Thanks to everyone who attended our Annual General Meeting & 25th Anniversary Celebration on April 20th. It was a great event, and a wonderful opportunity to network.
Our first guest speaker was Al Duerr, former Mayor of Calgary, who was instrumental in 1991 in creating and providing funding for Calgary River Valleys (or River Valleys Committee as it was previously known) to work with City Administration toward the following goals (among others) within Calgary:
- promote public awareness in the City’s river system
- assist in the establishment of an open space system including pathways and natural areas adjacent to waterways
- serve in an advisory capacity to City Council regarding use and development in and around the City’s river valleys
- encourage water-based recreation and improved water quality
- provide a reliable source of volunteer assistance
Mr. Duerr spoke about the history of CRV and recognized the amazing passion shown by CRV staff and volunteers. He remarked that it was clear that these individuals understood why caring about Calgary’s rivers and waterways was so important. He stated it was important for CRV and other groups to continue to ensure our water and ecosystems are protected and preserved.
Our second guest speaker was Natasha Kuzmak, City of Calgary Water Resources Planner. She spoke about Water Resources Management: Then & Now. She stated that environmental stewardship groups such as CRV play a critical role in helping the City manage its water resources.
Following the guest speakers we recognized some long-time volunteers with the CRV. One of these was Chris Bjornson, a Senior Fisheries Biologist with Golder & Associates. Chris has been the lynchpin in ensuring our annual Brown Trout Redd Count in the Lower Elbow River is a successful event. Each year since 2009 when CRV took over managing this citizen science project, Chris has trained a new batch of volunteers how to spot a trout spawning bed, or redd, in the gravel of the riverbed and how to ensure it remains intact and properly counted. This project is a very long day each year of mostly walking in the cold river in November in hip waders. Kudos to you Chris! We couldn’t do this important research without you.