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Stewardship Showcase: Building Community Spirit to Care for the Watershed


Stewardship Showcase

Sep. 27, 2023
PLWA volunteers sharing watershed knowledge at a local brewery trivia night.
PLWA volunteers sharing watershed knowledge at a local brewery trivia night.

Pigeon Lake Watershed Association’s (PLWA) Caring for the Lake Together Project is an opportunity to educate and inform the public about watershed health and stewardship. But for general manager Carson Hvenegaard, the best part of this work is how the events bring the Pigeon Lake community together.

“Being part of the community and the shared responsibility for taking care of the lake have been the most rewarding part of this project,” Carson says.

A big part of that community is the dedicated volunteers who bring the PLWA’s projects, like trivia events and educational materials, to life. Working with various partners, PLWA is able to pull from a deep well of passionate locals who care about the watershed and ensuring the health of the community.

Having only one full-time staff member, PLWA relies on their strong volunteer force and community partnerships to bring education to people in the region – in fun and novel ways, like through their watershed trivia.

“Volunteers helped to add area-specific components to the trivia questions for each community, so everything is really specialized to the different communities,” Carson says.

Connecting with existing events, like Canada Day festivities and community barbecues, the PLWA was able to bring their trivia to engaged audiences educating and engaging stakeholders to take action for a healthy watershed.

“Participating in these events really allowed us to tap into the community spirit,” Carson says. “It’s increased awareness of PLWA in the community and several people said that the trivia questions helped them think about aspects of the watershed they never had before.”

Local municipalities, local businesses, Battle River Watershed Alliance and the Pigeon Lake Chamber of Commerce are just a few of the partners PLWA work with to share knowledge and resources, ensuring residents from across the watershed have the knowledge they need to contribute to watershed health every day.

From passionate volunteers to engaged residents and local nonprofits, community spirit is the motor behind this educational effort. By educating locals who already know and love the area, the PLWA empowers people and organizations to be better stewards of the watershed.

“In all, it’s about fostering the community spirit. Caring for the watershed together makes people feel part of the community, and that makes for a healthier community,” Carson adds.

This valuable work is made possible by the Watershed Stewardship Grant, with funding from Alberta Environment and Protected Areas.

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