On a hot summer day, the cool waters of Chestermere Lake draw residents and visitors who are eager to enjoy some recreation and relaxation on one of Alberta’s limited bodies of water.
A group of local residents recognize that to keep the lake in good condition, it must be protected and preserved. One of the ways they hope to do that is through the recently revived Watershed Committee.
“To me, the lake is the jewel in Chestermere’s crown,” says committee chair Louise Cox. “The lake is an essential part of our community and so working to preserve the health of it, and all of our water bodies, is to the benefit of all.”
Originally active from 1996 to 2009, the Watershed Committee’s original mandate was to ‘work with the government and Western Irrigation District through education…in an effort to keep the lake clean and healthy’.
This newly revived committee, made up of dedicated volunteers, seeks to expand that vision to include the entire watershed (rivers, canals, underground aquafers, storm ponds, and wetlands) into their sphere of care.
The committee is looking at a variety of future initiatives but for this summer, they plan to focus initial efforts on an increasingly concerning threat to the watershed: aquatic invasive species.
“The threat of aquatic invasive species in our lake continues to grow. In partnership with City staff, we are going to be working to increase awareness around these threats and educate lake users about what they can do to help keep our lake healthy,” says Cox.
Committee members will be organizing various public awareness initiatives this summer including visiting with lakefront businesses and community groups, sharing information at Water Festival, connecting with lakefront owners, and sharing information on social media.
“Fresh water is one of our greatest natural resources,” says Councillor Heather Davies, “and with a combined effort we can ensure our grandchildren will be able to enjoy the lakes, rivers and streams that we are so fortunate to have today.”
Watershed committee members include Louise Cox, Cody Cuthill, Dev Pawaroo, Jason McKee, Brandy Tuchscherer, Councillor Jennifer Massig and Councillor Heather Davies.