2020 Annual General Meeting

Due to the pandemic, we delayed our Annual General Meeting and annual newsletter from spring to fall. Our AGM will be different this year, as many things are different now. We will be holding the meeting via Zoom on Wednesday September 16, from 7-9pm. If you would like to participate, please email info@WinterTracadie.ca or call 902-314-9293. Those who register will receive a link to join the meeting.

If you haven’t used Zoom before, we have a document with instructions we can share. Upon request, we could also hold a test meeting to help anyone practice using the system. On the day of AGM there won’t be much opportunity to help those who might have beginner’s challenges.

Hope some of you can join us virtually for the meeting.

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WRTBWA 2020 AGM UPDATE

In March of this year restrictions of the movement and gathering of people due to COVID-19 were put in place on PEI.  These restrictions resulted in the Board of Directors for the Winter River – Tracadie Bay Watershed Association deciding that the annual general meeting (AGM) would be postponed until the fall when hopefully COVID-19 restrictions will allow a face-to-face meeting. As they become available, preliminary annual reports as would normally be shared at the AGM will be posted to the WRTBWA’s website with the full reports presented at the AGM in the fall.

Preliminary 2020 AGM Chair Report submitted by Clare Martin

Board of Directors

At the May 2019 AGM a Board of 11 Directors was formed comprising of three new Directors and eight returning Directors. As per the By-Laws, there shall be not less than six and not more than 12 Directors. At the Executive Meeting held May 29, 2019 it was unanimously decided that the executive for 2019 would consist of Chair – Clare Martin, Vice Chair – George Coade, Secretary – Ryan Winters, and Treasurer – Lowell Vessey.

Funding

As a non-profit organization we rely on funding from government (federal, provincial, and municipal), non-government organizations, and donations. Each funder grants money to the Association with conditions of how their grant is to be used. For examples, some funders provide money for salaries, some provide funds to support a specific project, while a few funds are more flexible and can be used for overhead such as office expenses. Well into the 2019 summer season, the Association learned that some funders’ grants would be significantly reduced compared to previous years. This resulted in using some of the Association’s reserve fund to complete the projects in progress and commitments to staff salaries. Inconsistent funding makes budgeting for staff and projects a constant challenge for the Association. This is one reason we maintain a reserve fund.

Environmental Educational Opportunities Provided by the Watershed

During 2019, high school and post-secondary students were employed to complete the Association’s projects under the direction of the Watershed Coordinator. The Association emphasizes providing interested students with environmental work experience. The PEI Watershed Alliance also supports the learning of the Association’s staff by providing workshops on specific topics such as fish passage. The Alliance either conducts the workshop itself or arranges for various experts to deliver a workshop to staff from interested watershed groups around PEI.

The Association also provided our own environmental learning opportunities to school groups ranging from elementary to the post- secondary level. As well, in September a corporate group was hosted by the Association for their annual community volunteering event.  

Learning opportunities for the general public included organizing a snowshoe hike and later a Lady Slipper hike using the Winter River Trail. Additionally, a booth staffed by the Association was set up at the Canada Day Celebration held at the North Shore Community Centre. Presently, a trail is being constructed through the Association’s Suffolk property. The trail will allow for self-guiding educational opportunities for the general public through what will become a demonstration area for our group.

This past year the Association hosted a series of meetings with farmers in the area. The meetings highlighted the work of the Watershed Association and helped us gain a better understanding of how the Watershed Association can work with the farmers to maintain or improve the quality of the land and water resources within our watershed. The Association felt that these meetings were very productive due to the exchange of information and concerns.

Water Extraction

During 2019, the City of Charlottetown’s Miltonvale Park wellfield (located outside our watershed) became operational. The Miltonvale Park wellfield now supplies 25% of Charlottetown’s water supply, to be used by residents, visitors, industry, and businesses. Therefore, less water is needed from the City’s wells located in Brackley and Union Road. The Association continues to meet with officials from the City of Charlottetown and the Provincial government to share information on watershed management and concerns related to water extraction from our watershed for use by the City of Charlottetown.

In the fall of 2019, the Association responded to the Province’s invitation to provide feedback to the proposed Water Extraction Regulations. Five Board members attended the October 30th public meeting in Charlottetown. The Board also met privately with Deputy Minister of Environment and provincial staff on November 7th to present the Association’s particular concerns with the proposed water extraction regulations.

In September, MLAs from all parties were invited to meet with the Association to highlight concerns over land use and water extraction within the watershed. The Mayor from the City of Charlottetown also joined this meeting. The Association considered the meeting to be quite successful as there was a high level of engagement and interest from the attending politicians and government officials.

As always, the Board of Directors for the Winter River – Tracadie Bay Watershed Association encourages the residents of our watershed to bring to the attention of the Board any concerns or questions they have about what is happening in the watershed.

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2020 Job Opportunity

6 month Water Monitoring Role

Applicants MUST meet the conditions of the Clean Tech Internship program:

  • Post-secondary graduates
  • No more than 30 years of age at the start of the internship
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons granted refugee status in Canada
  • Legally allowed to work according to the relevant provincial and Canadian legislation and regulations
  • Not receiving employment insurance during their internship
  • Available to work for at least six months

Link to detailed job ad:

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2020 Volunteer Opportunity

The Winter River – Tracadie Bay Watershed Association is looking for a person to join its Board of Directors. If you live in the watershed and are interested in protecting and improving our environment, we’d love to have you.

The Board includes up to twelve people from different walks of life. We meet once a month for about two hours. Board members may also participate in hikes and other activities for local residents to showcase the work we do and to just enjoy the outdoors.

Other information on the work of the board members is available elsewhere on our website, such as About Us and Meeting Minutes.

If you’re interested in joining us or learning more about this role, please contact our Chairperson, Clare Martin, at ctamartin135@gmail.com

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2020 Snowshoe Hike

We will be hosting our annual snowshoe event (or hike) on Saturday February 1. Everyone should meet at the parking lot for the Winter River trail at 10am.

After hiking along the Winter River, participants will be invited to the private family cabin of one of our volunteers, where we will warm up with some chili and hot chocolate, along with enjoying some sweet treats.

After leaving the cabin, participants can take the short route back to the parking lot, or feel free to independently explore some other areas of the Winter River trail system.

Dogs are welcome if they are kept on a leash. Children are welcome – no leashes required! For planning purposes, the route we will follow is around 4km. If this is too far for some people, you can start with the group and take a shorter route out (skipping the snacks) and have a total distance of about 2.5km. If needed, ask your trail guide to point out this route when the group reaches the turn off point.

We ask participants to bring their own snowshoes to this event. If snow conditions require snowshoes and you don’t have any, please contact Sarah Wheatley in advance, to see if arrangements can be made.

If there is little snow, this event will proceed as a hike along the same route. Only in the event of extensive ice-covered areas would the event be postponed to February 22.

There is no cost for this event, but donations are always gratefully accepted.

Check our Facebook event page for updates on the event and additional information such as maps and trail details. https://www.facebook.com/events/604097020134558/

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Thanks for our funding partners in 2019.

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Fall 2019 Update

We have created a special electronic newsletter to update our supporters on some important issues that we have been working on this year.

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Special Fundraising Event

Wheatley’s Raspberries will be donating the proceeds from all raspberry sales on Monday August 5, 2019 to Winter River – Tracadie Bay Watershed Association.

Who:      Wheatley’s Raspberries have been growing raspberries in Suffolk for 40 years, first picking berries to sell, then transitioning to a completely U-pick operation.

What:     U-pick raspberries will be available at regular prices on this date. Customers can also choose to speak to staff members from the watershed group about the work that the group does.

As a registered charity, we can issue tax receipts for any separate donations made on this date, or at any time

When:    Monday August 5, 2019 from 8 am until noon

               In the event of rain, alternate date will be Tuesday August 6.

Where: 630 Suffolk Road PEI

Why:      Wheatley’s Raspberries is located next to a small stream of the Winter River in Suffolk, and recognizes the value of this local charity in helping to protect and enhance the environment in our community. Water is necessary to support all life in our community and most of the water for the City of Charlottetown. There are so many uses of water from Winter River – Tracadie Bay Watershed:

  • drinking and cooking
  • showers and toilets
  • brewing local beer
  • coffee shops
  • cleaning the hospital
  • fighting fires
  • fish habitat
  • ice rinks and swimming pools

How:      Come to Suffolk to pick some local berries and support a local charity in the process. Please bring your own containers to transport your berries home.

Grow for the Flow

For the portion of the raspberry season that overlaps with sunflower bloom, these flowers will be available for sale, with proceeds also going to the watershed group.

Next year, Wheatley’s Raspberries encourages other landowners with a small patch of unused land to grow sunflowers, as a way to show their support for the watershed group. Planting sunflowers is also a way to support our local pollinator population.

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Job Opportunity

We are looking for a Watershed monitoring and restoration intern for a 26 week position.

Full job advertisement is available here:

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AGM update

Our guest speaker will now be Aggi-Rose Reddin, Vice-chair at Glenaladale Heritage Trust.

Hope to see many people at the Corran Ban hall for this presentation.

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