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Stewardship Showcase: Moose Lake Watershed Society

Posted July 14, 2020 by LSC

Situated west of Bonnyville, Alberta, Moose Lake is a relatively small lake that flows into the Beaver River. Its sandy beaches, campgrounds and opportunities for water-based activities have made it a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. While recreation and community growth are important to the region, human activity on and around lakes can have a negative impact on water quality and the surrounding native habitat. Over the years, as activity levels intensified and development pressures increased, people started to notice the health of Moose Lake was being affected.

A Community Responds

Moose Lake receives intense recreational use during summer, particularly on weekends, and has dense blooms of blue-green algae during late summer and fall. In 2002, a group of concerned volunteers formed the Moose Lake Water for Life Committee, which later became the Moose Lake Watershed Society (MLWS) in 2008. Their purpose was to address the health of Moose Lake, increase public knowledge, and improve water quality and fish and wildlife habitat. Since coming together, MLWS has focused much of their effort on raising awareness and educating lake residents and the public about lake heath and water quality, by reducing phosphorous loading and preventing riparian habitat damage. They have also completed numerous water quality studies and monitoring projects to gain a better understanding of the health of the watershed.

Supporting the Effort

Over the years, MLWS has worked closely with stakeholders including Lakeland Agricultural Research Association (LARA) and the Lakeland Industry & Community Association (LICA), the Watershed Planning and Advisory Council (WPAC) for the Beaver River Watershed for their events, activities and initiatives.

The MLWS has also received Watershed Stewardship Grant (WSG) funding for several projects, including their highly successful ‘Walking with Moose’ program, which has been running successfully for 11 years. The Walking with Moose program offers grade five students a day-long field trip to learn about biodiversity and habitat, water quality, healthy shorelines and forest ecology. Approximately 400 students participate in the program annually.

Staying Focused, Doing More

As part of their ongoing efforts, and with support from the Watershed Stewardship Grant, MLWS and LICA launched their second annual ‘Keep Our Lake Blue’ campaign, encouraging residents to set goals and take action to improve Moose Lake water quality by reducing runoff and decreasing phosphorous loading in the lake. Some of the 52 recommended ‘Keep Our Lake Blue activities include preventing runoff and pollutants from entering the lake by using water wisely, landscaping with native plants and establishing vegetative shoreline buffers. People who commit to taking action to improve the quality of Moose Lake’s water can sign up to receive a lawn sign.

“This year, in addition to the Keep Our Lake Blue campaign, we received funding to do more water quality monitoring, including tributary testing and individual basin sampling,” explains Kellie Nichiporik, chair of the Moose Lake Watershed Society. “We’ll compile water quality monitoring data from this year and previous years with the core sampling that was done last year to develop a nutrient budget for Moose Lake.”

Kellie goes on to explain that a nutrient budget will help target future restoration and education/awareness projects on Moose Lake to have the greatest impact possible with limited resources. Learn more about MLWS and their efforts here or on Facebook.


LSC and COVID-19: Preparing for Stage 2

Posted June 5, 2020 by LSC

In preparation for stage 2 of the Government of Alberta’s COVID-19 relaunch strategy, Land Stewardship Centre is preparing to implement the following actions on or after June 22, 2020:

  • Our office building – Imrie House – will be open during regular business hours (8:30 am – 4:30 pm Monday to Friday).
  • Capacity is limited to 6 people in the office at any one time.
  • Entry to the building is limited to staff, contractors, directors and visitors there for the purpose of conducting business with or for Land Stewardship Centre, the EcoServices Network or the Beaver Hills Biosphere.
  • Visitors not associated with Land Stewardship Centre, EcoServices Network or the Beaver Hills Biosphere are not permitted entry to Imrie House.
  • All staff, contractors, directors and visitors are expected to maintain physical distancing (2 metres) and will be required to:
  • People will not be permitted to enter Imrie House if they:
    • Have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose or shortness of breath (any symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing illness or medical condition).
    • Are a close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

The safety of the people we work with and our staff is a priority and we are committed to:

  • Cleaning regularly, especially in high traffic areas.
  • Wiping down and disinfecting surfaces.
  • Providing access to hand sanitizer.
  • Encouraging staff to stay home and away from others if sick.
  • Helping Albertans maintain physical distancing of 2 metres.
  • Having staff wear a face mask, where possible.

While we look forward to reengaging with people when permitted to do so, Land Stewardship Centre continues to maintain a work-from-anywhere policy and there is no expectation or requirement for staff or contractors to be present at Imrie House for regular work purposes. The re-opening of Imrie House is an opportunity for individuals to work and interact (respecting appropriate physical distancing and hygiene measures) in another venue should they feel comfortable and safe doing so.

If you have any questions please contact us at info@landstewardship.org


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