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There is a lot more to creek design than meets the eye. When our Water Resources team was tasked with taking a Cambridge stormwater pond offline to make way for a more diverse creek ecosystem, we knew there would be a lot of challenges. Add in the removal of a 400m stretch of road and you’ve got the makings of a really complex water resources project.

 

The on-line pond had been used for decades to capture runoff from the adjacent agricultural land but had also been recommended for removal for over 20 years. When the Hunt Club Valley Estates subdivision broke ground on the old farmland around the pond, our team worked with GSP Group to devise a plan to take the pond offline and create a more cohesive environment for the wildlife in the area and to restore the coldwater characteristics of the creek which had been negatively impacted by the existing pond. We worked closely with the Grand River Conservation Authority to ensure our plan allocated enough land for enhancements, restoration, and floodplain.

 

Removing the pond meant this existing fish habitat was lost so our Water Resources team restored a wetland area in another portion of the site to ensure an equivalent habitat was reintroduced. A 400m stretch of Briardean Road bisected the wetland and, to restore the wetland into a single contiguous feature, the portion of Briardean Road through the wetland was removed. “Proposing the removal of a section of road isn’t something we regularly do, but in this case, it was what was best for the wetland,” says Brian Verspagen, leader of our Water Resources team. “Excavating out the road made it possible for us to turn the whole area back into a unified wetland habitat and reconnect Middle Creek so it could stay connected with the Speed River.”

 

With the road out of the way and the two sides of the wetland reconnected, the next major component of the project was the restoration of Middle Creek through the former farm pond. “We had to design a path for the creek to get from one end to the other without the pond in the middle, while also navigating a 1.5-metre change in elevation,” says Brian. “Instead of doing a 1.5-metre drop in one spot with a waterfall, which would make it impossible for fish to migrate up the creek, our team introduced a series of meanders [bends] with pools and riffles changing the grade of the creek just 6 inches at a time.” By studying the types of fish that would commonly live in this creek, the team knew the fish would have a spurt speed that could handle a 6-inch incline over a 2-metre distance if they had adequate rest time in a pool afterward.

The pool and riffle sequence also had an additional design advantage. “Middle Creek is a cold-water creek, which is quite rare for the area, so keeping the temperature of the creek down was important,” says Brian. “Running in and out of the shallow pond had been warming up the creek water, making it difficult for aquatic life to thrive. Each riffle section oxygenates the water, causing evaporation. The energy the water uses to change state from a fluid to a vapour cools it.” This means even if the water warms up in the pool sections, it can cool up to half a degree when it passes over a riffle, rebalancing the water temperature.

 

Within the pools, the team introduced areas that would enable the fish to breed and safely create nests for their eggs and fry. These spaces included fallen trees and root wads that would protect the fish from predators like raccoons, while also shading them from the sun. Overflow ponds were also introduced, creating the perfect habitat for the many frogs that live in the area.

 

This project has revitalized an underused ecosystem and breathed new aquatic life into the area for the whole neighbourhood to enjoy.

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New Partners: Patrick Darby, Matt Ninomiya, and Russ Parnell

 

KITCHENER, Thursday, November 12, 2020 – The WalterFedy Board of Directors is pleased to announce three new shareholders are joining our ownership team. Congratulations to Patrick Darby, Matt Ninomiya and Russ Parnell who have all proven themselves as leaders within the firm and will be strong representatives of WalterFedy moving forward.

 

“We are proud to be adding these three talented professionals to our shareholders' table,” says Jamie Van Dyk, Chair of the WalterFedy Board of Directors. “Each one brings different skills and experiences to the group and their voices will be valuable additions to our ownership team.” 

 

All three represent different departments and showcase the breadth of talent within our organization. 


Patrick Darby, P.Eng., CEM, CMVP, LEED AP, has been a champion for sustainability in engineering at WalterFedy since joining the team in 2008. Patrick meshes his mechanical engineering background with environmental advocacy to develop future-conscious solutions for his clients. As manager of our Energy and Carbon Solutions department, he challenges his team to explore new approaches to carbon reduction and energy conservation, and actively encourages clients to make savvy, green choices for their buildings. He is also the chair of Smart Energy Oxford that has the mandate to support the county-wide goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. 

 

Matt Ninomiya, MBA, P.Eng., leads the Land Development practice with our Civil Engineering group. Matt joined the WalterFedy team in late 2018 and has made big strides for our business since coming on board. He brings a strong energy and client focus to every project he works on. Whether it be finer details on a small site or a big picture vision of a subdivision, Matt is passionate about designing and building the communities we all call home. He is also actively involved in the home building industry and serves as a Director on both the Waterloo Region Home Builders Association Board and the Brantford Home Builders Association Board.  


For Russ Parnell, P.Eng., M.ASc., structural engineering isn’t just his job – it’s his passion. This seasoned engineer joined WalterFedy in 2014 and believes building collaborative relationships is just as important as creating structures that will stand the test of time. As a creative problem solver, Russ is known for his ability to deliver large, complex, and multi-phased projects on accelerated timelines. Empowering those around him to grow and excel in their positions is something Russ takes great pride in. Outside of work, he is a dedicated member of the Habitat for Humanity Waterloo Region Board of Directors. 


Congratulations Patrick, Matt and Russ. The WalterFedy community is happy to have you joining our leadership team to guide us toward a successful future for our organization. 

 

ABOUT WALTERFEDY

WalterFedy is a dynamic, integrated firm delivering creative design solutions and practical built environments. Our expertise includes architecture; mechanical, electrical, structural, and civil engineering; energy and carbon solutions; asset and facilities management; project management; and construction management through our sister company, AEC Developments.

 

Our staff of nearly 200 people serve from two locations in Kitchener and Hamilton. Together, we support clients across Canada with their commercial, healthcare, education, municipal, industrial, and residential projects.

 

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Website – walterfedy.com
LinkedIn – linkedin.com/company/walterfedy/
Facebook – facebook.com/walterfedy
Instagram – Instagram.com/walterfedy 

 

WalterFedy Media Contact
Katie McQuaid
519-576-2150 x229
kmcquaid@walterfedy.com

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WalterFedy is thrilled to announce that our team has been awarded the QEII New Generation project in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as part of a design-build team led by Lindsay Construction.

 

WalterFedy will be providing architectural services for the new parking garage being built across from the QEII Health Sciences Centre. The largest healthcare infrastructure project in the province's history, this $29 million structure will contain 500 parking spaces to accommodate visitors to the hospital and adjacent Museum of Natural History.

 

“We’re excited to be supporting Halifax’s growth with this important project,” says Project Manager, Jamie Van Dyk. “We look forward to working with Lindsay Construction and the project stakeholders to design a facility that will meet the community’s needs well into the future.”
 

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