Busy summer ends with SplashFest in High Prairie

Enviro-Quest Science Camp participants explore water quality at the Otauwau River south of Slave Lake earlier this summer. LSWC showed campers what it is like to work at one of LSWC’s water qquality monitoring sites on the Otauwau. Photo courtesy of Lesser Slave Watershed Council staff.

Kate Lovsin,
Watershed Coordinator,
Big Lakes County
ALUS Coordinator,
Lesser Slave
Watershed Council.

It has been a busy summer so far at the Lesser Slave Watershed Council between our regular water quality monitoring field work, our aquatic invasive species field work, managing tree planting with our ALUS projects, and the many different outreach events and celebrations.

On top of our water quality monitoring program, which has us out of the office to collect water quality data from across the Lesser Slave Watershed for two days every two weeks from late April to July, then once a month through August, September and October, we have been nearly as busy as field trip season with youth programming across the watershed.

With the High Prairie Municipal Library summer reading program, our first summer Kids Can Catch at Winagami, the Enviro-Quest Day Camp we co-host with the Lesser Slave Forest Education Society (LSFES) and the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation (BCBC), and our two upcoming events, the summer has been speeding by.

We were so fortunate to be invited to participate in the High Prairie summer reading program again this year, sharing information and knowledge about our local environment, water, and what we can do to protect our local environment, and be good stewards of the land.

You might have noticed a minor change to the sidewalks in High Prairie with the addition of green fish spray-painted by storm drains. We had the summer reading program to thank. This is part of Trout Unlimited’s Yellow Fish Road campaign to help keep our stormwater, which is untreated before returning to the lake, clean to prevent polluting Lesser Slave Lake.

And as part of the programming for the Enviro-Quest Science Camp, we showed campers what it is like to work at the LSWC, taking them to one of our water quality monitoring sites on the Otauwau River and doing an in depth analysis of the water quality there.

At the beginning of July, we also hosted our very first summer time Kids Can Catch at Winagami Lake where we offered attendees the opportunity to try fishing, win prizes, and enjoy a free barbecue. The first weekend after Canada Day is free fishing weekend in Alberta, so anyone could join the festivities. It was a wonderful day with over 150 folks stopping by on July 8! We had an activity stations thanks to the Lesser Slave Forest Education Society and the High Prairie Children’s Resource Council! We had fishing equipment to loan out, swag and giveaways, and hotdogs and hamburgers donated from ATCO.

We hope to see everyone out again next year for our second summer Kids Can Catch! Stay tuned!

And to top off the summer, we are hosting another event; also the second of its kind!

Please join us for our celebration of the watershed and the end of the summer: the LSWC’s exciting Second Annual SplashFest! SplashFest will be on Aug, 25 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Jaycee Park in High Prairie and all are welcome!

We will have activity stations like face painting, water quality testing, fishing games, free information and resources, and more! There will be a free barbecue (while supplies last), prizes for kids and giveaways! Mark your calendars because this is sure to be a fun time for everyone and a great way to close out the summer before back to school.

High Prairie Municipal Library summer reading program participating in Yellow Fish Road in High Prairie. Photo courtesy of Lesser Slave Watershed Council staff.

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