Bike tour raises awareness about watershed's importance
The Battle River Watershed Alliance and the cycling “Streamers” have completed a five-day, 550 km bike tour for the health of our watershed and communities.
On Sunday, June 17, nine cyclists left Battle Lake on a journey of watershed proportions.
“We recognize that in order to have healthy people and healthy communities, we need a healthy environment. That’s why we planned this ride,” says Nathalie Stanley, Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Battle River Watershed Alliance (BRWA). “We are 70 per cent water. We can’t pretend water quality doesn’t affect us!”
The number of cyclists varied by day, with 12 people taking part in at least one day of the tour. The longest day of the tour was the last day, covering 170 km from Edgerton to Battleford.
"It was an unreal experience to be able to dip my wheels where the Battle River starts at Battle Lake and then dip my wheels where it meets the North Saskatchewan River. Along the way I got to meet and ride with new people, cross the river multiple times and see new areas of the watershed,” commented Shane Mascarin, Range Biologist at CFW Wainwright. “It was an eye-opening experience to how great our little watershed is and the people it holds."
Along the way the BRWA held community events in Ponoka, Camrose, and Wainwright and visited classrooms in Ponoka and Hardisty to promote the message of how our health depends on our active lifestyles and clean environment.
In a community effort to collectively travel 7,500 km (a kilometre for every kilometre of tributaries of the Battle River) local citizens and citizens from Vancouver to Quebec to Germany biked, walked, rollerbladed and even canoed to show support for the ride.
“The support of our friends and community members was wonderful,” says Stanley. “We hope that the ride will inspire more people to get outside, be active and appreciate the beauty of our watershed. Appreciation of its beauty and the many valuable functions it provides is an important starting point for its protection.”
Alberta Health Services and the Camrose Wildlife Stewardship Society helped put on the event. Sponsors were: ATCO Power, Encana, Flagstaff County, PAMZ, UFA, Red the Agency and the Green Gear bike shop.
The Battle River Watershed Alliance is an inclusive, collaborative and consensus-based community partnership that is working to guide, support and deliver actions to sustain or improve the health of the Battle River watershed. The Alliance seeks to achieve this through knowledgeable community participation and an adaptive approach.
The Battle River Watershed Alliance represents government (municipal, provincial and federal), environmental organizations, industry, academia and private citizens in a collaborative initiative to plan for the sustainable management of land and water resources in the Battle River watershed.