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Mark your happy place on the map

Watershed council debuts interactive display

ATHABASCA — If you’ve ever wondered how big the Athabasca watershed is, then head on over to the Alice B. Donahue Library and Archives (ABDLA) for a new interactive display. 

After receiving a grant from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, the Athabasca Watershed Council (AWC) decided it would create a travelling display encouraging people to get more hands on, so to speak, with the watershed. 

“We decided to use those funds to create sort of a library display that would educate people about what the Athabasca watershed is, what the Athabasca Watershed Council does, and also be interactive,” said AWC education and outreach coordinator Ashley Johnson. 

ABDLA program assistant Regan Holt also jumped on board to help set up the display, especially after the successful collaboration for the One Book, One Community series of events held last fall. 

“We have it set up in the front foyer,” said Holt. “And we pulled a whole bunch of books that are related to water — kids' books, adult, fiction, non-fiction.”  

As well, there are handouts on the watershed including stream crossings, soil types throughout the watershed, and a couple of word search activities. 

“For anyone who can't grab a word search, we have those materials on our website,” Johnson said. “So, people who can't make it to the library don't necessarily have to feel left out.” 

The map, printed on metal to use with magnetic tacks, as well as the smaller information banners, were printed by FastSigns in Athabasca. 

“It’s really a beautiful display,” Holt said. “Athabasca Watershed did a great job on it.” 

The display will be up for a couple more weeks then will be packed up and shipped to another library within the watershed, but both groups will be keeping busy in the meantime. 

“We have our trivia nights coming back,” said Holt. “Jan. 28, that’s a Friday, at 7:30 p.m. online again with the AU (Athabasca University) librarians Jorden Habib and Joanna Nemeth.” 

And the AWC will be working with the Canadian Wildlife Foundation on the Berland-Wildhay Watershed Connectivity Remediation plan to support recovery strategies for the Athabasca Rainbow Trout and Arctic Bull Trout in the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains. 

“(It’s) to look at water body crossings in the Berland-Wildhay sub-watersheds and see if there’s areas that are a priority for remediation,” Johnson said. “So, getting those crossings up to snuff so all the local fish have no problem, to add culverts and whatnot.” 

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