Fall has arrived!

september view westwards

upcoming important meeting-Urbanstar Glendale Land Development

“The Urbanstar Glendale Land Development area  is over a section of farm/ranch land located in the Bighill Creek drainage within a mile of the creek.

BCPS encourages everyone who values the protection of the creek to attend the meeting to Identify any concerns and provide their comments.

According to someone  at the consulting co. supporting this development,  this is a “Conceptual Plan” which  is the starting point for an Area Structure plan. This person was unable to provide access to any maps or charts (There are some aerial photos on the Urbanstar website.) It seems that there  had been no attempt to align/coordinate with the Glenbow ASP although she said Glenbow ASP is apparently planning to put a water treatment plant on the north side of 1A at RR35 ( Glendale/ Urbanstar land) with a supply line down to the river across Glenbow Park. Note- the meeting is this Thursday- the 22nd of September.

The meeting will be held from 6pm to 9pm at Rockpointe Church.





new foot bridge and trail loop

Bighill Creek Preservation Society Trail Improvement- New Bridge and Trail Loop


Bighill Creek Preservation Society is the steward of the Municipal Reserves located in the southern end of the Bighill Creek drainage.  Located on these lands are natural trails which offer scenic views and opportunities for encounters with nature, and exercise and tranquility. The primary trail starts at the right side of the second bridge on Big Hill Road. It generally follows the creek upstream on the south bank. It is a pleasant half hour walk to the top of the Reserves however until recently, crossing the creek to return along the unused road allowance on the north side of the coulee necessitated fording the creek.

A footbridge constructed BCPS near the northern end of the Reserves now provides a dry crossing and the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful natural area from an entirely different perspective on the return leg.

We’d like to thank BCPS volunteers who designed and constructed  the bridge. We greatly appreciate materials and financial support provided by Cochrane Foundation, Hunter Technologies, Moose Mountain Homes and Cochrane Home Hardware.

Please go to www.bighillcreek.ca for more information regarding BCPS and a Google Earth book mark  for the location of the Bighill Creek Municipal Reserves.

Please use these and enjoy all our natural areas responsibly. Take only pictures- leave only foot prints.


construction of a new bridge

Ed , Gerry  and Daniel  finally constructed and installed a little bridge to create a loop for hikers on the environmental reserve of Bighill Creek. BCPS received

$4 000 from Cochrane Foundation. The bridge cost $1000 in building materials.

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Turkey vultures

Turkey vultures are among the bird that frequent the bighill creek area; we lie beyond their typical range.

turkey vulture collection
(Photos by Daniel Foster, 1st of June 2016)

Grassroots group vows to protect Bighill Creek

Enrique Massot on May 28, 2016 — Leave a Comment

By Enrique Massot
The County News

A recently formed group of citizens wants to protect the health of a small creek that meanders through one of the most beautiful areas in Rocky View County’s northwest quadrant.


Gerry Bietz, president of the Bighill Creek Preservation Society, says ensuring the stream’s natural and historic values preservation is the organization’s main goal.

“This creek used to be full of cutthroat trout,” he said. “Why this is no longer the case is one of the things we are going to look at.”

From its headwaters at the divide between the Red Deer and the Bow River watersheds, Bighill Creek flows about 18 miles southwest across a deep and narrow valley, runs through Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, and enters the Town of Cochrane, where it joins the Bow River.

Once known as a healthy fishery, the creek was stocked with trout from 1929 to 1969, but a decline of the fishery occurred after those programs ended, worsened by drought and agricultural practices, noted Stream Tender Magazine.

The trend appeared to revert in recent years, noted Guy Woods, publisher of Stream Tender magazine.

“With years of higher precipitation and an increase in ground water tables, the creek has shown signs of a small recover in recent years.”

Bietz said the group’s first public event was held on May 7, sponsored by the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee, Cows and Fish and Trout Unlimited Canada.

About 40 Rocky View, Cochrane and Calgary residents heard presentations from University of Calgary’s hydrology professor Masaki Hayashi and environmental biologist Sandi Riemersma.

“We focused on the importance of locally derived ground water in the maintenance of the ecosystems such as Bighill Creek and West Nose Creek,” said Bietz. “We also talked about the role of beavers in shaping the area.”


Trout Unlimited performing electrofishing.

In the afternoon, participants took a field trip onto the property of Mount St. Francis Retreat on Bighill Creek, were Cows and Fish representatives described the creek and the health of its banks. Trout Unlimited members demonstrated electro-fishing to capture and measure several species of fish.

Our forum was a success.

About forty people of diverse backgrounds attended the morning presentations. These focussed on the importance of locally derived ground water in the maintenance of the ecosystems such as Bighill Creek and West Nose Creek. In the afternoon, splendid weather allowed a field trip onto the property of Mount St Francis Retreat on Bighill Creek. The group was told  the history and objectives of the Retreat. Representatives of Cows and Fish described the attributes of the creek and discussed riparian health. Trout Unlimited used electro-fishing equipment to capture and measure several species of fish.

Thanks again

Gerry Bietz

Forum went well

The forum went very well –especially considering it was our first effort. We had a good turn out- (about 40 and diversified). The Cochrane Eagle gave us a good write up which brought a few people. The presentations were engaging and the facility worked well. Thanks to all of our participants.





Forum May 7th 2016

Dear Bighill Creek hikers,

You are invited to our first forum on

May 7, 2016 (9:00 am to 3:00 pm) at the Seniors on the Bow’s auditorium.,
2nd Floor Spray Lakes Sawmill Family Centre (800 Griffin Rd E), Cochrane.

Please look at the inline pdf.

Register by email before May 3rd, 2016

BCPS_Forum and Walk_May_7_2016

Launching our website Dec.10th, 2015

We have created a society on October 20th. Liz Nemeth designed our logo. David Sweeney helped us create this webpage.

We invite you to browse our website as we are developing it and contact us if you have more information to add or comments to share through our blog. We are seeking your photos and historical knowledge.

Our email address is: info@bighillcreek.ca