Watershed Alliance celebrates 10 years of community action

Members of the Battle River Watershed Alliance (BRWA) board and staff are, from the left, back row: Sheila Logelin, David Samm, Bruce Cummins, Barb Bosh, John Pearson, Lorne Ferguson, Hugh Sanders, Susanna Bruneau. Front Row: Shane Mascarin, Arin MacFarlane-Dyer, Les Parsons, Midge Lambert, Jim Geddes, Sarah Skinner and Nathalie Olson. Absent: Connie Kelts, Wayne Richardson, Diane Hanson, Al Corbett, Melissa Orr-Langer and Jamie Bruha.

The Battle River Watershed Alliance (BRWA), a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the land and water that drains into the Battle River, is celebrating 10 years of community action.

Education and outreach

The BRWA is provincially recognized as a leader in watershed education. They are the central Alberta coordinators of the Caring for our Watersheds program, which asks grade 7 – 12 students to submit a proposal on what they can do to improve their watershed.

The BRWA also runs Experience your Watershed education programs, which are outdoor, place-based programs for students in grades 4 – 12.

These programs draw connections between the health of our natural environment and the health of our communities.

BRWA hosts community events including the annual Watershed Festival and Saskatoon Pie Baking Competition and outdoor activities such as the Rolling down the River bike trip and outdoor art classes for adults.

Watershed management

In 2011, the BRWA released “Our Battle: The State of the Battle River and Sounding Creek Watersheds” report. This report gives a snapshot of the health of the watersheds, including water quality, water quantity, biodiversity, land use, and socio-economic indicators.

The BRWA works with stakeholders to develop recommendations for how to improve watershed health. They also encourage people to take action on those recommendations.

For example, the BRWA worked with landowners to protect the water’s edge through the Ferry Point Reach and Ponoka Riparian Restoration Programs.

The BRWA also worked with the County and City of Camrose to develop a Source Water Protection Plan for Dried Meat Lake.

Stewardship

The watershed is lucky to have passionate landowners and stewardship groups working to protect it. The BRWA supports and recognizes the work of stewards, including through the annual Outstanding in Stewardship (OTIS) award and is awarded to a youth, a business or organization, and an individual for their efforts.

Stewardship can also be citizen science. The BRWA developed a water quality monitoring program called X-Stream Science in which students and stewards conduct sampling of streams.

Water quality data is collected at sites across the watershed and compared over time.

Get involved

The BRWA is governed by a Board of Directors and has several working committees. There are five staff who work out of the Gateway Centre in Camrose. Contact the BRWA if you are interested in learning more, or would like to be involved.

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