In recognition of the commitment of the Kimiwan Lake Naturalists and the work of volunteers in maintaining the O’Mahony Conservation Area, Alberta Parks presented the group with the Outstanding Group Steward Award.
The Award is given in acknowledgment of a group’s contribution to the preservation and appreciation of a protected area.
The area, developed by the O’Mahony family, G.P. Vanier School and the local community, is not only a conservation area for birds, wildlife and vegetation but is also to be enjoyed in a recreational capacity.
To keep the O’Mahony Conservation area in ideal condition for visitors, including school field trips, birdwatchers, interest groups and cross-country skiing, the easily navigated, self-guided, interpretive trails are maintained by the Kimiwan Lake Naturalists and volunteers while at the same time ensuring that animal habitats and natural plant life are not encroached upon.
The O’Mahony Conservation Area is open year round for the public to visit.
While people are encouraged to come, and enjoy the area it is important that visitors remain mindful that it is first a conservation area and make every effort to preserve its natural equilibrium.
Along the wide, well-groomed trails, signs provide information on specific animals, plants, trees and other varieties of vegetation.
Some of the animals that make their habitat in the area are moose, white tailed deer, black bear, boreal chorus frog, snowshoe hare and the red backed vole.
Among the 96 species of birds identified in the area are the wood warbler, pileated woodpecker, bald eagle, northern saw-whet owl and the great grey owl.
Referring to the award, the citation on the Alberta Parks website reads:
The Kimiwan Lake Naturalists are a not-for-profit society based in their home community of McLennan, and strive to provide education and interpretation, research and habitat enhancement activities.
The Society maintains trails and facilities at O’Mahony Conservation Area, located at Winagami Lake Provincial Park.
Volunteers with the group regularly carry out maintenance activities, build infrastructure and conduct nature walks, all in recognition of the legacy and vision John O’Mahony left behind after his untimely death.
Philippa O’Mahony, Kimiwan Lake Naturalist’s President Mark Heckbert and Brent Currier travelled to Slave Lake to receive the 2016 Outstanding Group Steward Award and to attend the Alberta Parks volunteer conference held from September 9 to 11.