Education & Outreach

The Elk River Alliance uses education and outreach programs so that residents know where their water comes from, how it is used and ways to keep it healthy for future generations.

Current/On-Going Education and Outreach projects

Elk Watershed Discovery Camp. Since 2014, ERA has run the Elk Watershed Discovery Camp for adventurous youth who are excited to learn in the Elk Watershed. Youth get their hands wet and feet muddy exploring mountains, marshes, forests and rivers. They learn practical, hands-on skills and meet professionals who work in various environmental careers. In 2019 there are 3 camp week options: 1) July 8-12, 2) July 22-26 and 3) August 12-16. Click here for more information. 

Elk River Current Newsletter. Stay current with our seasonal newsletter, distributed electronically to our mailing list. It includes information about new and on-going ERA projects, ways to get involved and up-coming events. If you'd like to receive a copy to your inbox, sign up here

ERA in the Media. Relevant articles submitted to local media, including the Free Press, Elk Valley Herald, E-Know, Find a list of articles published here.  

Beaver Buddies ProgramThis is a fun, place-based educational program designed for kids grades K-4 to learn about our watershed partner - the beaver! Click here for more information on this program.

Mining Week. Since 2014, we have collaborated with Teck Coal delivering curriculum-based school programs to 21 classes and 500 students grades 3-10 in Elkford, Sparwood, and Fernie. Programs address environmental issues in mining, such as water quality, soil health and wildlife impacts, as well as to provide students an opportunity to ask questions about issues that concern them.

Elk River Raft Race. Since 2015, ERA has entered in the annual Raft Race hosted by Canyon Rafting and Mountain High. In 2016, ERA team members were proud winner of the "Royal Sportsman" award. 

Canada Day Cardboard Boat Race. Since 2015, ERA has entered a boat in this fun event where contestants attempt to paddle across Maiden Lake (and back) in their cardboard creations. 

Wetlandkeepers and Streamkeepers training. Since 2011, ERA has facilitated Streamkeepers and Wetlandkeepers trainings for over 100 volunteers in the Elk Valley. Contact us if you're interested in this training.

Past  Education and Outreach projects

Alexander Creek Interpretive Kiosk (2017). This kiosk was installed in 2017 at the Alexander Creek rifle range to highlight the 5-years of community based water data collected and ERA's bioengineering streamside restoration initiative on a 50 m section of Alexander Creek. 

Sparwood Beaver Wetland (2017)Installed 4 interpretive signs along Elk River trail, adjacent to the Sparwood Wetland restoration project.  Grade 4 students from Frank J. Elementary School supplied artwork and quotes for the signs.

Silver Springs Trail Signs (2017). As part of ERA's Silver Springs Stewardship strategy, interpretive signs were installed along the trail to Silver Springs. Signs encourage site users to take responsibility for the stewardship of this beautiful lake system. 

Forests & Fish Interpretive Trail (2014)Interpretive signs installed along Lizard Creek trail in Mt Fernie Provincial Park. Click here to view these beautiful signs online... or better yet, check them out in real life walking along the banks of Lizard Creek!

Finding Fontinalis. Hosted film and fundraiser with guest speaker Bart Bonime, Patagonia's Director of Fishing. Click here for more information. To view the trailer, click here

For the Love of Rivers. Presentation by Kurt Fausch, author and fish/wildlife/conservation biology professor from Colorado State University. Click here to visit Dr. Fausch's website and listen to the book trailer. 

Know Your Watershed. Providing support for the Know Your Watershed program for grade 9s in the Elk Valley, increasing watershed literacy and supporting watershed stewardship. This program is delivered by Wildsight educators and funded by the Columbia Basin Trust.

Rainwater Management in the Elk River Watershed Brochure. This brochure informs residents about stormwater and the impacts of pollutants entering into our waterways, as well as providing "waterlutions" for homeowners to improve rainwater management. Click here to view a PDF of this brochure, or stop by the office to pick up your own copy! 

Report to Residents on Elk River Health-Valley Bottom Assessment. This includes both a 4-page summary 'report card' as well as the full Valley Bottom Assessment--Phase 1 report. The 'report card' is presented in an easy-to-understand format, including the assessment findings about the health of the Elk River valley based on land cover information. It also provides examples of concrete actions that residents can take to help maintain and improve river health. Phase 1 of the Valley Bottom Assessment examines low elevation land cover in the Elk River watershed between Elkford and Elko. Land disturbance and use type was assessed to determine ecosystem health in the valley. This Assessment was completed through a partnership between the ERA, Lotic Environmental and GranDuke Geomatics and funded by the Columbia Basin Trust Environmental Initiatives Program.

Wild About Wetlands Workshops (2016-2017). A workshop series to educate community about the importance of wetlands. Hosted in Sparwood (2016) and Fernie (2017).

Crafty Comedy: Local Brew Ha ha (2016). 

Bioengineering for Flood Mitigation and Erosion Control (2016). Hosted workshop for streambank bioengineering at the College of the Rockies--Fernie campus, as part of the Elk River Flood Strategy.

Flood Outreach Education (2015). ERA outreach coordinators shared flood strategies and received input from community sharing their flood related concerns. 

Our River Rocks Community Festival (2011-2015). Hosted in conjunction with BC Rivers Day, this Festival included... 

Water Wonder Workshops (2012). Programs for children aged 3-7 focusing on fun science-based activities about the wonder of water. 

Water Faith Connection (2012). A series of presentations delivered at the United Chruch.

H2Oh! Public Forums and Field Trips (2011).