Beaver Hills Initiative

Visitors to the Beaver Hills (also known as the Cooking Lake Moraine) will appreciate this unique ecosystem located east of the City of Edmonton. Distinctly different from the surrounding Aspen Parkland natural region, the Beaver Hills region ascends several hundred meters into an extensively treed, ‘knob and kettle’ landscape, richly diverse in vegetation, waterfowl, ungulates, birds and dark skies.

Prospering through Stewardship:
From the time of western settlement, the landscape of the Beaver Hills area has remained relatively undeveloped. Because the Beaver Hills are at higher elevations, and had a slightly cooler and wetter climate than the surrounding prairie plains, the area was not suitable for clearing for arable croplands, remaining extensively treed, with plentiful wetlands, lakes, forages and wildlife. As a result, the Beaver Hills offers spectacular vistas within this southern-most geological remnant of the Boreal Forest natural region. It is a naturalist’s haven; abounding with parks and protected areas for activities such as cycling, hiking, geocaching, cross-country skiing, paddling, wildlife watching and amateur astronomy/star gazing.

Believing in Stewardship:
Escalating development pressures over time have put the Beaver Hills landscape at risk. Increasing human needs for housing, recreation, water, and commercial/industrial developments have impacted the Beaver Hills. However, the ecological significance of the area is recognized by local decision makers and their communities. Prioritized value is given not just for its extensive native vegetation and wildlife corridors, but for the importance of sustaining ecological goods and services such as abundant water supplies, and its ability to function as a healthy forested watershed.

Legacy of Stewardship:
Since 2002, through award-winning efforts, the Beaver Hills Initiative has advanced regional land-use planning and management strategies in this unique ecosystem highly valued by residents and visitors. These efforts are the prime responsibility of the decision makers of five rural municipalities: Beaver, Lamont, Leduc, Strathcona, and Camrose Counties. Also involved are agencies responsible for the publicly protected landscapes such as Elk Island National Park, Ministik Lake Bird Sanctuary, Cooking Lake/Blackfoot Recreation Area, and Miquelon Provincial Park. In addition to local, provincial, federal governments and environmental agency partners, hundreds of private landowners are engaged in a variety of conservation, stewardship and agri-environmental programs. These activities include GIS mapping,inventorying and monitoring of natural resources, riparian and woodlot management, land use planning tools and incentives. Overall, the Beaver Hills Initiative offers a unique approach to voluntary, collaborative, regional planning for the benefit of Alberta residents and visitors today and in the future.
A proud partner of Kalyna Country’s eco-museum, the Beaver Hills Initiative welcomes you and extends a warm invitation to learn more about the riches of this area. We can all prosper through stewardship; appreciating that our decision makers are developing a world class model of a sustainable community and maintaining a special place for future generations to live and explore.

2001 Sherwood Drive Sherwood Park, AB CanadaT8A 3W7
Phone Number:
(780) 464-8280