Government, Shovels ... and 5 other things you may not have heard about

'Tis the season of Board Meetings.

Some of you have been asking for updates to take back to your teams on what the OWC is up to. Thanks for being active supporters of our Research & Projects!

Several items of good news, but since we've just had two game-changing elections, let's begin with that:

A lot of our focus since the end of October has been working closely with new government. As a WPAC (a Watershed Planning and Advisory Council), we are mandated under the Water For Life strategy to provide advice and recommendations. Currently, questions revolve about management of the headwaters, including the new Castle Parks and the upcoming Biodiversity Management Framework (how government is going to set outcomes and objectives across the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan revision).

Imminent are also stakeholder meetings with the provincial government regarding their Linear Footprint and Recreation Management Plans. The OWC is gearing up to participate and provide sound scientific advice. We are encouraged by this desire to build the most robust process possible around this decision-making.


Before we go in too deep, let's just take a moment to say THANK YOU to those brave early risers who came out and helped during our major bioengineering events this fall. Riparian restoration has never had it so good! A special thank you to our two interns, Mairin Gettman and Riley Sawyer who went out and swung shovels in the blazing sun. See the photos here:

A little about our Film Project:

We have been filming throughout the summer and just wrapped up a location in High River along the Little Bow last week. We will be moving into post-production soon, constructing key messaging for our 3 audiences: scientists, public and children. Behind-the-scenes photos of all our locations can be found here:

Ain't the new website wonderful?

The website has been a year in the making and we are very proud of it. Please take the time to explore. We have added many new sections, especially under the "Discover & Learn" tab. We would be delighted to provide links to your website and also list you here:

Please view the Film Project Trailer here:

We would appreciate it very much if you could help us spread the word so that we can attract sponsors, Collaborative Partners and recipients of the film who will benefit from access to it. 

What did we do all summer? We had 2 Outreach Assistants busy up in the headwaters as part of our Recreational Vehicle User Education Program:

We made great headway with the community of both campers and quadders alike and were very pleased at the welcoming reception we got. OWC is seen as a great partner and one who facilitates problem-solving conversations between various stakeholder groups.

The project description is here: and we have also released several blog articles about it. Have a look here:

We are looking forward to continuing this project and are evaluating our research now that summer has come to a close so that we can plan strategically for next year.

Our Watershed Legacy Program (WLP) will begin again soon:

The OWC has a limited amount of funding available to provide to landowners who are actively engaging in beneficial management practices. There is opportunity here to partner with us as a sponsor or as a recipient - please contact us!

Landowners are the real stewards of the watershed. By coordinating efforts throughout the basin, the WLP aims to conserve and enhance our natural resources and the rural way of life. More about the WLP Program can be found here:

Holding the Reins ... it's back ...

HTR is a landowners summit for agricultural producers to share their stories of stewardship with the public, learn from each other and learn about a few relevant 'hot topics' in the watershed. We typically hold this in early February and it is quite popular and well liked in our rural communities with about 100-120 people attending each year. There are photos and summaries from each year here:

There is a good summary of our recent work in our Annual Report found here:

In other news, the OWC will be moving offices from our present location in the Agricultural Research Centre in Lethbridge to a more accessible, visitor-friendly downtown location. We will be announcing our new address once the deal has been finalized!

Thanks again to all of you who have been checking in with us - we really appreciate your support in all we do. It matters a great deal to us - and to the watershed.

Best Wishes, 

Anna Garleff Communications Specialist
Cell: 1-587-224-3793