The Lacombe Lake Watershed Stewardship Society is inviting those interested in the local lake’s health to their Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Held Wednesday, April 11 at 7 p.m. at the Kozy Korner, the meeting is open to the general public and free to attend.
Vocal lake health advocate and society member Anita Alexander says the society was formed in 2012 to deal with a water quality issue regarding water backing up and into the lake from the north – the very same end it normally drains from.
A group of concerned lake residents and users decided to get together to address issues facing the lake, and created a mandate to promote and maintain a healthy aquatic environment within Lacombe Lake and its surround shoreline.
“They’ve done a lot of work with the Alberta Lake Management Society, who’ve been testing the water,” she said. “The lake water was not good quality at all in 2008. It was gunky…Last year, they said Lacombe Lake is now amongst the cleanest lakes in all of Alberta.”
The desire and aim of the society is to keep it that way, and thus the need for the AGM.
The agenda consists of going over 2016 activities, including water sampling by the Alberta Lake Management Society, plant picking, a bird count, and an update from the Central Alberta Rowing Club. Cliff Soper will talk for a bit on climate change and some of the effects the lake could be seeing, and Brad Peters of the Alberta Lake Management Society will be their main guest speaker.
Alexander herself will give a stormwater update, touching on Blackfalds’ plan to filter stormwater into the lake.
The plan calls for a pipeline to move stormwater from the Town of Blackfalds and through several storm water and holding ponds before being discharged into Lacombe Lake. While Stantec, the company behind the plan, is confident water that reaches the lake will meet the standards set out by Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP), residents, lake users, and society members aren’t convinced.
The issue spurred a petition last summer, which saw over 1,000 people sign in opposition to the proposal. The City of Lacombe sent a letter to AEP to review the impact of stormwater on Lacombe’s own water systems, and Lacombe County deferred the approval of a nine-acre land purchase required for the plans to go forward until concerns, from contaminants to high water levels, to other stormwater drainage options were looked at closer.
While nothing has moved forward on the proposal, and the plan isn’t to get political during the AGM, it’s still a concern for the society with regards to the health of the lake.
“It’s (the AGM) is always held around this time, but it is a really good time because the ice is melting and we’ll all be noticing the water, and thinking about it again,” said Alexander. “People don’t want their beautiful environment destroyed.”
More information on the society will be available during the AGM. Memberships will also be made available at $10 each for those interested in having a say about Lacombe Lake happenings.