Naturalized Wetlands


Naturalized wetlands found in our communities are designed to be more than simple water retention ponds or features for residents to enjoy – they are complex bio-retention systems that are key to our sustainability practices.

Designed by Native Plant Solutions in conjunction with our engineering consultants, these bio-retention systems are constructed either as naturalized wetlands or shallow low-lying vegetated areas with moisture-tolerant plants native to Manitoba.

Water retention and filtration

Wetlands help protect our waterways by collecting storm water run-off and filtering it with native grasses and shoreline plants. Impurities are captured and absorbed by the native plants, cleaning the water before it reaches the city’s drainage or groundwater systems, better protecting our rivers and streams.

Without the correct balance of native grasses and plants surrounding the retention area, excessive nutrients contained in water run-off can build up, allowing bad algal blooms and toxins to damage the ecosystem.

Wetlands - No Plants
Wetlands - Bad Algae
Wetlands - healthy plants
Wetlands - Good Algae
Some common pollutants collected by surface run-off include fertilizer from lawns, fuel from vehicles, detergents, and salt from winter road de-icing. Algal blooms in Lake Winnipeg have been linked to excess nutrients from both urban and rural run-off.
Wetlands - Dusk Sky after Rain

Surface run-off management

Surface water from rain or winter melt is directed to the wetlands rather than into the street or city sewer systems. Wetlands help to reduce the chance of flooding by acting as watersheds for rain and snow run-off while the roots of the native plants stabilize the earth preventing erosion.

Wetlands - mother and boy on trail

Evolving Solutions

In recent years, the practice of incorporating wetlands by using native plants and grasses into residential areas has become more widespread and are incorporated into every new Qualico Community in Winnipeg.

With every development, we are gaining a better understanding of the benefits of protecting, restoring and constructing these landscapes and how they benefit both the environment and the people living near them.