Wetland Centre at Evergreen Park April 2019 Workshop

May 30, 2019

For a full recap of the Wetland Centre April 24, 2019 workshop, read through the workshop proceedings and presentations. For more information about the Wetland Centre project, check out our new project website and sign-up for our mailing list and check back for future blog posts.

Attendees at the 2019 Wetland Centre workshop

On April 24, 2019 the Evergreen Learning and Innovation Centre and Ducks Unlimited Canada hosted an introductory workshop for the Wetland Centre project. Over 35 attendees from industry, provincial and municipal government, First Nations communities, non-profit, consultants and contractors, and other groups and backgrounds gathered to learn about the project and share their ideas.

The purpose of the Wetland Centre workshop was to provide attendees with information about the organizations involved (ELIS and DUC), about the project, and provide an opportunity for interested parties to get involved early and to help shape the future of the Wetland Centre. Learn about the plans for the Wetland Centre project and opportunities to get involved. Some of the learning outcomes for participants included:

  • Interact with other participants from a range of sectors to discuss potential ideas and uses for the Wetland Centre
  • Generate ideas for conducting new research, demonstrations, training, and other wetlands programming at the Wetland Centre
  • Provide input that will impact the future direction and activities of the Wetland Centre
  • Learn about boreal wetlands, meet the project leads, and take part in a tour of the Evergreen Centre

Presentations included information about the project leads, DUC and ELIS and information about the Wetland Centre project.

What we heard

Workshop participants attended the workshop for a range of reasons including interest in wetlands and wetland best management practices, in learning about the Wetland Centre project and being involved from the ground up, and in meeting with and learning from other individuals and organizations also interested in wetlands.

Over the course of the day, participants had the opportunity to discuss what brought them to the workshop, their current challenges and opportunities with respect to wetlands, and their ideas for what a Wetland Centre at Evergreen Park could be. Participants learned about the project leads, the Wetland Centre project, and next steps as part of introductory presentations.

These presentations and summaries of the discussions are included in the Workshop Proceedings. At the end of the day, participants toured the Evergreen Learning and Innovation Centre to get an idea of the types of activities that could be hosted at the Wetland Centre.

Workshop participants on a tour of the Evergreen Learning and Innovation Centre.

What we learned

The number and diversity of participants resulted in excellent discussions about boreal wetlands including operational challenges, research and training opportunities, and potential directions for the Wetland Centre.

From the day’s discussions we learned that there is interest in:

  1. Having an on-the-ground location to share information about wetlands including wetland values, functions, challenges, and approaches to avoiding, minimizing, or reclaiming, with a wide variety of audiences.
  2. Using an on-the-ground location as a hub to bring together diverse groups to share information about wetlands, address common challenges, and develop and showcase innovative technologies for wetland avoidance, minimization, and reclamation/ restoration.
  3. Showcasing traditional knowledge, bringing together western science and traditional knowledge, and creating opportunities for Indigenous perspectives as part of developing the Wetland Centre.
  4. Regular project communications to share information about project developments and opportunities for involvement. Participants are interested in receiving information via digital communications (e.g., website, newsletter, social media), hosting a regular event/ workshop, and attending community events to share information about the project.
  5. Understanding funding opportunities and constraints and developing an effective governance structure to ensure the Wetland Centre is financially and functionally sustainable in the long-term.

Where we’re going next

As follow-up to the Wetland Centre workshop we committed to sharing the workshop proceedings and presentations. To do so, and to have a place to share future updates, we created this website! Read more about next steps in the proceedings document.

As part of carrying out Year 1 project activities, and to meet the requirements of the Provincial Court of Alberta funding, the project team will develop a ‘living’ Strategic Plan by August 2019. As part of carrying out Year 2 (September 2019 – August 2020) project activities, the project team will work on site access and development and will lay the ground work for potential research and demonstration projects. Based on what we heard at the workshop we will also explore approaches for incorporating Indigenous knowledge and values into the Wetland Centre.

To explore the path forward for the Wetland Centre beyond the scope of the three-year Provincial Court of Alberta funded project we will assemble a small advisory group.

How can you get involved?

  • Keep up to date with progress on the Wetland Centre project – read the workshop proceedings and presentations, sign up for the new Wetland Centre newsletter, and keep an eye on this site for updates, news, and events.
  • Share information about the Wetland Centre with others – help us raise awareness and ensure the right groups are at the table to carry out the Wetland Centre project and plan for the future of the Wetland Centre.
  • Share your ideas for potential projects – is there a project you’re looking to lead that the could fit with the Wetland Centre? We’re interested in hearing about potential wetland research, demonstration, training or other projects that could utilize the site.
  • Help us fund the Wetland Centre and plan for the long-term – for the Wetland Centre to be successful beyond the three-year project, we will need to build a community of in-kind and financial supporters. In addition to assembling and working with a small advisory group, we are interested in hearing your ideas.
  • Keep in touch – contact us with questions, events or projects that may be a good fit, or anything else you think would be helpful for us to know about.

For more information about the Wetland Centre April 24, 2019 workshop, view the workshop proceedings and presentations.

Thank you to our workshop sponsor Keyera: