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2-day Bio-engineering workshop with Dave Polster – Ghost Watershed Alliance Society

September 24, 2021 @ 8:30 am September 25, 2021 @ 4:30 pm

Learn how to use native plants to restore disturbed sites and stabilize streambanks in the Ghost Watershed located NW of Calgary. 

Friday, September 24, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM: Classroom session on bio-engineering techniques at The Crossing at Ghost River (just 25 minutes west of Cochrane). This will be a full-day workshop starting at 8:30am and ending at 5:00pm. Lunch, coffee and snacks will be served. Please note that you will need to wear a face mask during the classroom session.

Saturday, September 25, 8:30 AM – 4:30PM: Field day applying some of the techniques on the ground in the Ghost Public Land-Use Zone (app. 40 minutes NW of Cochrane), restoring eroded streambanks. We will meet at 8:30am at the South Ghost Staging Area. Please note that there is no cell coverage at the meeting location. The field day will end at 4:30pm. Lunch will be provided in the field. Please bring along a face mask to wear for those instances during the field work where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

The workshop is open to everyone interested in bio-engineering and is free of charge thanks to funding provided by the Alberta Conservation Association. A $400 value per participant! Participants will need to attend both the classroom session and the field workshop. Therefore your ticket will automatically cover both workshop days. Space for this workshop is limited, so get your tickets soon! If you would like to join just the field day, there is an opportunity to join a smaller group led by our partners from Trout Unlimited Canada on the same day in close proximity to the workshop site. Please send an email to for more information.

Please note that the field work will involve physical labour with hand tools. You will have to be reasonably fit and we will require that you sign a waiver and photo release prior to commencing the work. 

About Dave Polster: David F. Polster, R.P. Bio. is a plant ecologist with over 35 years of experience in vegetation studies, reclamation and invasive species management. He graduated from the University of Victoria with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 and a Master of Science degree in 1977. He has developed a wide variety of reclamation techniques for mines, industrial developments and steep/unstable slopes as well as techniques for the re-establishment of riparian and aquatic habitats. Dave teaches soil bioengineering and ecological restoration workshops for industrial clients and stewardship groups. Dave has applied his knowledge in ecology to solving problems of unwanted and invasive vegetation. He has authored numerous papers and teaches graduate level courses on these topics.

COVID-19 notice: We will be exercising physical distancing to address the COVID-19 health guidelines whenever possible. We will require that you wear a face mask during the classroom session. Please do not attend the event if you feel sick, have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past 14-days.


Are there places to stay overnight nearby?

There is a limited  number of rooms available at The Crossing at Ghost River. Please contact them directly to inquire about availability and pricing. There are also a number of hotels in Cochrane, which is located half an hour from The Crossing at Ghost River.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

There is ample of parking at The Crossing at Ghost River for the classroom session on Friday, September 25. For the field day on Saturday, September 26, we will meet at the South Ghost Staging Area and travel up a gravel road with some potholes from there. There is plenty of parking close to the site. 

What can I bring into the event?

Please bring a notepad, laptop or tablet to the classroom session for taking notes. For the field day, please dress in layers for potentially rapidly changing weather conditions in the mountains, bring sturdy boots (preferably safety boot type), work gloves and safety glasses if you have. If you have tools such as large loppers and pruners, please bring them along. 

Can you accommodate my food restrictions?

Yes! We will try hard to  meet your needs for the food served. Please email us after you have registered to let us know what you will be needing, so we can accommodate you.

Is there a course manual available?

Yes, there is a course manual available that can be purchased directly from Dave Polster. The ebook is $25 per copy and the print version is $60 per copy. Please contact us to arrange for your order.

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

You need to be 18 years of age or older and physically fit to work with hand tools.

To register, please visit the Eventbrite link here .

Note: The RDRWA provides links to external events and websites for informational purposes only. The RDRWA does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, security, or timeliness of this information. Please review our Disclaimer and Terms of Use before submitting events to our calendar. All events submitted to the community calendar are subject to review by the RDRWA.

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