The July 28 weekend was, with out a doubt, what we all relish in and dream of when we have time to spend with family and friends on a sunny warm summer weekend.
The PLWA Love the Lake Family Fun Day has been a staple to Pigeon Lake visitors and locals for six years. It takes place at the Pigeon Lake Provincial Park just 20 minutes west of Wetaskiwin the end of July or beginning of August.
With the leadership of the Pigeon Lake Watershed Association (PLWA) and the Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP), local organizations and ‘Healthy-Lake’ partners come out to run educational activities on the water, the nature and watershed to develop young lake stewards.
Over 300 families of multiple generations came out to Love the Lake Day. There were locals, campers, day trippers and curiosity seekers who came to the free event to engage in a scavenger hunt that led families to a dozen different activities. Kids and adults alike got first hand fun experiences with science relating to water quality, bugs, watersheds, plants and wildlife. The excitement of learning through actively engaging with the experts from these organizations was obvious to all. Prizes were drawn for the nature enthusiasts who completed a passport.
The Alberta Lake Management Society had kids sampling the water quality and learning about the good and bad aquatic plants. Monitoring shows that Pigeon Lake only has good plants. The Battle River Watershed Alliance had kids bug dipping to learn more about the invertebrates, and how zooplankton eats algae. Trout Unlimited’s brought interesting fish information and demonstrated how nature cleans runoff with their watershed model. Cows and Fish had their popular big board game on the riparian/shoreline. The Pigeon Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce had a “Colour a Critter” activity. The Pigeon Lake Library’s story time featured nature books. The Great Horned Owl, Otis and his handler Todd Kelly from the Medicine River Wildlife Centre fielded many questions about living with nature. They were a big hit as he liked getting his tummy rubbed. The Mulhurst Fire Department were also favourites along with the PLWA bird house and bat box painting station. The houses and boxes were provided by the local Lions Club. The PLWA also had a scavenger and some of their volunteers cooked 300 hot dogs donated by The Village at Pigeon Lake.
When asked what she liked best, one little girl exclaimed: “Everything! I loved it all!”
The event was supported by a Watershed Stewardship Grant from the Land Stewardship Centre.
At the end of the event, kids earned a card stating they are a “Steward of Pigeon Lake”. May this day help them to grow their love of the lake and what helps to keep it the gem it is, so we can all continue to enjoy lazy sunny summer days at Pigeon Lake.
-Submitted by Susan C. Kokas, volunteer with the PLWA