Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nose Hill Pond October 31, 2010, by Nick

            Nose Hill Park is one of the biggest in the Calgary area. It is made up mostly of grassland, but there are a few areas in which there are ponds. So how do humans impact the nose hill pond?
            As I walk down the path leading up past the pond, I find that I am much higher up than the pond. I am in fact, walking on a levy, built to store runoff from the community of Edgemont, which is up the hill, from getting to the core of the city of Calgary. I come to the conclusion that this is the sole purpose of this pond; it was not built to house wildlife.
Figure 1.  A Catail.
            As I walk down to the waters edge I think back to the other ponds in Calgary. There are plenty of them, but all of them all have one thing in common: none of them are completely natural. All the ponds have, in some way, been altered by people. Be it as simple as litter accumulating due to wind, or being thrown there by lazy citizens, or as complicated as being created by us, serving a sole purpose, such as entertainment. The truth is, there are none, or at least very few, ponds that have been left untouched by people.
            The fact that there are no ponds that have not been tampered with be people comes as a shock to me. This is something that should have been protected, unaltered, kept as Mother Nature had left it for us, something to be left as is. These ponds were not created so that we could alter or destroy the perfectly balanced ecosystem.
Figure 2.  The pond is deceptively perfect.
            When I finally make it to the edge of the pond, looking out over the expanse of water, I see no signs of human interference. But a closer look at the pond reveals lots of interference. I found a chip bag sitting in the mud. I also found what appeared to be tracks in the mud, possibly made by an ATV. This is a problem in my mind; as actions like these degrade the soil, slowly filling in the pond with soil from the banks.
            Another problem that I have with some of the interactions we make as people is that they ruin the scenery. Walking around the bank, I find many pieces of rotting wood. These perfectly cut pieces of wood look completely out of place amongst the tall grass, like a stain on a perfectly white shirt. Garbage can also leach out constituents, which can often be toxic, or at least foreign to the ecosystem. These chemicals can be extremely harmful to the environment.
Figure 3.  Tracks from what appears to be an
I guess the point that I am trying to make through all of this, is the impact that we as humans

have on our environment. The impact we as humans have on the pond ecosystems of Alberta

are great. First of all, we created most of the ponds; therefore we have created a number of the pond ecosystems in Alberta. Also, some actions we take have a destructive effect on the
pond, possibly degrading the soil. Finally, garbage can leach out harmful chemicals that can
destroy the environment. So in summary, Humans have a great effect on the pond, especially

Figure 4.  A photograph taken under water
about a metre from shore.

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