The lower reach of the Bighill Creek has sections that rarely freeze, if the flow in the channel is large enough in volume. Some storm drain inflows from urban areas, have spring water also flowing in them. This adds warmer water into the creek and helps keep it free of ice in the winter. One such storm drain inflow is located close to the Lions rodeo grounds, and the baseball diamond. It adds a bit of warmer water, but the main influence is downstream. Downstream of this inflow, the channel is often open in the winter, mainly because there are ground water springs coming out of the ground, in the stream channel.
Recently, I was inspecting some planted sites along Bighill Creek, Bow Valley Habitat Development, Partners and Volunteers, planted at this site, over a number of years ago. We are also continuing to plant at these sites. The willow crop is looking great and I even noticed a birds nest in one of our plants.