November 2019 - GWAS AGM and 3-year Operations Plan
On November 23rd, 2019 GWAS held its Annual General Meeting. We had a great turn-out and received excellent feedback on our work in 2019 and plans for 2020 from our membership.
You can download the reports presented at the AGM here:
If you have any questions about these reports, please contact us by email:
As reported at the AGM, GWAS recently completed its latest 3-year Operations Plan.
To find out more, please document (pdf-file. 3.8MB).
News & Events
PAST NEWS & EVENTS:
July 2019 - Report on GWAS Education Activities in 2019:
GWAS Volunteers have been very busy this year to increase our education efforts with
schools. on the activites undertaken between
February and June of 2019.
Walks in the Watershed completed in 2019:
Thanks to everyone who joined us on the Walks in the Watershed program this year:
• Friday, May 10, 2019: Ghost River Escarpment (west of Richards Rd)
• Sunday, June 23, 2019: Butters Ranch - Plant ID Walk with Gus Yaki with BBQ
• Saturday, July 6, 2019: Meadow Creek Loop
• Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019: Brewster's Meadow Loop Walk in the Watershed
• Sunday, August 26, 2019: Black Rock Mountain
• Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019: Sand Hills, Aura Creek and Horse Lake
We are looking forward to another great Walks in the Watershed season in 2020.
Calgary Mayor's Environment Expo - Wednesday, June 5th, 2019
Ghost Watershed Alliance Society Annual General Meeting, Saturday, November 24th, 2018:
GWAS AGM took place on Saturday, November 24th, 2018 at The Crossing at Ghost River in Pine Loft.
Presentation topics included the Ghost River SOW report and its dissemination, the year in review and plans for the coming year. You can download the following presentations here:
• (pdf-file, 12.1MB)
• (pdf-file, 13.7MB)
• (pdf-file, 1.1MB)
2-day Bioengineering workshop with Dave Polster - October 1st & 2nd, 2018
GWAS held a very successful classroom workshop with Dave Polster on Monday, October 1st.
For the field day on Tuesday, October 2nd, we unfortunately got snowed out! 25 cm of fresh snow
in less than 24 hours put an abrupt stop to our plans, but we will try to reschedule the field day to
the spring of 2019. We would like to thank all participants and our funder, the Alberta Conservation
Assocation, for their interst and support of the workshop.
Walks in the Watershed completed in 2018:
Thanks to the Walks in the Watershed Committee and the financial support
received from the MD of Bighorn as well as donations, we have been able to
complete another exciting walks and hikes program in 2018.
- Saturday, April 28 (afternoon): Walk in the Back 40 area
- Saturday, May 12 (afternoon): Walk to Mockingbird Lookout
- Sunday, June 3: Plant ID Walk at Butters Ranch with guide Gus Yaki
- Saturday, July 29 (full-day): Orient Point full day hike
- Sunday, September 2: Lake Minnewanka hike (app. 35km)
- Sunday, September 30: Meadow Creek Loop
Bow River Basin Council (BRBC) Science Forum - May 2, 2018:
8:30am to 4pm at the University of Calgary Mac Hall.
Ryan MacDonald of the ALCES Group delivered a successful presentation on the topic of "Data limitations in state of the watershed reporting - Learnings from the Ghost River State of the Watershed report".
Saturday, November 18th, 2017:
GWAS Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Membership Forum.
Thank you to everyone who attended! We had a full house at the AGM! In case you did not make it to the AGM, you can download the presentation on GWAS work in 2017 (pdf-file: 9.3MB): .
A presentation on the financial statements can be downloaded here:
Thanks also to our keynote speaker Mark Bennett, Executive Director of the , and to for hosting us.
Tuesday September 26th, 2017:
Campsite clean-up event in the Ghost PLUZ with the BP Retirees.
A big Thank You to all our volunteers for the event. We collected 330kg of garbage in 3 hours this year, which was less than in previous years. Due to a fire ban and OHV closure due to the extreme fire risk over this past summer, the number of campers was a lot less than in other years.
Friday, September 15th & Saturday, September 16th, 2017:
2-day workshop with bio-engineering specialist Dave Polster from BC.
Dave Polster, one of the best bio-engineering specialists in Canada, led this free 2-day workshop for over 30 participants. GWAS would like to thank everyone, who joined us for the workshop and helping us to restore some of the critical fish habitat in the Ghost Watershed. Please visit our to see photos taken at the event.
Sunday, August 13th, 2017: Hike in the Watershed to Bastion Ridge
Despite some smoke from the BC forest fires and a little bit of rain, this hike was enjoyed by a group of 12 people.
Saturday, July 8th, 2017: Hike in the Watershed to Hidden Canyon
A group of 10 enjoyed a full-day hike to Hidden Pass in Banff National Park accessed from the Ghost River valley on a beautiful summer day.
Sunday, June 25th, 2017: 2nd Walk in the Watershed
For the 10th year we had another successful Plant ID walk with guide Gus Yaki at the Butters Ranch with Beef BBQ lunch. Thank you to everyone who attended, a big Thank You to our guide Gus Yaki and our hosts Erik Butters and Laura Procunier!
May 26th, 2017: GWAS Benefit Concert with The Wardens at Beaupre Hall:
The event was a great success! We had a full house, great raffle prizes and wonderful music
by The Wardens. Thank you to everyone who joined us that evening to celebrate our beautiful
outdoors. Big thanks to all the volunteers who made the event run so smoothly, to our caterer
Mona Kadri of the Cookie Queen for the wonderful food and to The Wardens for their great
May 20th, 2017: 1st Walk in the Watershed
60 people enjoyed Butters Ranch history & walk along the historic Tote Road.
Saturday, November 12th 2016: Annual General Meeting and Membership Forum
We had another great turn-out for our AGM and Membership Forum this year. Thank you to everyone who attended!
In case you did not make it to the AGM, you can download the presentation on GWAS work in 2016 here (pdf-file, 2.6MB):
A presentation on the financial statements can be downloaded here:
Annual campsite clean-up with the BP Retirees group: Tuesday, September 27th 2016
Sunday, September 18th 2016: Hike in the Watershed to the Sand Hills
Saturday, September 17th 2016: GWAS Bio-engineering project
On Saturday, September 17th we undertook a bioengineering
project in collaboration with the Alberta Government's Backcountry Trails Flood
Rehabilitation Team (BTFR) at the location of a new bridge on Meadow Creek.
Meadow Creek is home to some of the few remaining Westslope Cutthroat Trout populations in Alberta. These fish thrive in cold and clean water and are sensitive to sediment being washed
into streams. A big Thank You to all the volunteers who came out on a beautiful Saturday to plant the willows
and to the BTFR Team for all their work and support! We got so much done that day and are looking forward to seeing the willows grow next year. Thank you also to the Land Stewardship Centre, who generously funded this project to help to improve water quality and fish habitat in the Ghost.
Photos of the project can be seen in our
Sunday, August 21st 2016: Hussey's Hill: Full day hike into Don Getty Wildland Park.
Sunday, August 7, 2016: Black Rock Mountain - Full day hike
Sunday July 10, 2016: Hidden Pass - Day hike to new destination in the Black Rock Mountain area.
Sunday June 26, 2016: Butters Ranch Walk with Gus Yaki
We had a great turn-out for both the historic Walk in the Watershed on June 18th and
the Plant & Bird ID Walk on June 26th with a fabulous BBQ courtesy of Butters Ranching.
Thank you to everyone who attended the events, the generous donations made towards our Education & Outreach program and a big thank you to our hosts and guides, Jennifer Fraser, Gus Yaki, Erik Butters and Laura Procunier as well as all the volunteers who helped to make the events such a success.
Saturday June 18, 2016: Historic Walk - Long-time resident Jenny Fraser shares stories about First Nations, fur traders and ranchers in the Ghost Valley. 1-hour easy walk ideal for families.
Please bring your own lunch for a picnic enjoying the beautiful view over the Ghost River valley after the walk.
Sunday May 29, 2016: Walk in the Watershed: Meadow Creek/Brewster's Meadow - Easy, level walk to a large wetland area.
News April 2016: Benefit event was a big success!
A big THANK YOU to everyone who attended our benefit event on April 15th! The event was sold out and it was a big success. We have not only received lots of positive feedback on the event, but also met our funding goal.
Funds raised will support GWAS Education & Outreach program and liability insurance costs to run our popular Walks in the Watershed program and school field trips, connecting people with the natural environment of the Ghost Watershed in Alberta's Eastern Slopes.
GWAS Spring 2016 Newsletter: Please click on image to the left to download the Spring 2016 Newsletter as pdf version (File size: 1.5MB).
- Upcoming event: An evening of music, storie, humour and images featuring The Wardens & local author Kathy Calvert.
- State of the Watershed report - update
- Collaborative projects - report
- GWAS - Who we are & where we stand
Friday, April 15th 2016: An evening of music, stories humour & images featuring The Wardens & local author Kathy Calvert.
The sold out event brought June Mickle’s story back to life with stage readings from Kathy Calvert’s book about June’s life in the Eastern Slopes of Southern Alberta. Musical performances by
The Wardens, a popular Banff National Park-based Trio known for their storytelling, great music and humour, rounded out the evening.
A big thank you to everyone who attended, all the volunteers and The Wardens!
Proceeds will support GWAS Education & Outreach program and liability insurance costs to run our popular Walks in the Watershed program and school field trips, connecting people with the natural environment of the Ghost Watershed in Alberta's Eastern Slopes.
Pinned post - AB government amends Forest and Prairie Protection Act:
In 2017, the Alberta government made changes to the Forest and Prairie Protection Act and associated regulations to improve public safety as they relate to preventing human-caused wildfires and protecting Albertans, their communities, natural resources, and infrastructure from wildfire damage. The Act’s regulations have been updated to reflect the legislation and are now in force (as of March 29, 2017). The Act came into force on December 9, 2016. Under the new legislation, target shooting involving incendiary targets is now prohibited year-round in forested areas such as the Ghost Watershed. For more inforamtion, please visit:
Bow River Basin Council (BRBC) Quarterly Forum - Wednesday, December 11th, 2019:
The next BRBC Quarterly Forum, themed on stewardship, is scheduled for December 11th at the Glencoe Golf and Country Club, Calgary. Please (seating is limited). Presentations include:
- Friends of Fish Creek - Little Dams, Big Problems? - findings of a volunteer-based study on recreational rock dams on Fish Creek
- Elbow River Watershed Partnership - On the Ground Improvements and State of the Elbow River Project
- Trout Unlimited - Stewardship Activities and Opportunities in the Ghost Watershed
- Environmental Law Centre - Groundwater Law/Policy
- Ghost Watershed Alliance Society - State of the Watershed Communications and Education, Getting Knowledge to Practice
- Alberta Agriculture and Forestry - Identifying high-runoff areas during peak streamflow on the Eastern Slopes of the Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains
- Calgary River Valleys - Brown Trout Redd Survey / Urban Riparian Restoration
- Canadian Conservation Corps - Change your life. Change the world
September 2019 - GWAS completes aquatic biomonitoring training
In July 2019, 4 members of GWAS completed the CABiN and eDNA training in Canmore.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) is an emerging tool for monitoring present biodiversity. It uses
gene sequencing linked to DNA/RNA barcode libraries to allow for faster, more complete
profile of biodiversity content from very small samples.
GWAS members learned about the updated version of the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring
Network (CABIN) protocol, developed by Environment and Climate Change Canada to
collect eDNA samples using biomonitoring of benthic invertebrates, or the small animals on
the bottom of the stream. Benthic invertebrates are strong indicators of water quality since the
small organisms included in that group are highly sensitive to pollutants and other changes that
impact aquatic ecosystem health.
A Blog post written by one of our team members can be found .