Gettin' Down and Dirty
Well, just like the title says that’s what it takes to make a difference with your local conservation chapters on work nights. Jordan and I had the pleasure of volunteering and helping out Trout Unlimited Canada’s Middle Grand Chapter during their Alder Creek work night. We arrived on scene and met with various committee members and volunteers alike who are passionate outdoors individuals wanting to make any difference they can for conservation. We all gathered around the truck where we debriefed about Trout Unlimited Canada and what our purpose/goal of the night was. We then headed down the path around the agriculture fields to where we would be able to access the creek easily. Our goal of the night was to clear at least 1 or 2 of the large log jams that had clogged the creek causing issues with the natural meandering flow of the creek and huge sediment build ups. Alder Creek is home to 3 species of Trout during their spring migration to spawn and by taking out these log jams and morphological changes that occur with sediment build up, we would be enhancing the trout habitat. That night, 30 volunteers helped cut away wood with chainsaws and handsaws while others carried away the logs and sticks onto the shore and placed them out of the flood plain regions so that the debris did not flow back into the river when the plains flooded from rain or spring snow melt. We sure got our sweat on and a little muddy to boot but being outdoors individuals we all can relate to not being afraid of a little dirt on our hands, face, etc.!
It was awesome being out there, talking with other volunteers who share a passion for the outdoors and although the work was physical, it was really fun and you felt so rewarded after the night had commenced. It was amazing listening to the committee members share their stories and knowledge on water systems, fishing, etc. We ended up clearing 3 huge log jams in just under 3 hours which was an incredible accomplishment. Everyone worked so hard and wanted to do as much as possible in the allotted time that evening. Within moments of clearing each jam you could already physically see the difference in the flow of the creek. With the creek flowing naturally, it will automatically disburse any built-up sediment. We had such a great time out on Alder Creek and we will definitely be attending the Middle Grand Chapter’s next work night in July. You can find out more information about this chapter on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/middlegrandchapterTUC/
Another thing we really have to stress is the essential task of partnering and building positive relationships with land owners. We were only able to access Alder Creek because of the hard work from the committee members establishing a relationship with the land owner. He allowed all of us on his land to make a positive impact on Alder Creek. We can’t overlook the importance of having that relationship with landowners as it is essential to accessing many crucial parts of land for conservation work. Thank you to all the land owners out there that give access to conservation organizations or partner with them!
We really would highly recommend attending work nights in your area or heading out to events, gala dinners, etc with your local conservation chapters!
Yours in sustainability,
Jonathan and Jordan Witt