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Elk River Alliance Summer 2018 Newsletter

What an amazing spring we have had! From wetland restoration to enhancements for species at risk, ERA volunteers have been working hard. But if you missed our earlier restoration activities, don't fret - we have plenty more volunteer opportunities coming up this summer! 

What's on the Horizon for ERA this Summer

Road to the River CD Release Concert with Chris Coole
Join us on August 15th from 8:30-10:30PM at the Fernie Distilleries to celebrate the talent and generosity of Chris Coole while giving back to your watershed! Chris Coole is a Canadian folk musician known for his interpretation of southern old-time music, as well as his original songs and instrumentals played on clawhammer banjo and guitar. Chris had been wanting to give back to rivers and fish for the inspiration that has been provided to him in and decided to do so through an amazing act of generosity. He created a new CD called 'Road to the River' where 100% of the proceeds are going to the Elk River Alliance. This will help support our programs that help keep the Elk River drinkable, fishable and swimmable for future generations.  The music on the album was inspired by fishing and many of the places that Chris has fished.  The Elk River Alliance is so astonished by his generosity and eternally grateful to receive this support! The album can be purchased online at and tickets for the CD release concert can be purchased at the Elk River Alliance office (821 2nd Ave) or the Fernie Distillers.
Wetland Restoration - Upcoming Weedpulls
The Elk River Alliance and the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council are collaborating to help improve the health of the Sparwood Jewel Wetland. To do so, we will be conducting weedpulls on August 1 and 21, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. You can either meet us at the Wildsight Office (891-2nd Ave, Fernie) at 6:00PM to coordinate a carpool or meet us out at the wetland at 6:30PM. 

Come learn how to identify and remove invasive plants, discover what critters occupy the wetland ecosystem, and see how a little hard work pays off! If you're interested in helping on this project, email  Snacks and refreshments are provided, as are weed removal supplies. Please bring weather appropriate clothes and a water bottle to stay hydrated 

Community Based Water Monitoring Survey and Volunteer
As part of our 'Making Community Water Data Matter' initiative, ERA is conducting a community survey. Please take 5 minutes to share your opinions on how ERA should move forward with our community-based water monitoring program.

If you are interested in volunteering to help with low-flow water monitoring in the fall, please sign up online or e-mail

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
Mark your calendars everyone! It might seem like it's a long way off, but the summer is going by fast and pretty soon we will be gathering to clean up the shoreline of our amazing Elk River. This year's cleanup will take place on September 30, 2018 from 1PM to 3PM.   In Fernie, we will be meeting at the Annex Park at 1PM. In Sparwood, we will meet at the Recreation Centre at 1PM. In Elkford, we will once again be partnering with the Elkford ATV Club and kicking off the cleanup at 10AM; everyone is welcome to attend! 
Grade 9 students with Know Your Watershed help plant native vegetation at the NCC Hosmer Wetland.
Recent Accomplishments for ERA

Restoration in the Elk Valley
This spring, ERA worked hand-in glove with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) to restore a 5 ha wetland at Hosmer, part of NCC's Elk Valley Heritage Conservation Area. Once a depleted gravel pit that resembled a giant parking lot, today visitors can take a detour off the Elk Valley Trail and witness wetland transformation.  Watch this ecosystem transform back to water and native plants with wildlife returning like American badger, western painted turtle and great blue heron. Thanks to College of the Rockies MAST and Fernie Secondary School Students, as well as ERA and Wildsight volunteers for planting hundreds of native shrubs and live willow stakes.  Foothills Silviculture and Fiorentino were also instrumental providing in-kind equipment and expertise.
Elk Watershed Discovery Camps are Underway
The first week of the Elk Watershed Discovery Camp was a big success as ERA celebrates its 5th year running this educational day camp for campers age 10-14. Great memories were made paddling through a wetland, fly fishing and floating down the Elk River, whitewater rafting the lower canyon, hiking at the Big Ranch and canoeing along the Kootenay River! Special thanks to the organizations that sponsor us:  Edge Of The World - Fernie, BC Kootenay Trout Hatchery, Elk River Guiding Company, Canyon Raft Company, Fernie Rod and Gun Club, City of Fernie, Teck and College of the Rockies.  Two more weeks of fun and place-based learning await, happening July 23-27 and August 13-17.
Cheers to Charity
The Fernie Brewing Company has made ERA this month's "Cheers to Charity" recipient! This means that any time you enjoy a flight (or tester block) of beers at the Brewery until August 15, 2018, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the ERA! So come out and enjoy a beer for us! ERA supporters will be out this Friday, August 20, at 5PM to kick off the donations!
The Elk River Alliance is the Fernie Brewing Company's 'Cheers to Charity' recipient! Enjoy a flight (i.e. sample) of beers until August 15, 2018 and the proceeds will go to the Elk River Alliance!
Upcoming Important Dates 

Road to the River CD Release Concert with Chris Coole 
August 15, 2018 from 8:30-10:30PM at the Fernie Distilleries (531-1st Avenue, Fernie, BC).
Come enjoy an awesome show and drinks with friends, and buy a CD to support the Elk RiverAlliance!

Wetland Weedpulls 
August 1, 2018 and August 21, 2018 from 6:30-8:30PM at the Sparwood Jewel Wetland.
Meet us at the Wildsight/ERA office at 6:00 or at the Sparwood Jewel Wetland at 6:30 to help remove invasive plants that are jeopardizing the health of the wetland.

Cheers to Charity
Now until August 15, 2018, enjoy a flight of beers at the Fernie Brewing Company and 100% of the proceeds will go to ERA!
Meet us this Friday, August 20, at 5PM to help kick things off!

Cool Critters and Watershed Tour 
ERA is partnering with our friends at Wildsight to host two upcoming Wild Nature Tours. There is Cool Critters on August 22 and Watershed Tour on September 29 - find out more here!

Elk River Alliance Summer Student
We would also like to take the time to welcome Madeleine Milligan to the team this summer! Madeleine is very excited to be working with ERA, saying:

"The role as student is something I am eager to embrace as I will be learning from the best. Such an opportunity only comes around once in a lifetime and I hope it will be a stepping stone to what I want to do in the future!"

We're very excited to get to work with Madeleine, and are looking forward to what unfolds in her future! If you see her at the Sunday Mountain Markets, or out and about helping with the Elk Watershed Discovery Camps, make sure to say hi and a big thanks for all that she is doing to help improve our watershed!
From everyone at the Elk River Alliance, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to all of our incredible volunteers, partners and funders.  In particular, ERA would like to thank the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Columbia Basin Trust, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Environment and Climate Change Canada, BC Wildlife Federation, Province of BC, Teck, Canyon Raft Company, Elk River Guiding Company, Patagonia, College of the Rockies, Nature Conservancy of Canada, City of Fernie, District of Sparwood, Regional District of the East Kootenay, and Tourism Fernie. 
The Elk River Alliance is a community-based water group that aims to connect people to the Elk River, ensuring it is drinkable, fishable and swimmable for future generations. Thank-you for joining us on our mission to care for our watershed, volunteering with restoration activities, or just keeping yourself educated! Keep your eyes and ears open for more stewardship events in the next few months!
Copyright © 2018 Elk River Alliance, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
891 2nd Ave 
Fernie, BC
PO Box 537
V0B 1M0
(250) 423-3322

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Elk River Alliance · 891 2nd Ave, Box 537 Fernie, BC · Fernie, BC V0B 1M0 · Canada

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