The Season for Stewardship!

Editor's note: The Watershed Legacy Program is a long-time favorite among our followers. People love to see boots on the ground, stewardship in action! We look forward to seeing what types of project applications will come in each year for funding to help support! We are also excited to do more education and outreach within the program in the coming years! Keeping our fingers crossed to receive more funding to do this!

It’s that time of year for us again, grant writing is coming to an end and annual report/AGM season is in full swing for us here at the OWC. Spring is a busy time for everyone, ranchers are calving, producers are seeding, urban folks are raking up their yards. We also start thinking of all the field work and summer events that are coming up, for our staff, our partners and our WLP grant recipients.

Each year, through the Watershed Legacy Program we invite applications for small rural stewardship projects. These projects are 50/50 funded and are carefully reviewed by our WLP Team of experts and selected based on a set of criteria and greatest positive impact for the watershed (more details about WLP).  

Congratulations to our 2018 Watershed Legacy Program recipients! These projects will make a big difference for watershed health:

  • Municipal District of Pincher Creek - Transboundary Weeds, Water and Stewardship Tour that goes from Waterton Park to Castle Parks, into the Crowsnest Pass and the East Kootenays.

  • Municipal District of Willow Creek - Continued support of Bio-control Agent projects to control invasive weed species along the Oldman river and various tributaries.

  • Cody Spencer, Sweetgrass Bison - Oldman River Riparian Fencing & Restoration – Phase 1 along the lower Oldman river.

  • Pincher Creek Watershed Group - 16th Annual Blueweed Blitz along Pincher creek and its tributaries.

We did have another great project that involved fencing and control of invasive weeds through grazing by goats. Due to unforeseen circumstances they had to decline their acceptance of the grant at this time!

 General Locations of the newly funded Watershed Legacy Program Projects!

General Locations of the newly funded Watershed Legacy Program Projects!

If you are interested in applying for WLP, keep an eye out for next years' applications - to open in January 2019!

In the meantime...have you heard about the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership Funding? In April 2018, the new partnership rolled out and the 15 programs will be phased over the spring, summer and fall of 2018. Their are five themes: Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change; Products, Market Growth and Diversification; Science and Research; Risk Management; and Public Trust. More info

Watershed Legacy Program - Project Highlights Over the Years

What Else is New?

Since 2009, we have been working with agricultural groups and producers, providing support for over 60 on-the-ground stewardship projects, totaling over $180,000. The WLP has benefited the rural communities of southern Alberta by supporting stewardship projects that improve the health of the watershed, thus the quality of life for rural land stewards and everyone downstream.

In 2018 we hope to expand the program to include an education and outreach component, to build more positive relationships and cooperative action between rural and urban communities. We are all downstream and depend on the same shared resources, so urban and rural collaboration is not only the right way to go, but necessary. While we are still waiting on some funding opportunities to move forward with our new education and outreach approach, we have begun to plan out some events that we will be attending this summer to help out and raise awareness about watershed management and health:

  • 16th Annual Blueweed Blitz hosted by the Pincher Creek Watershed Group on Saturday July 7th – all are welcome to come help pull weeds, BBQ and PRIZES included!

  • 15th Annual Grazing School for Women hosted by many partnering organizations on July 24-25 at the Stavely Community Hall – for ag ladies to come learn more about range and riparian management and other great topics! More info or to register - click here

  • Transboundary Weeds, Water and Stewardship Tour hosted by the MD of Pincher Creek, MD of Willow Creek, East Kootenays Invasive Weeds Council, MD of Ranchlands and Cardston County on August 79th – currently invite only (registration may open up to the public)

  • Open Farm Days hosted by Farming Smarter on August 17th – come learn more about agriculture, where your food comes from and what happens on the land in between!

Thanks to our generous program sponsors, without you, the Watershed Legacy Program would not be possible!