The Lake Windermere Ambassadors (LWA) are a society formed by a group of concerned citizens interested in directing water quality monitoring and stewardship of Lake Windermere, located in the Columbia Valley of British Columbia, Canada.
The work of the LWA builds on the successes of the Lake Windermere Project, which took place from 2005 to 2009. The Lake Windermere Project accumulated water monitoring equipment, an extensive library, and knowledge on lake monitoring protocols. These resources are now available to the community through the Lake Windermere Ambassadors.
The document below is a comprehensive report on the five-year Lake Windermere Project, and also serves as a water stewardship manual for use by the Lake Windermere Ambassadors and other lake stewardship groups across Canada.
Lake Windermere Ambassadors’ Timeline
|June 2010||Selection of a preliminary Board of Directors.|
|July 2010||1st Annual Lake Windermere Regatta celebrates the formation of the Lake Windermere Ambassadors while providing a fun day of lake and beach activities for the community.|
|October 2010||Lake Windermere Ambassadors register as a Society and become the “Lake Windermere Ambassadors Society”|
|January 2011||Ministry of Environment releases Water Quality Assessment and Objectives for Lake Windermere. These will guide future water quality monitoring work.|
|January 2011||Lake Windermere Management Plan released, which suggests a role for the LWA in implementing non-regulatory aspects.|
|2011||Ambassadors recognized as a model for water stewardship by Lake Winnipeg Foundation.|
|June 2011||District of Invermere Council approves designation of LWA as Lake Management Committee to implement the non-regulatory recommendations of the Lake Windermere Management Plan.|
|Sept 2012||Board retreat sets new direction for watershed work|
|April 2013||The Ambassadors host This is Our Watershed to create community conversation around defining the watershed, understanding its value for peoples, fish and wildlife habitat, and economic prosperity, and to share concerns while building a vision for the future.|
|May 2014||The first local watershed tours are provided by the Ambassadors by shuttle and pontoon boat. The tours are designed to promote public education among full-time and seasonal residents around the connections between lake health and activities in their watershed.|
|April 2015||The Ambassadors invite input from key community partners to revitalize the organizations’ vision and work plan, through a 2-day facilitated Strategic Planning Session.|
|June 2016||The Lake Windermere Ambassadors are designated the Lake Windermere Management Committee for a renewed 5-year term (2016-2021)|
|March 2017||“Collaborative Watershed Governance – Lessons Learned from Lake Windermere” is published, representing a summary of the governance role of the Ambassadors and lessons learned from the Ambassadors’ experience.|
|September 2017||The Ambassadors are the first community to bring the Stewardship Centre for BC’s Green Shores for Homes program to the interior portion of BC, and represent two local government partners on the Green Shores Local Government Working Group.|
|June 2018||A comprehensive case study report is published by the POLIS Water Sustainability Project, Living Lakes Canada, and the Columbia Basin Trust highlighting the role of the Lake Windermere Ambassadors in community engagement and watershed governance.|