Watershed Stewardship Grants
Important News About the WSG Program
Watershed Stewardship Grant Funding Cancelled by the Government of Alberta
Land Stewardship Centre (LSC) was recently informed by the Government of Alberta, Environment and Parks that our application for $250,000 in Watershed Stewardship Grant (WSG) funding for 2016 was not approved. As a result, no funding will be available for the WSG program this year.
LSC was notified that the decision not to fund the WSG program was based on budget restrictions. This is unfortunate and extremely disappointing for the Watershed Stewardship Groups who depend on this grant as a means to design and deliver community-based programming that directly supports the Alberta Government’s Water for Life Strategy. As this was an annual grant program, at this time, LSC is uncertain what this decision will mean for the long-term future of the Watershed Stewardship Grant program.
LSC has implemented the WSG program in Alberta since 2006. In that time, more than $1.8 million dollars have been allocated to 127 community-based Watershed Stewardship Groups across Alberta, with an additional $5.7 million leveraged through partnerships. Throughout the history of the program, Watershed Stewardship Groups have worked collaboratively with local municipalities, local land owners and land managers, Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils and other conservation organizations to design and deliver in excess of 300 projects. These groups and their projects have all contributed to bringing the Water for Life Strategy goals to life, and making healthy aquatic ecosystems, reliable, quality water supplies for a sustainable economy, and safe, secure drinking water a reality.
Over the years, the Watershed Stewardship Grant program has clearly enabled Watershed Stewardship Groups to bring about positive action and deliver results in their communities across Alberta. We have been continually amazed at the high level of commitment and professionalism that these stewardship groups have displayed as they developed and carried out projects that advance the goals of Water for Life and support the Alberta Government’s recently announced Climate Leadership Plan.
LSC is disappointed that the Government of Alberta has elected to no longer support these community stewardship efforts. However, LSC is committed to continuing to support Watershed Stewardship Groups through our own programming which includes the Alberta Stewardship Network, Resources for Stewards, Grassroots News and the online Stewardship Directory. Looking ahead, LSC will begin to explore ways to access new sources of funding that could be used to support the valuable work of the Watershed Stewardship Groups. We will also continue to work with the Government of Alberta, advocating for the reinstatement of provincial financial support for grassroots stewardship groups and the important work they are doing in communities across the province to the benefit of all Albertans.
For more information regarding the Government of Alberta’s decision you are invited to contact:
Mr. Robert Stokes, Executive Director
Strategic Relationships and Engagement
Environment and Parks
9th fl Petroleum Plaza ST
9915 – 108 Street
Phone: 780 422–2690
Fax: 780 421–0028