Vermilion River Watershed Restoration and Enhancement Project

By: Vermilion River Watershed Alliance

In the spirit of shared environmental goals and collaboration, the Vermilion River Watershed Alliance (VRWA) worked with local, agricultural landowners, municipalities, and students to enhance and restore over 20 kilometres of riparian areas along the Vermilion River, creeks, and tributaries and 157 hectares of wetlands within the Vermilion River Watershed. In partnership with the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance, and through grant funding from the Alberta Government and Environment and Climate Change Canada, particpants proposed a variety of projects on their land that would protect wetlands and riparian zones. These projects included fencing sensitive ecological areas to mitigate negative effects from livestock, installing off-stream watering systems to improve water quality, planting native grasses and trees to improve erosion control, and planting Eco-buffers to increase biodiversity and provide ecotourism and teaching opportunities. Over 30 landowners participated in the brand-new program over the course of four years (2016-2019). This initiative was further enhanced through collaborative partnerships with local municipalities, Lakeland College, and other non-profit organizations such as Alberta Woodlot Extension Society, Cows and Fish, and ALUS Canada – Vermilion River. As a result of the initial success of this program, the VRWA will continue this work in additional municipalities within the watershed, thus expanding the overall positive environmental reach of these efforts.

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