Everyone loves the Elk River. They love to float on it during a hot summer day, fish the deep clear cold pools in the fall, or the thrill of paddling white water in the remote lower Phillips Canyon. People care deeply about the health of the Elk. This year more than a hundred are expected to show up to learn about the health of the Elk River and help clean up its shoreline in Elkford, Sparwood and Fernie.
“A clean shoreline makes it safe for animals living in or near the river and beautiful for people”, says Lee-Anne Walker, Executive Director of the Elk River Alliance, an organzier for this years event. “The 4rd Annual Swim, Drink, Fish Festival September 27-28 is a weekend for everyone to learn more about the health of our watershed and give back to its health”.
Saturday September 27, is dedicated to information about our recently studies. First is about the ecology and stewardship plans for Silver Springs at a 10 a.m guided tour. At 2 p.m. will be a ramble into the riparian area at the Ancient Morrissey Cottonwoods presenting a report card to residents on valley bottom health. Join the opening of the new interpretive trail “How Healthy Forests Foster Healthy Fish at Mount Fernie Provincial Park at 4 p.m.. “These events are showcasing the work of the Elk River Watershed Alliance over the last year”, says Lee-Anne Walker, Executive Director. “There are so many people to thank for helping with these projects and community for their participation. These documents are posted on our website and are meant as a conversation starter encouraging community to participate in decision making for a sustainable water future in the Elk River watershed. It’s cool this all happens around World and BC Rivers Day”.
Sunday September 28, 2-4 p.m. meet in Fernie at the Annex Park, and at Sparwood and Elkford’s Leisure Centres, to participate in our contribution to the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, helping keep our water healthy for people and the wildlife in our watershed. “This event is part of one of the largest environmental events in Canada and the third largest in the World”, notes Walker. “Elk Valley residents are passionate about place and always willing to contribute a few hours to free our shorelines of litter as a way of giving back to this ribbon of life”.
Every year there is a corporate/organizational challenge to put together a team for the clean up. Last year TD staff had an amazing showing and contributed bags of garbage to the clean up. “Thanks to the municipal governements, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Teck Coal, Elkford ATV Club, Sparwood Fish and Wildlife Association and Wildsight Elk Valley Branch for sponsoring the 4th Annual Elk River Swim Drink Fish Festival”, acknowledges Walker.