flocked to a newly formed beach on the North Saskatchewan river near the Cloverdale neighbourhood. The beach was formed when, immediately upstream, a berm created for the LRT bridge construction altered the flow of the water flow and caused an abundance of fine sand to accumulate on the south side of the river. The end result was an unintended but spectacular beach, currently dubbed “Accidental Beach”.
As an organization dedicated to preserve, protect, and enhance the Capital Region River Valley Park, the River Valley Alliance has a keen interest in Accidental Beach. One of our key objectives is to increase accessibility along the length of the North Saskatchewan through the Capital Region.
This autumn, for example, the Mechanized River Valley Access will open. This funicular project is intended to provide visitors a simple way for people to get from downtown Edmonton to Louise McKinney Park. Furthermore, over the past decade, the RVA has supported and provided funding for numerous projects, such as docks and boat launches on the river and connecting trails that provide us with easier access to the North Saskatchewan. Moreover, this September 15-17 the River Valley Alliance is proud to be hosting EPCOR Riverfest – a three day festival happening along the North Saskatchewan River. The event will even include an opportunity to float down the river on a inflatable raft.
While the beach is in its early days and many questions about its longevity and sustainability remain, two things have become clear. First, as demonstrated by the massive popularity of the beach, it is clear that people in the Capital Region will embrace every opportunity they are given to access the river and river valley. Therefore, it is vital that we expand the infrastructure that provides access throughout the Capital Region River Valley Park. Moreover, while many people want enhanced access to the river valley, they also desire to preserve and protect the natural beauty of the existing environment and communities. The mission of the River Valley Alliance is to achieve these parallel objectives.
Help the River Valley Alliance preserve, protect, and enhance the Capital Region River Valley Park. Visit rivervalley.ab.ca to find out more about how you can help. Be sure to come out to EPCOR Riverfest happening this September 15-17th in Devon, Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan. Visit EPCORRiverfest.ca for more details.
Story by Mackenzie Nugent