Rossland’s new streamkeepers group held two info sessions over the past couple of weeks, sharing its mission, vision and goals with members of the community who might be interested in joining the group.
“It was an opportunity to share information about our local creeks. I demonstrated an online GIS map of the watersheds in the Rossland Range area,” said Bill Coedy, who started the group. “This map has the capacity to add more stream attributes and data as it becomes known. It was a chance for me to meet other people with similar water interest and learn about what is important to them. I was looking for more historical accounts, issues/concerns and potential projects that streamkeeper volunteers could do.”
Coedy said the turnout at the meetings was good and attendees filled out a survey to share their interests and concerns.
“There were enough people interested to show support for the streamkeepers program,” he said. “Given the responses from the survey, people are interested in advancing our education about ecosystem health and water management.”
The group could implement an educational project as quickly as this year depending on funding opportunities. Students could be taught to measure stream flows and collect specimens — bugs, worms, flies, etc. — to determine their diversity and abundance.
Coedy said a dream project for the streamkeepers would be to measure the water levels and temperatures over time at fixed spots; the monitoring points and graphs of the changes could then be added to the GIS map. But the equipment needed is costly, and it’s probably not a good initial project for the streamkeepers.
The group was originally referred to as the Rossland Streamkeepers, but Coedy says that following feedback from the info sessions, a new name may need to be chosen to represent a broader area that includes more watersheds and more people.
The group is only just getting started and there’s still work to be done to refine its mandate and objectives, but now that the group has some volunteers, that work can begin.
“Now that we have a group, it’s time to put our heads together and discuss our scope, direction and prioritize some of the issues,” said Coedy. “Then we can plan our projects and strategize how to obtain the necessary materials to achieve the goals. Once the snow is gone, we can have some fun and adventure by visiting some of the areas we would like to study.”
Coedy is still looking for anyone who can contribute information on the history of Trail, Hanna, Topping, Murphy Creek or West Little Sheep Creek. He’d also like to know if any of the local hiking paths skirt any of the creeks.
Those with information, or who would like to know more about the streamkeepers, can contact Coedy at email@example.com.