Join our Wetland Reclamation Project; Relax and Enjoy Riverhurst and Lake Diefenbaker - Saskatchewan, Canada

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Canada

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    Last activity

    24/10/2020

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  • Description

    Description

    Hi. I'm really excited to invite you to our little Village of Riverhurst, Lake Diefenbaker, and Palliser Regional Park.

    As a member of a local group that volunteers to keep our village looking refreshed and friendly, on behalf of our committee, we welcome you to our little piece of heaven. Small communities such as ours really value volunteers who are, really and truly, the lifeline of this community.

    After a few years of 'talk', our group figured it was time to step up and take initiative in a new venture - reclaiming a wetland at the entrance to the village. We have many other projects on the go that include planting, caring for and expanding our tree canopy, tree inventory, artwork such as painting murals, and more. We would so love to have you join us.

    For many decades, this wetland populated by several species of migratory and other birds, as well as various amphibious and reptile species, has existed within the boundaries of the Village of Riverhurst. It is surface fed and subject to variations in water levels which have been the case for the many years of its existence. This has put enormous stress on waterfowl and other wetland species in the area, and adds significantly to the importance of this project.

    In 2018, in partnership with the Village of Riverhurst, development began to re-establish healthy levels of water in the wetland, while at the same time, putting safeguards in place to monitor and control flooding without draining the area. By doing so, the wetland will remain viable, sustainable and healthy, and in turn will support wet meadow species, green spaces and trees in the area immediately surrounding the wetland, offering habitat for many plant and animal species. This site will be used as a learning and demonstration site for other municipalities and landowners, for residents here and in the adjacent regional park, and for the hundreds of visitors to our village each summer. As well, The Riverhurst Wetland will act as an educational venue for youth in the community, with interactive knowledge from signage of different species of trees, plants, wildlife, waterfowl, birds, to illustrate the importance of maintaining wetlands. The primary function of The Riverhurst Wetland is habitat, shelter, erosion control and protection from wind and evaporation.

    In 2020, a drip irrigation system was installed to water the trees on the east side of the wetland. Hundreds of trees have been planted around the wetland with the intention to create a sustainable and healthy eco-system for all to enjoy. Also, a tree nursery is in place to replace and diversify tree population and contribute to a healthy urban forest for the village.

    Throughout, we want to add boardwalks, bridges, walking paths, viewing platforms, nesting platforms to attract birds, a water movement feature, benches, pollinator friendly areas with specific plants to attract bees, butterflies, and birds.

    A former wetland that had devolved into a soggy slough bottom filled with dryland weeds, has been transformed into an environmentally friendly, healthy wetland area that supports a diverse population of wildlife, waterfowl and vegetation.

    Riverhurst is my hometown. I live at Palliser Regional Park (just 7.5 km away from Riverhurst where the project is located) for the summer months, from May to September.

    The Village of Riverhurst is located in the middle of three major cities in southern Saskatchewan about 1.5 hour drive from each (Moose Jaw, Swift Current and Saskatoon,) and about 2.25 hours from Regina). For the majority of the year, the population is 130 people. We are a resort village, so for the summer months the population multiples substantially. The Village of Riverhurst is 3 km from beautiful Lake Diefenbaker and 7.5 km from the hidden gem of the prairies, Palliser Regional Park.

    Our village itself has friendly people surrounded by a large farming community. We have a volunteer fire department, Lions Club, beautiful Kiteley Park for the children to play in and visitors to have a picnic and relax in. There is a bed and breakfast, hotel/bar/restaurant, beautiful boutique (Barn Own Boutique) located in the old livery barn, gas station/groceries, campground, line dancing every Wednesday, and many events at Palliser Park to name a few. The population may be small but we are mighty ☺

    When I took on the project to plant trees and develop the area, I didn't realize the amount of time and labor that was necessary. I work full time at Palliser Regional Park and work at the project on my days off. It's up to you if you want to work together with me or on your own. My hours vary but even so, this project means a lot to me so I definitely put in the time and so look forward to sharing the experience with you.

    This is more of a cultural exchange because I don't expect you to work all the time. I'd like for you to enjoy and relax in Riverhurst, Palliser Park and surroundings.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    Teaching
    Gardening

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    This project is about protecting our environment, education on the importance of trees for our health and environment.
    You will learn the spirit of how volunteering is the true life line for small town living.

    Besides lending a hand, please experience the true beauty of the local people in the Village of Riverhurst and Palliser Regional Park.

  • Help

    Help

    The main area that we are focused on is at the entrance to the Village where we're creating an eco-friendly nature area. Our committee has numerous projects on the go and are always open to new ideas to explore.

    2021 season
    360 tree seedlings will need to be planted. This help includes:
    - Haul 4 truckloads of flax straw from Sage View Golf Course
    - Fill holes dug (with post hole digger) with dirt mixture of dirt, sand, manure. Add peat moss to each hole to maintain moisture and provide good drainage.
    - Plant and stake trees
    - Set up watering system for the Village Sign
    - Weed whip and cut grass around trees
    - Level road for water truck and vehicles for trail walkers
    - Level and cut grass along entire walking path
    - Build a boardwalk and lookout area over part of the wetland
    - If you are knowledgeable in composting, forestry, ecosystems, fauna and flora, etc, we'd love to have you share information with our community.

    AUGUST 2020
    - 420 trees seedlings were planted and mulched
    - Drip irrigation system was installed
    - Village sign with perennials built and planted

    The project will take a few years to develop. It all starts with a single seedling. Now is the time to start and we'd like you to be a part of it. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is NOW.

    In 2020, a tree inventory of the beautiful canopy of trees in the village has been completed with follow-up work to be done pruning the suckers and water sprouts.

    In 2020, self watering planters were purchased for the many floral displays that our committee cares for. There is less to do with watering the flowers but dead heading is still an essential service.

    If you are creative and love flower gardening, we have a place for you. There are many projects ongoing regarding floral displays. In the works are creating fairy gardens utilizing tree stumps throughout the village and expanding a project that includes an old drill at the end of main street. We also would love any artists to join us as we are considering adding murals throughout the village and possibly creating storefront art on open lots along main street.

    If you have any idea about tree planting, oh how wonderful that would be. If not, hakuna matata....no worries 😀 Everyone is welcome.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Beginner

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    I live and work in Palliser Regional Park only for 4 months in the summer from May to September. My home is a tent and truck camper. Your sleeping quarters will be in a large tent with a comfortable bed where you get to experience the sounds of nature. It's truly one of the best feelings in life.

    I have everything you need during your time here. There will be food at my campsite though not sure if it is your kind of food. You're welcome to eat what I have or buy your own. Even though I'm not a vegetarian, I seldom buy meat, milk, eggs or cheese. If I catch a fish, definitely fish would be on the menu though food really is your responsibility.

    This is a beautiful area and even though you will be volunteering, I really also would love for you to experience the area. The rest of the time it's yours to relax and enjoy this beautiful and peaceful area.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    In your down time, definitely ride across the Riverhurst Ferry to the west side of the lake, go fishing, hiking, golfing, swimming in the pool or late, check out the Rider games on the big screen in the Riverside Inn, shop at the Barn Owl Boutique, sand hills at Beechy. It's a beautiful area and if you like nature, you'll love it here.

    Riverhurst has a bar/restaurant, gas station with a small grocery store, library with a computer, and a museum. It's a quaint and lovely little village.

    There is a bigger center, Central Butte, that is a 20 minute drive, and on the other side of the lake is the town of Lucky Lake.

    I would like this exchange to be a cultureal experience as well as a volunteer opportunity. Because I work full time, my availability varies throughout the week. We can work on a schedule together for what works best for both of us. I would like to work together at the project vs having you work alone (that's no fun, right?) With that, I will provide breakfast and lunch (or supper) depending on my work schedule for that particular day. Let's see how it all works out. You'll be fed and given a place to sleep :)

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    Two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 3 hours a day, 5 days a week

A truckload of flax straw used for mulching around the tree seedlings.
Finally had some rain that added much needed moisture to the wetland
Nature accommodations - truck camper for sitting in when rainy or cold outside and tall standing tent/comfortable high air mattress (not shown)
Project - turn this wetland (at the entrance to town) into something a bit more pleasing to look at.
570 seedlings packed into two small boxes.
One of the many beautiful flower pots that I care for during the summer months.

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Host ref number: 817242556466