RDRWA Outreach Update - Out & About (September 2015)

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The summer finished off with a Staff Out and About at Chain Lakes. We had been contacted by a number of concerned citizens about the health of the lake this summer. So paddle in hand we headed off to check it out. We headed to the Upper Lake and at the shoreline we were greeted with a green soupy mixture. We loaded up into the boats and headed off towards the south end of the lake to check things out. The algal bloom was starting to dye off at the south end of lake turning blue and creating an anoxic water column. This was not what we had hoped to find.

A good learning outing for all the staff as lake health is a large topic in our watershed as we are home to some of the biggest recreational lakes within the province. This was the send off Out and About for our summer student Janessa as she headed back to RDC for her last year of her Education degree. I too headed off for a break to Nova Scotia to compare the health of their lake water to ours.

 

 

 

Once back from my break it was full steam ahead. In September, I had the chance to engage the public through a number of adult educational opportunities. The Project Management Unit and Outreach Committee partnered up to present two workshops on Phase One of the IWMP draft focusing on Water Quality. These took place in Red Deer at the Pioneer Lodge and another at Olds College. Through the Recommendations Activity Josée, the PMU, and the RDRWA received some good constructive feedback from the attendees.

ME Global invited Jeff and Joey out to their CAP meeting to present on water quality and the impacts of effluent on the river. This was well received by all in attendance. Other opportunities in September included the Grey Wooded Forage Association's Soil Health for Water Quality, the ALMS annual summit, and our 10th Anniversary River float.

Caring for Our Watershed has kicked off for the next school year and with our new video on the Red Deer River we have started to visit schools giving students the background knowledge needed to create their Watershed projects.

With the securing of Environmental Damages Funding monies, work has begun on the building of a High School program with other WPACs to engage students in experiential learning. Joey and Nathalie from the Battle River will be piloting this with teachers at the Earth Matters Conference in October. With feedback from the teachers in hand, Joey (RDRWA), Nathalie (Battle River WA), Chantelle (Beaver River WA) and Megan from Lesser Slave Lake WA will head off to the Cenovus Leadership Clinic in November to spend 4 days immersed in the drafting of the student and teacher guides for the program. This opportunity will bring about an authentic curriculum-based program that can be used by all the WPACs in the province to engage the young adults of the future.

submitted by Joey Temple, Outreach Coordinator

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