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Stewardship Showcase: Mayatan Lake Management Association



Stewardship Showcase

Mar. 22, 2021
Walter Neilson looks out over Mayatan Lake.
Walter Neilson looks out over Mayatan Lake.

Mayatan Lake Management Association knows that a plan without action is just a dream. Instead of allowing their watershed management plan to collect dust, they utilized their Watershed Stewardship Grant funding to move words to action. Learn more about this local stewardship group’s recent efforts.

Protecting the watershed

The association, which formed in 2010 in response to development pressures at Mayatan Lake, works to protect the lake for current and future generations. This local, volunteer-led association provides a forum for the community to discuss, advocate and educate the public on actions to preserve and protect the Mayatan Lake watershed.

A clear plan of action

A popular recreational fishing spot, efforts to ensure Mayatan Lake remains sustainable and thriving began years ago and continue. The North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance (NSWA) first developed The Mayatan Lake State of the Watershed Report in 2012, followed by the Mayatan Lake Watershed Management Plan in 2016. The management plan, completed through a partnership between NSWA, MLMA, Alberta Environment and Parks, Parkland County and other key stakeholders, outlined 39 policy, technical, and stewardship recommendations for the watershed.

In 2019, with funding from the Watershed Stewardship Grant (WSG) program, the MLMA began to put some of the recommendations from the plan into action. This project, aimed to improve and maintain the health of the watershed, aligned with the goals of the Alberta Government’s Water for Life Strategy.

“The management plan has no value without commitment to implementation,” explains Walter Neilson, President of the MLMA. “This project ensured the Mayatan Lake Watershed Management Plan continues to be a living document.”

The association’s activities within the last year have been varied. Following recommendations in the plan, the MLMA installed signage on the boat launch advising lake users about invasive species, engaged in Alberta Lake Management Society’s LakeKeepers program testing two additional basins, and planned several educational days, shoreline clean ups and workshops, which were postponed due to COVID-19.

Adapting during the pandemic

Despite the pandemic, keeping the momentum is critical and continuing with the Implementation of the Mayatan Lake Watershed Management Plan is key to ensuring the long-term health of the Lake. Walter and the MLMA have big plans for the future but recognize the importance of ongoing funding to their efforts.

“We are a small association with limited funding and without the funding provided through the Watershed Stewardship Grant program, our association would simply not be able to carry out its work,” says Walter. “In our view, lake watershed management is vitally important work and requires a stable funding framework.”

Learn more about The Mayatan Lake Management Association and other community-based stewardship projects funded through the WSG since 2006 in our WSG Story Map.