The Last Mountain Lake Stewardship Group was formed in 2002 as the result of concerns expressed by the cottagers and residents of (perceived) effluent entering Last Mountain Lake. We formed a stewardship group and began regular meetings to discuss what we could do to ensure that Last Mountain Lake remain a non-polluted and healthy ecosystem.
Our mission is “To Sustain and Enhance our Lake for Future Generations”. Our goal is to steward and monitor the health of Last Mountain Lake, while sustaining the resources for the communities that depend on them.
In 2002, with the assistance of the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority (SWA), we developed a Water Quality Monitoring Program that would effectively measure both the chemical and biological conditions of the lake water. This program enabled us to monitor the quality of our lake water, with the goal of early identification of water quality stressors and to create a historical database for future generations. Metal signage is placed at several areas around the lake that indicate the two baseline stations and seven shoreline-sampling sites.
Some of our other programs and accomplishments include:
1. Developed and presented an educational program through Nature Saskatchewan workshops.
2. Developed a Communication Strategy program that outlined eco-friendly choices for lakeside property owners.
3. Implemented a Leafy Spurge Project, a biological treatment procedure that eradicates this invasive plant which is endangering the prairie grassland around Last Mountain Lake.
4. Created a Fuel Spill Recovery Program, introducing a new methodology of removing hydrocarbons from water. This program instructed marina staff how to safely contain and remove spilled fuel from the water; and provided education and (free) equipment to boaters to reduce and remove petroleum accidentally spilled into the lake.
5. Registered our group as a charitable non-profit organization.
6. Hosted workshops at local schools and community centers, providing educational material, brochures etc. on how to maintain good environment practices at the lake.
The above mentioned programs have been successful due to private and public grant funding; and due to the committed volunteers who donate their time, efforts and personal resources when required.