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  • Writer's pictureLorna Hamilton

Wetland Explorers

Children with their nets for dipping. Photos Lorna Hamilton

The Vermilion Public Library and the Vermilion River Watershed Alliance hosted a Wetland Explorers – Buggin’ out Down by the River, for children aged 5-12 on August 14.

Under fairly hot conditions the children had the opportunity to do net dipping for all kinds of water creatures, participate in outdoor activities, and listen to a story about a beaver that learned from his mistakes how not being careful in the environment he lives in can harm the environment. Attendees also had the opportunity to watch a demonstration put on by the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance on what a watershed is and how humans can impact the water that flows into waterways like the Vermilion River. The children in attendance were full of excitement and eagerness to participate in the activities and to learn about the species which thrive in watersheds and learn about how the water enters the watersheds and how pollution can disrupt and pollute these important waterways.

Sheila Heit, Programs Coordinator for the Vermilion Public Library stated that they partnered with the Vermilion River Watershed Alliance to put together this event.

Children observing a Watershed demonstration.

“The Vermilion River Watershed Alliance organized the experts you see at this program today. Volunteers included: Sheila Heit (Vermilion Library), Greg Barr and Michelle Gordy (Vermilion River Watershed Alliance), summer students (North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance) Rick Passek (Government of Alberta, Vermilion Environment & Parks), Chris Elder (County of Vermilion River, ALUS program: Alternative Land Use Services). We combined forces to put on some relevant outside summer-fun programming for the children in our community area”, explained Heit.

Heit also expressed her delight in the turnout for the program.

“It’s a fantastic turnout! 18 children came today and around 10 adults as well,” said Heit.

There is one more partner program scheduled for August 18 called ‘Fur, Feathers, and Fun’ that it is taking place in front of the Heritage Museum. Registration for this program is full. “Partners for this program are the Vermilion Watershed Alliance, Vermilion Heritage Museum, Metis Nation Region 2, the Vermilion Library, and VIBE (thanks for sharing the Heritage Park space with us and starting the outside oven for Bannock-making).

There was also a partner program in July with VRWA called: “A Walk in the Park” that had approximately 25 children in attendance. So, that is a lot of community groups coming together to put programs on for the kids in our community area!” said Heit.

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