The Battle River Watershed Alliance (BRWA) was created in November 2006 as a non-profit society. Shortly after its formation, the BRWA was selected by Alberta Environment, under Water for Life: Alberta's Strategy for Sustainability, as the designated Watershed Planning and Advisory Council for the Battle River and Sounding Creek Watersheds in Alberta. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the land and water that drains into the Battle River and Sounding Creek.
Over the past 10 years, the BRWA has grown into a well-respected community organization across the region. Our work takes a balanced approach for healthy natural areas, resilient communities and a stable economy. The BRWA’s work focuses on three key areas: education and outreach, watershed management, and stewardship.
We hope this 10 years of Connection Timeline can demonstrate just a few of our successes. See more about our three strategic areas below.
The BRWA is provincially recognized as a leader in watershed education. We are the central Alberta coordinators of the Caring for our Watersheds program, which asks grade 7-12 students to submit a proposal on what they can do to improve their watershed. The BRWA also runs Experience your Watershed education programs, which are outdoor, place-based programs for students in grades 4-12. These programs draw connections between the health of our natural environment and the health of our communities.
The BRWA believes adults should experience their watershed too! That is why we host community events including the annual Watershed Festival and Saskatoon Pie Baking Competition, and outdoor activities such as the Rolling down the River bike trip and outdoor art classes.
In 2011, the BRWA released “Our Battle: The State of the Battle River and Sounding Creek Watersheds” report. This report gives a snapshot of the health of the watersheds, including water quality, water quantity, biodiversity, land use, and socio-economic indicators.
The BRWA works with stakeholders to develop recommendations for how to improve watershed health. We also encourage people to take action on those recommendations. For example, the BRWA worked with landowners to protect the water’s edge through the Ferry Point Reach and Ponoka Riparian Restoration Programs. The BRWA also worked with the County and City of Camrose to develop a Source Water Protection Plan for Dried Meat Lake.
The watershed is lucky to have passionate landowners and stewardship groups working to protect it. The BRWA supports and recognizes the work of stewards, including through the annual OTIS award. OTIS stands for being Outstanding in Stewardship and is awarded to a youth, a business or organization, and an individual for their efforts.
Stewardship can also be citizen science. The BRWA developed a water quality monitoring program called X-Stream Science in which students and stewards conduct sampling of streams. Water quality data is collected at sites across the watershed and compared over time.
The BRWA is governed by a Board of Directors and has several working committees. There are 5 staff who work out of the Gateway Centre in Camrose. Contact us if you are interested in learning more, or would like to be involved. You can call BRWA general manager David Samm at 780-672-0276, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Members of the BRWA Board and Staff at the December 2016 Board Meeting. Back Row (L to R): Sheila Logelin, David Samm, Bruce Cummins, Barb Bosh, John Pearson, Lorne Ferguson, Hugh Sanders, Susanna Bruneau. Front Row: Shane Mascarin, Arin MacFarlane-Dyer, Les Parsons, Midge Lambert, Jim Geddes, Sarah Skinner and Nathalie Olson.
Absent: Corinne Kelts, Wayne Richardson, Diane Hanson, Al Corbett, Melissa Orr-Langner, Jamie Bruha.
The BRWA would like to thank all of the board and committee members, staff, partners, and funders who have been involved in the last 10 years. Working together, the BRWA looks forward to what can be accomplished together in the next 10 years.