Community Awareness and Involvement

Several projects encompass the goal to heighten awareness in and the involvement of the communities within the watershed.

Poster Contest

Arisha_copy_4_003.jpgStarting in November 2009, the MRWCC initiated a watershed-wide poster contest that was open to youths in Kindergarten through Grade 8.

Each year students are given a theme and are asked to illustrate the theme by drawing a picture. over the years the program has increased in participation. Judges are chosen to conduct a difficult task of selecting the winners for each grade. Each year, all winners are invited to accept their prizes at the MRWCC's Community Appreciation Forum.

Prizes are made possible by ATB Financial and Alberta Emerald Foundation.


Yellow Fish Road

painted_fish_0.jpgThe Yellow Fish Road program was developed by Trout Unlimited Canada and is designed to increase awareness of stormwater impacts on receiving water and aquatic life. Essentially, the message is that material that washes into storm drains (i.e. oil, soap, soil, debris and garden chemicals) will flow untreated into our creeks, rivers and aquifers. Local students within the Milk River Watershed Council Canada are encouraged to participate in the Yellow Fish Road program by painting yellow fishes - using eco-friendly paint - along with the words "Rainwater Only" beside storm drains in their communities.

In 2014, the MRWCC, Milk River Town Office and students and teachers of the Erle River Middle School partnered to deliver the program.

Agrium Caring for our Watershed Contest

groupphot.jpgIn the fall of 2009, Agrium approached the MRWCC to be a community partner and help deliver this great opportunity to schools within the watershed. The Caring for our Watershed contest invited students in grades 7 through 12 to learn about their watershed, identify a concern and then propose a realistic solution for it.

In 2009, 27 grade eight students participated, with 6 of them continuing on to the top 10 in the Grade 7 through 9 category. Their initial project took the form of a 1000 word essay, accompanied by a power point presentation. The second phase was to orally present their project to a new panel of judges. Please click here for final results. This photo shows the contestants from Milk River at the Calgary Zoo, venue for the oral part of the contest: l to r, Trey Blackmer, Sierra Harty, Jace Doenz, Tierra Maggrah, Jalen Hulit and Maya DeGrood.

In 2011, two students from Erle Rivers School, Jessie Tollestrup and Jodi Doenz participated in the contest and were among the winners who were announced May 1st at the 2011 final competition.

In 2017, Robin Stelten and Brooke Johnston implemented their 2015/2016 project “Hawk Nesting Platforms”. Robin and Brooke were concerned about the impact of rodenticides on local raptor populations and wanted to encourage local farmers to decrease the use of rodenticides, instead relying on raptors to control gopher and ground squirrel populations. One of these nest was occupied! 



Water Conservation

Education in Xeriscape Landscapes

Steves_place2.jpgDerived from the Greek word xeros, meaning dry, 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 colorful landscape using drought tolerant plants. The MRWCC hosted a Prairie Landscape and Garden Workshop and Tour on September 19, 2009. Forty participants received instruction on the 7 principles of xeriscaping from a professional landscape designer and then toured 4 homes in Lethbridge that have successfully implemented a xeriscape landscape plan (photo to the right). A hands-on follow-up workshop was held on February 20, 2010 with Steve MacRae of Prairie Xeriscape Design, Lethbridge. Steve discussed xeriscape principles and practices and met with each landowner to review the designs that they had prepared prior to the workshop.


Xeriscape Project

In 2018 work began to acquire a plan and implement it on the area in front of Town Hall. MRWCC and the Town of Milk River worked with Steve MacRae to design a plan for both the North and South portions. Ground broke on the North section in Spring 2018. Students from Erle Rivers High School assisted in the planting of specific plants. Upkeep could not be possible without some awesome dedicated volunteers!20180719_104651.jpg

To see pictures of the progression of this years project here