Kelligrews Ecological Enhancement Program

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September 20, 2012 KEEP has launched their binders containing the visual field guides of Newfoundland and Labrador. These field guides have been distributed throughout the province to the Grade 3 and 5 classes in each school. Each school will receive 5 binders; each binder contains 2 copies of each of the 5 foldouts.Minister French and Davis were present for the release of the field guides and the story was covered on NTV.The ones to be sold are $20.00 for a packet of the 5 foldouts.


                              An Environmental Field Guide For Children


KEEP has developed an environmental field guide for K-6 students, which is a great tool for anyone exploring the great outdoors here in Newfoundland.  It will be especially useful as we lead children on interpretative environmental tours in the Kelligrews area, but is adaptable to any Newfoundland setting.  We gratefully acknowledge financial support for this project from Vale, making it possible for our field guide to be printed in June 2011. 


KEEP Recognized Again!!!2010 The Kelligrews Ecological Enhancement Program won the Pitcher Plant Award for groups from Recreation Newfoundland and Labrador.Read all about it at the following link:


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A List of Possible Threats to Water Quality on the Kelligrews River and the Lower Gully


Compiled by: Phoebe Metcalfe

There are numerous possible threats to varying water quality parameters along both the Kelligrews River and the Lower Gully River as they are both in areas that are influenced by human development. The picture below identifies possible areas of concern on both rivers. Below is a brief description of each location and why it is a possible threat.

The Kelligrews River:

KR1= Cronin’s Head sewage treatment facility. This facility is operated by the town of CBS. It is a primary treatment facility, which means that it basically treats wastewater through settling. Within the near future all sewage treatment plants will have to be up to secondary treatment, which employs the use of microorganisms to digest wastes, meaning that Cronin’s Head’s treatment level will be unacceptable. At that time, Cronin’s Head will be processing all the wastes within the town of CBS, as the inadequate Topsail plant is scheduled for closure. Cronin’s Head sewage treatment facility is a possible threat to the Kelligrews River because there is the potential that viruses and/or bacteria/ and/ or other parasites found in wastewater could be transferred into the water of the estuary where the Kelligrews River meets Conception Bay. Also, during power outages there is the risk of raw sewage entering Conception Bay, which is a problem in itself. During power outages there is also the possibility of backup at the lift station located directly in front of the treatment plant, resulting in raw sewage entering Kelligrews Pond. There have been reports of this occurring in the past.

KR2 = The C.B.S. Bypass Road where it crosses the Kelligrews River near Red Bridge Road. The river was made to pass through a culvert at this location. Culverts pose problems by altering flow regimes of a river system, by altering the river bottom to a substrate not suitable to fish spawning or floral or faunal growth, and by sometimes blocking the passage of fish, such as when water levels are low.

KR3= Location of a newly dug ditch on Red Bridge Road. During rain events this ditch has been observed to carry large amounts of sediment into the river downstream of Red Bridge Road. At this location the Kelligrews River flows through 2 more large culverts as it passes under Red Bridge Road. The same problems are present as mentioned above for the culvert passing under the bypass road.

KR4 = Location of previous sedimentation problem. It was noted in 2005 that sedimentation had occurred originating from the higher ground west of the river that was disturbed during the construction of the C.B.S Bypass Road. Silt fencing was installed in this area.

KR5 = Location of the new (and only) dog park in C.B.S. located at Ned Nugent’s Park. While under construction this area contained a lot of loose sediment that could easily blow or be washed into the nearby Kelligrews River. There is also a drain area that passes along behind the dog park that has been observed to carry very turbid and sediment-laden water into the Kelligrews River.

KR6= Ned Nugent’s Park. During rain events there are large amounts of erosion from the gravel parking area and the softball field that result in sediment being transferred into the river. Deep erosion trenches are obvious in the area leading down to the river and finger like loads of sand and gravel can be seen extending into the river water. The bank area where this erosion occurs was planted a few years back, but all of that work has been destroyed as it was buried in sediment and no longer exists.

KR7 = Incinerator Road located off on Foxtrap Access Road. Incinerator Road, which is located within St. John’s city limits, is an area of heavy industrialization. Nut Brook flows through Incinerator Road, and then eventually into the Kelligrews River, so that any contaminants that enter Nut Brook are carried to the Kelligrews River. Threats on Incinerator Road include multiple quarries which can and have caused sedimentationproblems, a waste disposal facility that runs the risk of fecal contamination and oil entering the water, and the old landfill from which various contaminants can leach.

The Lower Gully River:

LG1 = Lift station and overflow pipe at the mouth of Gully Pond, into which the Lower Gully River flows. There is an overflow pipe connected to the sewer lines from which a local resident reported seeing raw sewage coming from, directly into Gully Pond. The town council made an adjustment to the lift station across the pond, and the flow of sewage stopped. At the time Gully Pond was closed to the bay, so there was little flushing. Fecal coliform counts at the outfall of the outflow pipe weeks after the raw sewage was reported to have flown out were as high as 2000 E. coli/ 100 ml of water.

Adjacent to the sewer overflow pipe is a storm sewer pipe, from which runoff containing sediment and potentially harmful substances such as oil and gas or soaps flow directly into Gully Pond.

LG2 = Site of old pool behind the Kiwanis. This pool has been abandoned for years, after there was a drowning that occurred there. However, the concrete that formed the pool area is still in place. This poses the largest problem at the downstream end of the pool, where a large cement slab is located. This slab is a large problem for fish mobility.

If water levels are low, as they usually are in the summer months, it would not be possible for most fish, especially younger, smaller ones, to travel upstream as they would not be able to jump over the cement slab.

LG3= Scarlet Place, off of Ashapple Way, located on Legion Road. There is a backfilled area at the end of Scarlet Place where past erosion is evident. There is a section of dead trees running along the river at this location that were killed when they were partly buried in sediment. The layer of sediment is obvious along the riverbank. This was discovered in 2008, but had occurred at an earlier date.

LG4 = Soiree Hts. subdivision on Hibbs Road. There is a storm sewer outfall pipe located at the end of Hibbs Road directly in the Lower Gully River. The outfall is located within the rivers buffer zone. Any sediment that passes into the storm sewer passes directly into the river, including sediment and any materials that residents use for lawn care or car washing. The area around the outfall is bare gravel, it has not been planted, resulting in erosion into the river.

LG5 = Proposed site of the C.B.S Bypass Road crossing the Lower Gully River. Employees with the Department of Transportation and Works have said that this section of the Bypass Road will be done with as little impact as possible to the river, but it is more expensive to use bridges that are less altering rather than culverts. Also, the road construction itself brings with it increased risk of damage to the area by machinery and increased risk of sediment used in the road construction entering the river. Erosion and runoff from the road when it is finished also could cause problems for the river, for example, if salt used on the road was carried into the river.

Both Watersheds:

KR/ LG1= proposed site of box stores at the top of Legion Road. This development will fall within both watersheds, which is why the threat marker is lo

Is the water level in the wetland adjacent to Kelligrews Pond influenced by the tides?

By: Phoebe Metcalfe

Summer 2009

In an attempt to determine whether the water levels in the wetland adjacent to Kelligrews Pond markers were placed at the water level during high and low tides. High and low tides were determined by using the tide prediction tables available on the Fisheries and Oceans website ( ). Data for Long Pond was used as there was none available specifically for Kelligrews. Two markers for high tide were put in place on Friday, July 25, 2009 at roughly 10:30 am.

According to the tide prediction table high tide occurred at 10:08am. Two markers for low tide were put in place on Monday, July 27, 2009 at 9:30am. According to the tide prediction table low tide began at 6:21am. The distance between the high tide and low tide markers were then measured. This distance was 7’6” for one location and 6’9” for the other location. Visual observation of the area at these times suggest that water levels were different during each visit as shown in the pictures below. As shown in Figures 1 and 2 the bar between the wetland and Kelligrews Pond is underwater at high tide and exposed at low tide. In Figure 3 the water comes almost to where the vegetation grows along the bank at high tide. At low tide the water level is much further from the bank and there is a section of mucky substance exposed at the edge of the water (Figure 4). In Figure 6 there is no evidence of debris above the water level at high tide, but in Figure 7 there is debris visible above the water line at low tide.

In conclusion, there was a difference in the water levels in the wetland from high to low tide which suggests that the tides influence water levels.

Figure 1: The wetland at high tide. The bar between the wetland and Kelligrews Pond is hardly visible as it is mostly underwater.

Figure 2: At low tide the bar between the wetland and Kelligrews Pond is very visible. It was mostly underwater in Figure 1.

Figure 3: At high tide the water level is close to the vegetation that grows on the bank.

Figure 4: At low tide there is a mucky substance between the water edge and the vegetated bank.

Figure 5: The wetland at high tide. It is not possible to see anything on the bottom of the water.

Figure 6: The wetland at low tide. Debris is visible above the water line.




We Are Honored!

KEEP member Phyllis Smith accepted KEEP's community group award

from Environment Minister Charlene Johnson at the

Newfoundland Labrador 19th Annual Environmental Awards on June 2, 2008.

See "What's New" for the details.

The following news release from our provincial department of environment accompanied the announcement of KEEP's environmental award,  June 2008.

"The members of the Kelligrews Ecological Enhancement Program (KEEP) have worked tirelessly since they were formed in 1999, to develop and implement a long term stewardship plan for the rivers and wetlands of Kelligrews and the surrounding communities.  Their conservation initiatives are varied ranging from the hands-on work in the river to the planned high-tech computer modelling of the river system.

One project worthy of note is the silt fencing built by a Green Team organized by KEEP, to control the high level of siltation in the river.  They have also been responsible for bank stabilization and the removal of concrete barriers from the river to ensure good river flow and to provide suitable access for fish.  Grass and tree planting have been undertaken and more than 300 trees were planted in an attempt to stabilize the soil layers. 

KEEP is currently embarking on one of its biggest projects to date and, with the help of the geography department at Memorial University, they are organizing the GPS mapping of the Kelligrews River Watershed.

Through important watchdog and lobbying initiates and informal presentations to youth groups, they have provided a much needed service and example to the public at large.

The following was read by M.P. Fabian Manning in the House of Commons in Ottawa on January 30th, 2008.

Tribute to Joseph Neil Tilley

December 5, 1950 - January 26, 2008

Growing up in Conception Bay Neil Tilley made his mark as a community minded individual.  He spearheaded community programs such as Opportunities for Youth giving many their first job.  He was heavily involved in building sports programs to play and coach.

Neil completed high school and went to Memorial University and received a degree in Anthroplolgy.  While at MUN he bacame very interested in campus life and eventually served as president of the Students Union.  Following his graduation from MUN Neil worked with the University Extension services that were deploying staff in the rural areas of Newfoundland to assist communities in self-improvement initiatives.  He traveled extensively through the province,  Canada, the United States, and as far away as Belize, Vietnam and Nicaragua to bring his expertise on self-betterment to others less fortunate.

Neil found time to get a Masters Degree in Community Development and had plans to get his doctorate, but fell ill before he could accomplish this goal.

When Neil's work brought him back home to Kelligrews he reactivated his farm operation.  In keeping with the concern for the environment, he practised organic farming.  He also acquired the training and certification necessary for him to become an inspector of organic growing operations and provided certification for others who wanted to practice organic farming.

Neil was always interested in the environment and with others founded the Kelligrews Ecological Enhancement Program (KEEP) whose mandate in part is to conserve, preserve and enhance the narural environment in Kelligrews, Conception Bay South, NL.

Neil was a very spiritual man, a man of faith that has never waivered.  He was a good man who died too young.  His years on earth were filled with accomplishments that most of us can only dream of.

Older News

The Kelligrews Ecological Enhancement Program (KEEP) and the Eco-Action Program,Environment Canada has released a

 Watershed Management Plan/Study 

Click on the link below to view it:

We'd like to hear from your views on this document.


For further information please email or call 834-4915 (please leave a message).



C.B.S. Green Team 2006 Hard at Work

The Town of Conception Bay South, in partnership with the Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador employed four students from their town. Green Team members were Rochelle Nugent, Jamie Hardy, Stephanie Hanlon and Chance Amero.

Since 1993 the Newfoundland and Labrador Conservation Corps has hired over 1500 young people in more than 100 communities, working with community based organizations, corporate partners, municipalities and individuals to improve the natural and cultural environment of our province.  This provides meaningful training and work experience to our youth.

The Conception Bay South Green Team worked with KEEP, to install silt fencing to help stop the sediment run-off from the highway into Kelligrews River.  The team was also busy at our 5th Annual Kelligrews Railway Festival on August 20th,2006 where they provided entertaining environmental activities for the children.  It was a fun-filled day with lots of prizes and a presentation on Species at Risk in Newfoundland and Labrador.   


In January 2006 The Kelligrews Ecological Enhancement Program, in conjunction with its partners, was pleased to announce a new initiative: a Watershed Management Plan for the Kelligrews River and Pond, and the Gully River and Pond.  Financial support for the program is provided by the EcoAction Program, Environment Canada.  The watershed management plan will assist in planning for future development while minimizing the impact on waterways.

To gather input for the watershed management plan, KEEP, together with consultants Extension Community Development Cooperative, held individual, group and public consultations over the past year.  The consultations included area business owners, farmers, community organizations and public policy makers from federal, provincial and local governments, as well as in the Kelligrews area.  KEEP needed to hear from all interested parties regarding their knowledge of the rivers and ponds as well as their concerns.

Following the consultations, KEEP posted on this website a discussion paper about the watershed management plan and invited comments from the public before preparing a draft report.  KEEP organized public meetings to gather additional comments and concerns before completing the final watershed management plan.

KEEP holds its monthly meeting on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 PM at the offices of its long time supporter, the Conception Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Robert's Building, Kelligrews.  We invite you to attend and participate in helping to preserve the natural beauty of the Kelligrews area.

For more information please call 834-4915.

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On Sunday September 18th 2005, members of K.E.E.P. helped host a meeting with Conception Bay South municipal candidates.  Our Powerpoint Presentation was well received and there was unanimous support from all candidates for the need to act together to address the environmental issues facing our town.  A very productive discussion took place and commitments were made by candidates.  K.E.E.P. looks forward to working with other concerned citizens and representatives of our town as it continues to protect and enhance our area.

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On July 18, 2005 members of KEEP took CBC TV and radio crews to a tributary of Nut Brook, at the headwaters of three of our Conception Bay South rivers.  Their media coverage showed the siltation damage to the brook, which can be seen in our photo above.  While KEEP is not anti-business, we are very concerned that the headwaters of our rivers are suffering from the results of quarrying and pollution.  Also at this site is the former C.B.S. incinerator, from which chemical sludge is seeping.  Added to these environmental threats, other businesses handling hazardous and toxic waste also operate near Nut Brook.  The photo below is a view of the area of Conception Bay South through which our rivers run.  We aim to KEEP it protected.  It is a view of Conception Bay worth preserving!

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Our 2005 Green Team

K.E.E.P. was happy to have one of the island's twenty-four Green Teams working with them this summer.  The Green Team is the flagship program of the Conservation Corps Newfoundland and Labrador.  It is a program aimed at providing meaningful experience for youth in the area of culture and environment.  Each Green Team is composed of four members.  The Kelligrews Team (Hope Bennett, Thom McGrath, Christine Bussey, and Jacqueline Morgan) and K.E.E.P. worked together to help protect and enhance the quality of the Kelligrews River, and the flora and fauna that depend on it.  The Green Team installed silt fencing to divert excess silt away from the river. The team also helped host environmental awareness days (EADs) to educate people of all ages about the importance of saving energy, the effects of climate change on the globe, and what we can do to improve the quality of the environment.  

Another focus of work during the summer was the development of educational activities and environmental games for use at KEEP's Railway Festival and at recreational camps in Conception Bay South.

Two studies (work term projects) have been done on the Kelligrews River which have identified siltation problems in a couple of areas of the river.

Funding proposals have been submitted over the past few years to study the health of the waterways and wetlands, most recently to resolve and remediate the siltation areas. 

KEEP is presently working with the Town of Conception Bay South to have the wetlands declared a protected area.  The area is under considerable stress from a variety of sources such as quarrying, road work, housing developments and local business.  The headwaters of the river systems contains the former CBS dump and incinerator, a hazardous waste storage facility, a sewage waste site and a meat rendering plant.

At the base of the Kelligrews River / Pond, there was sewage outflow.  As of January 2004, a new sewage treatment plant started operating at Cronin's Head, Kelligrews.  We hope that it will improve the area by eliminating sewage-associated pollution and enable the restoration of some of the sea life which has disappeared from the area since untreated sewage has been dumped into Conception Bay. 

During the fall of 2004, area residents reported (with photo documentation) that raw sewage was entering Kelligrews Pond through a culvert.  Members of KEEP have brought this to the attention of officials from our town and the provincial Department of Environment. 

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KEEP has received charitable status designation and we welcome any financial support, which is needed for many of our proposed activities.

Please click on our Contact page at the left to get in touch with KEEP should you be in a position to help us.


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