Walks in the Watershed:
Every year, the GWAS organizes several walks and hikes in the Ghost Watershed led by volunteers. The Walks are not only educational, but they are also fun events showing you the beauty of the watershed and the challenges it is facing. The Ghost Watershed encompasses two protected areas: Don Getty Wildland Park and Ghost Wilderness. A large portion of the Watershed lies within the Rocky Mountains Forest Reserve. About half of the Ghost Public Land-use Zone (PLUZ) overlaps the Ghost Watershed. The protected areas as well as the Crown Lands within the Watershed provide for great walking and hiking opportunities. While there are no marked hiking trails in the Watershed at this time, you can take join us for our guided walks and hikes to enjoy this beautiful area of Alberta's Eastern Slopes.
Please check our page for frequent updates.
GWAS’s mission is to protect the integrity of the Ghost Watershed through:
• identifying ecosystem and environmental issues,
• raising public awareness,
• providing advice to decision makers,
• and taking action to resolve issues.
GWAS activities include three main pillars: Education & Outreach, Committees & Collaboration and Research & Data collection. This includes:
• Walks in the Watershed
• School field trips
• Taking part in environmental fairs at local schools and the Calgary Mayor’s Environmental Expo
• Bio-engineering workshops
• Presentating at various forums and conferences
• Taking part in government input processes providing input based on research commissioned by GWAS and local knowledge of the watershed.
• Commissioning studies and data collection.
• Working with post-secundary institutions
School field trips and environmental fairs:
Attention teachers! Would you like to take your students out into the Ghost Watershed? We are here to help! There are many educational opportunities to be found in this watershed. GWAS may also be able to support transportation costs for school groups. Please contact us to discuss your ideas and needs.
With the help of our volunteers, we also attend environmental fairs at schools and the Calgary Mayor's Environmental Expo. We employ easy to use hands-on models to educate students about watersheds.
Another important part of GWAS work is to develop a science-based understanding of this watershed. Understanding its composition, structure and function as well as its thresholds to maintaining ecological integrity. Over the past few years GWAS has engaged several highly respected Scientists and Professionals, such as Dr. Brad Stelfox and Forester & Ecologist Herb Hammond, helping us to achieve this goal. In 2018 we also completed the first Ghost River State of the Watershed report.
More information on the studies is available on our page.
Under the Water for Life Strategy, WSGs are tasked to promote best management practices, collaborate with land-use managers, undertake on-the-ground actions to protect the watershed, develop State of the Watershed reports and collaboratively work towards the development of adaptive watershed management plans.
In 2011, GWAS initiated a partnership with the Elbow River Watershed Partnership (ERWP) to develop educational materials and an awareness campaign for recreational use in these sensitive watershed areas.
With funding support from the ERWP and a grant by Alberta Ecotrust, a graphic designer was hired to develop draft designs for educational signage. Two signs were developed: "Steer Clear" and "Thank you for using the bridge".
Working with post-secondary institutions:
In 2019, we connected with the Environmental Science department of the University of Calgary and presented the Ghost River State of the Watershed (SOW) Report to the ENSC 502 class. Several student groups subsequently selected research topics based on the SOW Report. A number of GWAS members mentored and supported students in their research work.