It’s now August, and we have spent our whole summer trying to explore every corner of our beautiful watershed that we now call home. If we didn’t have our position as Outreach Assistants with the Oldman Watershed Council this summer, we never would have had the opportunity to meet so many watershed stewards and discover the landscapes that the watershed encompasses. Now we’d like to share a few of our favorite things in the watershed!
Sydney: I have seen so many unique and astounding things this summer that it was almost impossible to pick just one favourite. After four months of scouring the whole watershed and meeting people who were also discovering the watershed in their own ways, I chose the land and the terrain of the watershed. While I have lived in Lethbridge for 3 years, I haven’t been able to explore Southern Alberta much since most of my time goes into school, but after this summer I have fallen in love! There is a little bit of something for everyone in the watershed - from grasslands, rolling foothills, and Rocky Mountains, to provincial and national parks, as well as various creeks, rivers, and trails. I always thought that grasslands would be where I would call my ‘forever home’, but now that I’ve seen the Porcupine Hills I think my mind has changed!
Rebekkah: Living in Lethbridge for eight months before starting at the OWC, I never realized how many beautiful places and hidden spots there are in southern Alberta. We have explored a lot over the past four months, and I still feel like there is so much more to discover. Even from what we have seen, it is hard to pick one favourite place since everything is so different. Waterton’s slogan is “Where the Mountains Meet the Prairies,” but that can really apply to the whole watershed. I was born in British Columbia and raised in Saskatchewan, and that might be why I love the Oldman Watershed so much: I feel like southern Alberta is perfect for me, with both mountains and prairies! I know I am not the only one who feels that way, as many people we met this summer have moved out this way to get “the best of both worlds.” My favourite place in the watershed that portrays the mountains and grasslands is the Porcupine Hills area, with its rolling prairie hills, mountain view, and beautiful landscapes.
Watershed People Are the Best
Sydney: With such diverse terrain also come various industries that use these different areas. The people that we have met have all been so friendly, from ranchers, farmers, government employees, city workers, students, kids, parks staff, teachers... the list goes on! I love hearing why people love the watershed and listening to their stories. Without all these amazing stewards that work alongside us to keep our watershed healthy, our job would be hard and not as enjoyable.
It was so cool to be able to experience everything with Rebekkah. Since we’re both from Saskatchewan, we had many Alberta ‘firsts’ together, and that made it even more special. We met so many people that have devoted most of their lives to keeping the watershed clean, safe, and protected, and I wish more people knew how much work, time, and money that takes. This summer definitely won’t be one I will forget anytime soon! I’m so excited to share my experiences and favorite places with other people, and continue to learn more.
Rebekkah: Throughout the summer, we have met lots of people from all over the world - not just Alberta - that are enjoying our amazing and unique watershed. It has been great hearing other people’s favourites and what they do in the watershed, whether they still do it or are reminiscing about childhood memories. It also has been great connecting with Alberta Parks staff and hearing stories about all the programming and things you can do in Parks, and the amazing interactions they get from it. I loved sharing this experience and exploring everything with Sydney; having somebody with me every step of the way and directing me when I get lost made the summer even better. So what are you waiting for? Get your best friend or a family member out and explore a new area within the Oldman; you won’t regret it!
Watershed Warm Fuzzies
Sydney & Rebekkah: Sometimes, when we tell people who have never heard of OWC who we are and what we do, they say, “Wow! You two girls are doing awesome! Keep up the good work!” It’s one of the greatest feel-good moments we have experienced since working here. It is a perfect example of how much everyone cares about the watershed and wants to keep it healthy and leave it in even better condition for future generations, which is the exact reason why we went into the field of environmental science in the first place.
Now that you’ve heard about our favorite things in the watershed, we want to hear yours! Let us know on Facebook or Instagram. If you don’t have a favourite yet, we encourage you to get out and discover the watershed for yourself. There are so many easily-accessible places to find with just a little bit of researching and maybe a bit of help from your GPS. So go out and get your boots on the ground in our Oldman Watershed!