RDRWA Outreach Update - Out & About (Jan 2016)

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Out and About: A Place in the Watershed

We all have a connection to the Red Deer River Watershed whether it is an attachment to the water, diverse natural areas, clean drinking water, recreational use, or our jobs. But do we know our watershed? Over the next few months we will be highlighting areas of the watershed in keeping with this year's theme of "Watershed Exploration".

Where does our river start?

The Red Deer River begins its 2500km+ journey in the heart of Banff National Park. It begins in a bowl valley in the shadow of Skoki Mountain above Lake Louise. In this low lying area snowmelt and other precipitation accumulates in a chain of small marshy lakes known as Red Deer Lakes. Water exits the east end of the lakes and begins its journey through as the Red Deer River.


photo: Bob Spirko

At this point the river is no wider then your stance, as you can place one foot on each shoreline. As the river makes its way down the eastern slopes of the Rockies it will take on water from a number of inflowing tributaries so that, by the time it reaches the flatter topography at the start of the foothills, the river is now some 4-plus meters of wetted width at regular flow.


photo: Tjarda Barrett


photo: Tjarda Barrett

This valley high in the Rockies is also the home of one of the older buildings in Banff National Park, Skoki Lodge. The Lodge is surrounded by high alpine wildflower meadows, alpine lakes, and breathtaking mountain ridges and valleys; a must see area for an avid hiker or cross country skier!


photo: Bob Spirko

Our water may start its journey here but it only stays for a short time before it heads towards Hudsons Bay.

Our next stop will be Ya Ha Tinda. If you are interested in submitting your stories about your adventures in the Skoki Valley and the headwaters of the Red Deer River, we are looking for submissions for our February e-newsletter to further highlight our stops along the river!

Please contact Outreach Coordinator, Joey Temple - outreach@rdrwa.ca  or call 403-340-7379

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