A Pigeon Lake resident has been named as the LakeWatch Volunteer of the Year by the Alberta Lake Management Society (ALMS).
ALMS has been an important art of the Pigeon Lake Watershed Management Plan to monitor lake health over the past 10 years and runs the LakeWatch citizen science program.
Daren Lorentz has been named the 2021 ALMS LakeWatch Volunteer of the year for his volunteer contributions with the ALMS program. Lorentz has been volunteering with ALMS for the past five years.
Once a month in the summer months, he takes staff from ALMS and the Pigeon Lake Watershed Association (PLWA) out on his boat for hours to collect samples from the lake.
Lorentz says that when he learned he was named volunteer of the year, “I was quite proud.”
“This was really quite unexpected.”
In addition to volunteering his time and boat for the program, Lorentz says, “we’ve also made our pier available for invasive species monitoring.”
PLWA says that 12 other volunteers at Pigeon Lake including the Mayors from the Summer Villages of Norris Beach and Poplar Bay monitor the lake for invasive mussels over the summer months.
“The community is very lucky to have all of theses dedicated volunteers,” stated a press release from PLWA. “With the help of local volunteers there is consistent lake-wide data, which is a key objective of the Pigeon Lake Watershed Management Plan and demonstrates the local commitment to implementing the plan.”
Lorentz says that the reason he first got involved with the LakeWatch citizen science program was to show his son the merits of volunteering in your community.
“Initially I did it because I wanted to show Sawyer different aspects of volunteering,” he says.
For the first four years until more social distancing regulations were required on the boat for COVID safety measures, Sawyer routinely went out on the lake with Lorentz and the volunteers from ALMS and PLWA.
Lorentz says that, “this particular program is really worth it.” Learning more about the lake he grew up at and the changes it goes through was important to Lorentz and he says it was something they really wanted to try.