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Stewardship Showcase: Wizard Lake Watershed and Lake Stewardship Association



Stewardship Showcase

Nov. 20, 2021
Presenting a binder to longtime resident, Ken L.
Presenting a binder to longtime resident, Ken L.

What it Means to Live in a Watershed, Hand Delivered

A popular recreational lake located about an hour southwest of Edmonton, interest in the health of Wizard Lake dates back to the first lake management plan of 1980. This interest was rekindled during discussions for a draft 1998 lake management plan that was subsequently not adopted. Following that, a small group of motivated residents, interested in the concept of lake stewardship, wanted to create a forum for community members to take ownership and responsibility for the health and future of Wizard Lake, and participate in future lake management discussions1.

The current Wizard Lake Watershed and Lake Stewardship Association (WLWLSA) was formed in 2006 and, since that time, the Association has taken on a range of initiatives in support of its mission to enhance and protect the sustainability of the lake for the benefit of inhabitants and users alike.

But despite their considerable efforts, the WLWLSA board of directors, as of late, have been challenged to effectively communicate accurate and clear lake health information to landowners.

“We have found that community members still have a lack of information on key issues,” explains Blake Bartlett, Chair of the Association.

“We continue to receive repeated questions about best management practices and requests for information about the general health of the lake.”

So, with funding from Land Stewardship Centre’s Watershed Stewardship Grant in 2020, WLWLSA hired a consultant to collate all existing water quality data performed at Wizard Lake in the past 15 years and summarize the results of the analysis in a plain language document they could use to support their community outreach efforts.

The final product, a binder consisting of a considerable collection of information focused on helping people understand what it means to live in a watershed, includes 30 sleeves containing pertinent information from the Government of Alberta factsheets, local municipalities, North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance, ALUS, Cows and Fish as well as the consultant’s water quality data summary report.

In summer 2021, approximately 400 copies of the binder were distributed – hand delivered – to residences in the watershed, with future plans to present copies to Leduc County and County of Wetaskiwin No. 10 councils.

On the heels of this substantial outreach effort, the next step for WLWLSA is to host an open house with the consultant who completed the water quality data summary work. The goal is to highlight the recommendations from the report and have an open discussion around pressing issues in and around the lake.

When asked why these extra efforts, like hand-delivering the binder, are so important, Blake responds,

“This allows everyone with an interest in the health of the lake to have a common understanding of what we need to do and how we can get there together.”

Wizard Lake Facts [2]

  • Area 610 acres
  • Maximum depth 36.1 feet / 11.0 meters
  • Average depth 20.3 feet / 6.2 meters
  • Maximum width 0.34 miles / 0.54 kilometers
  • Length 7.2 miles / 11.59 kilometers

[1] History of WLWLSA
[2] Atlas of Alberta Lakes, University of Alberta Press