My name is Debby Gregorash and I live in Lethbridge. I tell people I was accidentally born and raised in Montreal because I dreamed of being a cowgirl in the west. After I received my Diploma of Agriculture, I worked on various dairy farms until I found my dream job on a ranch in Wyoming. Eventually I moved to Alberta and worked on a ranch, a dry-land farm, another dairy farm, and then a feedlot. I met Frank in 1978 and we married and raised two children. We are now grandparents and find that role much more relaxing.
When my youngest started grade one I volunteered at an environmental resource centre. I took part in various environmental endeavors such as the Special Places project, the Green Clean Home classes, Red Wiggler worm demonstrations, environmental puppet shows, and took part in many other events. I have belonged to S.A.G.E. for at least 15 years and the Lethbridge Naturalists off and on for many years. When we lived in Coaldale I formed the Coaldale Ecology Club and gave classes on composting and water conservation.
In 1995 I finished writing “Just Add Water: The History of the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District”. I have written for several magazines over the years and am into my twenty-fifth year of writing an opinion column in the Sunny South News.
I joined the predecessor to the Oldman Watershed Council, the Oldman River Basin Water Quality Initiative, back in 1998. I helped out where I could over the years between childrearing and the exploration of life. I’ve always appreciated the talented teams who have worked so hard to identify problems in the watershed and discovered creative solutions.
My husband Frank and I own 240 acres of Foothills Parkland region next to Police Outpost Provincial Park southwest of Cardston. I named this place Setaspell (as in the closing verse of The Beverly Hillbillies – set a spell, take your shoes off, y’all come back now, y’a hear?)
Setaspell, which is part of the Oldman Watershed, is both a school and a sanctuary. My mind is stretched as I study nature’s secrets and learn the ecology of this enchanting place. It lifts my spirit when I venture into sundrenched wild flower meadows and energizing forests. As a whole, this watershed and its creeks and rivers make up 75% of my body. There you have it. The Oldman Watershed is good for the body, mind, and soul!
My greatest desire is to share this essential blend of awe and appreciation with everyone. I am honoured to be able to do this via the OWC’s Communication and Outreach Team.