Water Narratives: Bill Franz

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We all live in a watershed and it takes every member of the community to ensure and maintain its health. When we come across individual community members that are committed and dedicated to creating change, we want to recognize it! Our Watershed Ambassador program allows us to award that kind of stewardship and initiative and we don’t want to forget about them either. Today, we want to highlight a Watershed Ambassador award recipient that has continued to be a leader in our community and has found new ways to contribute to the health of our watershed: Bill Franz.

The RDRWA presented Bill with the Watershed Ambassador award in July of 2011. At the time, Bill was heavily involved in water quality work through his position with Agriculture Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). His efforts with AAFC led to a watershed management initiative with the Little Red Deer River and the Medicine River. This program focused on drinking water quality and aimed to work primarily with farmers and ranchers to restore the watershed with improvements on the land. Over the course of three years, this initiative supported 35 projects ranging from riparian fencing to buidling lagoons for feedlots.

While watershed management and restoration played a prominent role in his professional career, Bill has remained an active member of the community and strong supporter of the RDRWA since his retirement six years ago. While he continues to hold his membership with the RDRWA, Bill has focused his efforts towards cycling advocacy as the President of the Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting (RDABC) as he hopes to help Red Deer reduce it’s carbon footprint and improve watershed health by minimizing car use. The group held it’s first ever open streets event on August 12th of this year, Cyclovia. With such great feedback, they’ll be hosting the event again next year. Even while retired, Bill is committed to the health of the watershed.

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