Events

Working Well Workshop

The Milk River Watershed Council Canada in association with the County of Warner presents the Working Well Workshop, February 9, 2017 at the Heritage Hall in Milk River starting at 3pm. Click here for more information.

Thank you for being a part of our Fall Hike Tour!

The Milk River Watershed Council Canada 2016 Fall Hike Tour was held on October 1, 2016 at the Pinhorn Grazing Reserve and Milk River Canyon.

We wish to thank the tour organizers and participants for making this tour a success. A big thank you goes to Dennis Spackman and Writing On Stone Provincial Park for providing transportation for the tour and Wendy Sloboda for her informative presentation on dinosaurs in the area.

We hope you had a great time!

2016 Annual Canoe Tour

The MRWCC wishes to thank the organizing committee and the participants of the 2016 Annual Canoe Tour which took place on Saturday, June 18, 2016.

The tour was launched at Weir Bridge and ended at the Deer Creek Bridge. 21 people canoed this gentle reach of the Milk River. Apart from a couple of canoes capsizing, the participants enjoyed themselves on this temperate day with perfect weather and flow on the river. The group canoed for approximately 4 hours, briefly stopping over to check out the Thunderbird rock art and later for a delightful lunch prepared by Laura Balog at the Writing on Stone Provincial Park beach. After lunch the group briefly stopped at Roy Audet's property to explore the beautiful, blooming yucca gardens before proceeding to the final destination, the Deer Creek Bridge.

Special thanks go to Ken Brown for supplying canoes, Ed Sloboda for taking photographs, Roy and Christy Audet for showcasing their yucca gardens, and Dennis Spackman for providing transport for the group.

Stay tuned for our next annual Canoe Tour!

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Xeriscape Workshop and Gardening Tour Report

The Milk River Watershed Council Canada, in conjunction with the Town of Milk River, recently hosted a Xeriscape Workshop and Tour in Milk River on June 11, 2016.

Steve MacRae, a Xeriscape Professional Landscaper from Lethbridge, gave an informative presentation on the overview of xeriscape principles, elements of xeriscape designs, and soil assessment.

The objectives of the workshop and tour were to:

  • To increase awareness of the need for water conservation within the Milk River watershed
  • To highlight practical approaches to landscaping in a semi-arid environment for home and business owners
  • To demonstrate that beauty need not be sacrificed with xeriscaping

Xeriscape is a term derived from the Greek word “xeros”, meaning “dry” and when combined with landscape, it means water efficient landscape design and practice. This gardening strategy allows the home or business owner to create and maintain a varied and colourful landscape plan that uses native and drought tolerant plants. Not to be confused with Zeroscaping which is primarily the use of rock and hardened surfaces in place of plants.

We live in a semi-arid climate, with extreme temperatures, intense sunshine, high winds, and low precipitation. This water conservation landscape plan can help conserve water.

Some benefits of xeriscaping:

Saves Water
  • For most of North America, ~50% of residential water is used for landscaping and lawns
  • Xeriscape can reduce landscape water use by 50 - 75%
Less Maintenance
  • Aside from occasional pruning and weeding, maintenance is minimal
  • Watering requirements are low, and can be met with simple irrigation systems
  • No fertilizers or pesticides
  • Using plants native to the Milk River area will eliminate the need for chemical supplements
  • Sufficient nutrients are provided by healthy soil
Improves Property Value
  • A good Xeriscape can raise property values which may offset the cost of installation
  • Protect your landscaping investment by drought-proofing it
Pollution Free
  • Fossil fuel consumption from gas mowers is minimized or eliminated with minimal turf areas
  • Small turf areas can be maintained with a reel mower
Provides Wildlife Habitat
  • Use of native plants, shrubs, and trees offers a familiar and varied habitat for local wildlife

We wish to thank home owners for allowing us to showcase their beautiful yards, participants for taking the time to attend the workshop and tour, Steve MacRae for his excellent presentation, Janie King for providing snacks to participants, and last but not least the CAIT Team for planning this event, particularly Raymond Baril who did most of the work to ensure that the event was successful. For those who plan to implement the ideas presented, we wish you great success!!

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Thank You For Attending The Milk River Watershed Council Canada 11th Annual General Meeting - May 31, 2016!

The MRWCC wishes to thank the 11th AGM organizing committee, presenters and participants for making this AGM a success! A big thank you goes to all the sponsors who continuously support the MRWCC initiatives.
 
Presentations and a list of sponsors can be viewed by clicking the links below:

AGM Minutes

MRWCC Activity Report

Water Quality and Pesticides

Alternative Land Use Services

South of the Divide Conservation Action Program

List of Sponsors

2016 Spring Hike Tour - Twin River Provincial Grazing Reserve - April 22

We wish to thank the organizers, participants, and landowners/managers for a successful Spring Hike Tour on April 22, 2016 at the Twin River Provincial Grazing Reserve.

Please watch out for our next Hike Tour this fall!!


2015 MRWCC Hike Tour

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The Milk River wishes to thank organizers and participants for another successful Hike Tour this year. Thirty three people attended the 2015 Hike Tour which took place on September 26, 2015 at the Pinhorn Grazing Reserve and Milk River Canyon. The goal of the tour was to showcase the Milk River watershed’s extraordinary landscape that includes rolling grasslands and diverse plant and wildlife communities. 

Many thanks go to Ed Sloboda for safely guiding the tour and driving the bus; Wendy Sloboda for her educational presentation on Paleontology within the Milk River watershed; and William King for the historic information.

Look out for our next Hike Tour coming in fall 2016!!

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Thanks to the volunteers who came to pull weeds at W-O-S-P-P on June 16, 2015!!

The Writing-On-Stone-Provincial Park in conjunction with the MRWCC hosted a weed pull day to control Dalmatian toadflax within the hoodoo trails of the W-O-S-P-P on June 16.

7 volunteers and 6 Park staff picked 9 bags of Dalmatian toadflax, an invasive species that is designated noxious in the province of Alberta. This is a second year that the two organizations have partnered with an effort to control this invasive species.

Many thanks to the volunteers who took the time to help with the weed pulling.

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2015 Annual Canoe Trip - June 6

Each year the MRWCC plans an annual Canoe Trip. Depending on weather and/or river flow conditions, we have had to cancel the trip in some years. This year’s Canoe Trip was held on Saturday, June 6, a little earlier in the season than past trips. Conditions were excellent for the trip. Twenty eight participants launched the trip from Gold Springs Park and canoed 19 km east to the trip destination, the Coffin Bridge. The trip took about 4.5 hours with a short lunch break. This reach of the river has its challenges for canoers due to many rock gardens and hidden boulders on some parts of the river. It was quite an adventure.

One cannot quite grasp how unique and beautiful this river is until you canoe it. On this reach, the river cuts a passage through sandstones cliffs and hoodoos. As we canoed the river, we witnessed a rich and diverse wildlife community. It is important to note that bank erosion is a big problem on the river.

The MRWCC would like to thank all participants of the Canoe Trip. We hope that you enjoyed yourself! If you have any feedback or suggestions to improve on our future canoe trips please contact us.

Thanks to Ed Sloboda for taking the time to safely drive the bus to transport participants to the launching site.

Special thanks go to Ken and Wendy Brown of the Milk River Raft Tours for their excellent guiding skills and providing the crafts.

Please lookout for information on our future canoe trips!!

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Thank You for Making the 10th MRWCC Annual General Meeting (AGM) a Success!!

The MRWCC celebrated their 10th Anniversary AGM on April 16, 2015. One hundred and eight participants attended the AGM, including thirty three participants who attended the school poster contest awards. This year’s participants comprised of residents from across the watershed, MRWCC members, Municipal representatives, Government representatives and other stakeholders. The MRWCC wishes to thank all participants, Presenters and sponsors for their support in making this milestone a successful event.

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Presentations

A big thank you to our Sponsors!!

Riparian Tree Planting Field Days - October 16 and 17, 2014

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This past summer the MRWCC submitted a funding application to Canon Take Root and Evergreen Grant Program and received $5,000.00 grant and a camera that was used to capture the watershed restoration efforts. Canon and Evergreen partnered to offer the Take Root Grant Program, which provides funding for stewardship and restoration activities across Canada.

MRWCC in partnership with the County of Warner and Cows and Fish championed the project with the Red Creek Watershed Group to plant trees and shrubs on selected sites along the Red Creek. Riparian Health Assessments carried out on the areas determined that one of the major finding was that there were a number of sites along the Milk River that required conservation efforts such as control of invasive plant species and river bank stabilization to control erosion. Initially, two sites were chosen but there was so much interest in the project that in the end 6 sites were completed.  Native shrubs and tree cuttings were planted to offer natural bank stabilization and restore the sites. The restoration events took place over several days as follows:

  • October 2, 2014 – Project Coordinators from MRWCC, County of Warner and Cows and Fish met and went through the chosen areas. It was decided that there was interest to plant more native shrub and tree cuttings hence four more locations were chosen on SE-28-1-15 W4, NW-11-1-16 W4, and SW-5-1-16 W4.
  • October 13, 14, and 15, 2014 - Volunteers were mobilized to pull invasive plants and prepare planting stock and also prepare the areas for planting.
  • October 16 and 17 - Volunteers planted a total of 4,500 of the following native shrubs and trees:
    • Yellow and Sandbar Willow
    • Balsam Poplar
    • Black and Plains Cottonwood
    • Chokecherry
    • Saskatoon
    • Buffalo Berry
    • Hawthorn
    • Wild Rose

Bank erosion is a major problem on the river. The sites are generally susceptible to erosion due to a combination of erodible valley wall deposits and lack of vegetation.  In the spring of 2015, there are plans to remove non-native invasive species from the areas followed by planting native rooted materials. The native vegetation will jump-start the restoration process, restoring healthy stream banks, and providing important habitat for fish and wildlife. The sites will be used as demonstration sites.

The MRWCC, County of Warner and Cows and Fish would like to thank all the volunteers. This project would not be possible without their support; Land owners for providing their land for the project; and the Canon Take Root and Evergreen for the funding opportunity.

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and Weed Pull - September 23, 2014

Website.JPGThe Milk River Watershed Council Canada & Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park hosted the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup 2014 and Weed Pull September 23. It was a productive day as volunteers picked up litter along the shore both at the Weir bridge and Writing On Stone Provincial Park beach site in the morning. It was amazing how clean the park was. Thanks to the Park management for keeping a clean park. In the afternoon volunteers pulled about 10 bags of Dalmatian Toadflax, a noxious weed in Alberta which has been found on some parts of the hoodoo trails of the park.

We would like to thank all volunteers for their support, without the support it would be impossible to carry out these worthy projects.

2014 MRWCC Annual Hike Tour - October 4

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The MRWCC hosted the 2014 Annual Hike Tour on October 4, 2014 at the Pinhorn Grazing Reserve and Milk River Canyon.

The goal of the tour was to showcase the Milk River watershed’s extraordinary landscape that includes rolling grasslands and diverse plant and wildlife communities. 

We wish to thank all participants for joining us as we explored the extraordinary landscape of the Milk River Canyon.

Special thanks go to the presenters:

Francois Blouin who presented on the status of the key wildlife in the area,

Wendy Sloboda who presented on the area paleontology,

William King who gave a brief history of the area.

And last but not least, our tour guide and bus driver Ed Sloboda, who safely drove the participants to the area and back!!

2012 WPAC Summit Report

The Milk River Watershed Council Canada (MRWCC) hosted the 2012 Watershed Planning and Advisory Council (WPAC) Summit, September 24 to 27. The Summit agenda was packed with informative and interesting topics. This year's Summit was a combination of field tours as well as room presentations. To view the complete summit report please click here.  Videography of the event with full presentations is available through the Landuse Knowledge Network at  http://www.landusekn.ca/resource/wpac-summit-2012-albertas-watersheds   

WPACs are multi-stakeholder, non-profit organizations established under Alberta’s Water for Life Strategy to assess the conditions of their watershed and develop plans and activities to address watershed issues.

The WPAC Summit is an annual event that provides an opportunity for the eleven Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils within Alberta to collaborate and discuss their current initiatives and opportunities to improve their ability to cooperate on common activities and challenges.

The MRWCC wishes to thank the WPAC Summit Planning Committee for presenting a successful event and all the sponsors for their ongoing support.  You can view all sponsors of the 2012 WPAC Summit  here.  Thank you!!