Urban Ecological Planning 

HIGHWOOD has developed a practical process to manage urban natural areas. Our approach focuses on identifying important urban habitats, prioritizing management efforts and creating management plans to work toward site-specific ecosystem management goals. HIGHWOOD's approach to urban ecosystem management is ideal for ensuring the ecological health of riparian habitats. Through effective ecological planning we work with stakeholders to provide management solutions that balance urban nature conservation with sustainable human use.

Highwood's Approach

HIGHWOOD uses the strengths of its interdisciplinary teams to provide

          Client-focused project management
          Innovative solutions for environmental planning
          Practical environmental management tools for day to day operations

Highwood's Services

         Riparian health evaluation and restoration
          Stream crossing assessments
          Biophysical inventory and mapping
          Environmental assessments for residential development
          Municipal class screenings
          Human use planning in urban natural areas
          Environmental indicator selection and monitoring
          Environmental Construction and Operation Plans (Eco Plans)
          State of Environment Reporting



Biophysical Inventories and Planning

Our interdisciplinary team and scientific associates carry out vegetation inventories, rare plant surveys, wildlife surveys, aquatic sampling, terrain analysis and human use management. HIGHWOOD inventories existing trail conditions, monitors their use, and recommends appropriate management. We provide human use management strategies and trail systems advice for existing and planned recreational activities in sensitive urban natural areas. HIGHWOOD's aquatic and vegetation ecologists evaluate and monitor riparian vegetation conditions and develop restoration plans for impacted habitats.

Environmental Assessments

HIGHWOOD provides expertise for municipal environmental assessments throughout the planning and development of residential lands, as well as collecting and analysing environmental baseline data. HIGHWOOD has prepared municipal Class Screenings for routine development activities to streamline the environmental assessment process. Our ecologists and environmental planners have conducted stream crossing assessments for water and sewage pipelines, transportation routes and other linear disturbances.

Environmental Indicators

HIGHWOOD selects appropriate environmental indicators to monitor key changes in the urban environment. This includes developing indicators that accurately monitor baseline conditions, including indicators for air quality, soil, vegetation, surface and groundwater, and land use. We work with stakeholders to select indicators that strike a balance between science and the pragmatic needs of decision-making. Indicators of today can be science-based measurements of environmental progress, or can be sustainability indicators, which link the economy, environment, and social fabric of a community.

Construction Site Monitoring and Planning

HIGHWOOD develops project-specific environmental plans and mitigations for construction projects to minimize the potential for environmental impacts. HIGHWOOD recently developed one of the first Environmental Construction Operations (ECO) Plans within the City of Calgary, which incorporates environmentally sensitive construction practices into day-to-day operations. HIGHWOOD has also developed site-specific ECO Plans for construction companies to ensure sound environmental practices are effectively integrated. We are experienced in providing on-site environmental monitoring and training to construction crews.

State of Environment Reporting

HIGHWOOD is experienced in preparing State of the Environment Reports that effectively synthesize environmental indicators and describe what they mean to a community. Our expertise in environmental sciences combined with environmental management and communication skills ensures materials are relevant to the public and scientifically accurate. To view the State of Environment Report completed by HIGHWOOD for the Town of Banff click here. [4.6 Mb]