Below is a list of past events hosted or co-hosted by the Lake Windermere Ambassadors:
Valley Appreciation Day
June 20, 2019
The Lake Windermere Ambassadors along with Columbia Lake Stewardship Society attended the 2019 Valley Appreciation day events. Although it rained the whole morning, it didn’t keep people away from all the fun. Our booth included a bean bag toss and lots of prizes to give away. We got to talk to a lot of locals and visitors to teach them about the lake and what we do. The event included lots of nonprofits and local businesses, as well as a delicious pancake breakfast.
Laird Environmental Education Fair (LEEF)
On May 28th, the Lake Windermere Ambassadors attended the Laird Environmental Education Fair (LEEF). This
event is organized by the teachers at J. A. Laird Elementry school in which the students in grades 3-6 design environmentally themed projects. Here we got the chance to talk to the students about the importance of a healthy lake as well as water stewardship. Attending this event also gave us a chance to see the kid’s projects and hear about the research they have done. From Bees to Tsunamis, it was very interesting to talk about the concerns the students had for the future. A lot of the major environmental issues we face today have a short deadline in which they need to be resolved. It is reassuring to know there are so many bright minds on their way to exploring the solutions.
2019 Paddle Palooza
On May 11th, we partnered with Columbia River Paddle and hosted the second annual Paddle Palooza. Throughout the day there were many fun water based activities such as stand-up paddle board yoga, kayak races, voyager canoe water ski challenge, and water rescue demonstrations from Fire and Rescue and Adventure Paddle School. Columbia River Paddle and Syndicate provided free demos for a variety of different non-motorized watercraft. Participants were also able to enjoy face painting, BBQ lunch, beach yoga, silent auction and live music in the evening at Ullr bar. We aimed to increase awareness of the new ‘Slow/No Wake’ buoys installed by the Lake Windermere Ambassadors. The hope of these buoys is to provide a safe area within Tayton Bay for all to enjoy. Huge thank you to all of our fantastic sponsors that donated a variety of silent auction items, their time, and other valuable resources!
May 7, 2019
This year we introduced eight people to water sampling on Windermere Creek. We tested water quality and quantity, and highlighted our new flow loggers. This was made possible thanks to generous funding from District of Invermere, Regional District of East Kootenay, Columbia Basin Trust, and the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund.
2019 Spring Shoreline Clean Up
April 28, 2019 and May 6, 2019
18 volunteers came out to Kinsmen Beach and removed 75kg of waste from the Lake Windermere Shoreline! The Cleanup was supported by the District of Invermere, Regional District of East Kootenay, Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Valley Community Foundation, and Cafe Allium. Volunteers enjoyed a delicious waste free picnic lunch provided for free from Cafe Allium!
A few days later we had three classes from JA Laird volunteer to clean up James Chabot Beach where we removed 5kg of waste! Thank you to Mr. Dainard, Mrs. Wilisky, and Mrs. Daniele’s classes!
Thank you to everyone who helped make it happen!
2019 Whiteway Cleanup
22 committed volunteers showed up for our Whiteway Cleanup, supported by the District of Invermere, Regional District of East Kootenay, Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club and AG Valley Foods. Together we collected about 5 pounds of waste and debris from the frozen lake! By far the item we saw in the highest quantity was dog poop! Don’t forget to pick up after your pets, even when the air is chilly!
Huge thank you to all of our fantastic volunteers, and to AG Valley Foods for feeding everybody! Thanks to everybody’s help, our shorelines and waterways are much cleaner and our fish and wildlife will be healthier!
2018 Summer Splash
August 18, 2018
Despite the cool and smoky weather on the morning of Saturday, August 18th, dozens of community members and their families joined the Lake Windermere Ambassadors for an educational public event and community celebration of Lake Windermere, at James Chabot Provincial Park in Athalmer, BC.
Green Shores for Homes: LEVEL 1
August 11, 2018
Our host, Megan Turnock, a landscape architect and planner from Vancouver, BC, enlightened our group about aspects of shoreline governance, native planting, and each of the Green Shores “credits” for shoreline restoration, including suggestions for improving shoreline processes, shoreline habitats, water quality, and stewardship.
The best part of the workshop was actually practising hands-on shoreline design, based on the Green Shores principles. After completing the classroom session and training sketches, our group headed into the field to practice implementing these best practices for some of the retaining walls on properties around the lake.
Shuswap Band Youth Summer Program
July 24, 2018
The Ambassadors had a fantastic afternoon with the Youth Program! Our group of 12 learned all about stewarding our waters and protecting our resources, including learning how to recognise invasive mussels, how to use the water monitoring equipment, and also how to monitor without using any equipment at all – with only our senses, like smell, touch, hearing, and sight!
This youth group’s passion for the water was clear: everybody’s favourite part of the day was a swim relay where we had to spout off one thing we had learned that day. We look forward to seeing how these youth will grow up to become future land and water stewards!
Columbia River Treaty Community Information Night
10 people attended this free community information session regarding recent updates and negotiations about the Columbia River Treaty. Participants learned about the history of the treaty, its developments over time, and the current issues on the table for both Canadian and US leaders.
A question period was held and participants aired their concerns about potential impacts of the treaty on this headwaters region, including recognising the historical and current impacts to local First Nations by the treaty dams, and concerns over future hydropower development and river diversions.
Stream Education with Know Your Watershed
June 18-19, 2018
The LWA helped teach two Grade 5/6 and 4/5 classes about benthic macroinvertebrates in our streams and rivers, along with Jessie King, Wildsight’s Know Your Watershed educator. More than 45 kids took part in afternoon water quality and invertebrate I.D. sessions, learning all about the important role that invertebrates play in our watershed systems!
Spring Shoreline Cleanup
May 26th, 2018
More than 30 people showed up for our spring shoreline cleanup, supported by the District of Invermere, Regional District of East Kootenay, Invermere Home Hardware, and Rocky River Grill. Together we filled two pickup truck beds with waste and debris that had collected on our shorelines! Some of the stranger items collected included a baby car seat, an old ski boot, and bicycle tire.
Huge thank you to all of our fantastic volunteers, and to Rocky River Grill for feeding everybody! Thanks to everybody’s help, our shorelines and waterways are much cleaner and our fish and wildlife will be healthier!
Nuisance Nutrients Learning Workshop
April 14th, 2018
We had 8 attendees for our educational and immersive Nuisance Nutrients learning workshop in mid-April, including two representatives from local golf courses. Participants learned about the negative impacts of common nuisance nutrients such as Phosphorous and Nitrogen, and learned ways to test for these nutrients in their own waterways. The best part of the day was heading down to James Chabot beach to collect some water samples and do some in situ water testing. All the participants were able to speak to their own experiences or concerns about nutrient impacts in their favourite watershed. Everybody also learned how they can help minimize their own nutrient impacts in their watershed.
For more information, see our Nuisance Nutrients brochure, here!
Water Data Hub
November 29-30, 2017
Living Lakes Canada hosted an open-source water data dialogue for the Columbia Basin, which the LWA attended and learned a ton about housing water data, data sharing, and monitoring strategies. Experts from across Canada and the US convened in Invermere to network and discuss for this two-day event.
The Ambassadors’ Program Coordinator co-facilitated a world cafe (pictured, right), and helped contribute to making plans towards a monitoring framework for the Columbia Basin.
For more information and a summary of the proceedings from the event, please visit: http://www.livinglakescanada.ca/news/press-release-proceedings-of-columbia-basin-water-protection-conference-now-available/
Lake Management Plan Report Card Open House
November 25th, 2017
The LWA held an open house / information session for the public to explain the LWA’s new Report Card, which is a summary of the progress made implementing the Lake Windermere Management Plan recommendations to date. Attendees learned more about the Lake Management Committee and voiced their concerns about lake management and regulation enforcement on Lake Windermere. These concerns were brought before local government by the LWA and steps are now being taken to address these issues through public education by the Lake Management Committee.
More information about the report card and the Lake Windermere Management Plan can be found on our website, under “Documents”.
Green Shores for Lake Windermere
Green Shores for Homes is a program of the Stewardship Centre for BC that promotes and guides homeowners to restore more naturalized shorelines along their waterfront property.
DG Blair, the Executive Director of the Stewardship Centre for BC, attended and hosted the preliminary “barriers and breakthroughs” discussion workshop in Invermere, BC.
Attendees gave valuable feedback about future implementation of the Green Shores for Homes program on Lake Windermere and contributed to ideas for how to make the program more widely adopted and successful in our region.
For more about the Green Shores program, visit www.greenshores.ca
March 21st, 2017
The Lake Windermere Ambassadors hosted an evening dialogue, featuring talks by Martin Carver and past program coordinator Megan Peloso, as part of Canada Water Week celebrations.
Canada Water Week parallels the first week of spring, when streams and rivers are once again super-charged with melted snow and ice, called the “freshet”.
This event featured Martin Carver presenting the new CBT Report: Water Monitoring and Climate Change in the Upper Columbia Basin, and Megan Peloso presenting summary results of the last season’s sampling on Lake Windermere.
This event also featured the launch of the Ambassadors’ new video, aimed at promoting the activity of the Ambassadors and encouraging viewers to take action on stewardship in their watershed. You can watch this video on our homepage!
No Litter Left Behind in Shoreline Cleanup
September 20th, 2016
Due to their proximity to flowing waterways, shorelines are particularly vulnerable to harmful effects of litter, which can alter sensitive ecosystem functions and critical habitat for both land-based and aquatic wildlife.
Protecting, restoring and enhancing the quality of the shoreline to improve ecosystem functioning is an important objective set out in the Lake Windermere Management Plan. Lake Windermere is also a source for drinking water, and what goes into the lake has direct implications for human health and safety.
Tens of thousands of Canadians band together every September to fight shoreline litter by recording what types of litter are found and taking informed action to prevent pollution at its source.
The image to the right captures volunteers collecting data on the number of types of litter removed from Kinsmen Beach. In a single morning, thanks to an awesome crew, our local shorelines were relieved of many harmful litter items, such as small stray pieces of glass, over 50 cans, and more than 400 cigarette butts! Volunteers also found some unusual items like metal pipe, nail clippers, a glittery hat, and fishing line.
A big thank you goes out to Tim Hortons in Invermere for their generous donation of delicious sandwiches and Timbits to reward and re-fuel our fantastic team!
7th Annual Lake Windermere Summer Splash
August 10th, 2016
Thanks to the Columbia Basin Trust and BC Parks Foundation for supporting this fun, free community event! The Summer Splash was a huge success, bringing members of the community together in celebration of our wonderful Lake.
The annual Lake Windermere Summer Splash (formerly known as the Regatta) celebrates Lake Windermere and the people who care about it. With a theme of “Lake Fun, Lake Friends and Lake Smarts”, the event celebrates reasons to love the lake through beach and water competitions, and then teaches people how to protect the lake with lake stewardship education activities.
Summer Splash activities have included a sailboat race, swimming races, watershed sand art, sailing and kayaking races, beach volleyball and the increasingly popular sport of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Come on down to the Summer Splash and you’ll also get to enjoy “Edu-tainment” with “fishing for facts,” “how dirty is my water?,” “lake trivia”, and a “find the invasive mussels” activity.