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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

2016 Blue Weed Blitz Bent Back Award goes to Shell Waterton summer students

Brad Bustard, Stephen DeCock (Shell Waterton), David Green, Aiden Bustard, Michael Gerrand 
On October 6, 2016 Shell Waterton Complex Environmental Coordinator Stephen DeCock presented the Pincher Creek Watershed Group with a $3,000 cheque toward offsetting the costs of the 2016 Blue Weed Blitz.  DeCock also accepted the Blue Weed Blitz's annual Bent Back Award on behalf of Shell summer students who participated in the event, which was held on July 9 this year.

The prestigious Bent Back Award

Background

Submitted - On Saturday, July 9th, 65 volunteers converged on the Grier-Burhmann Ranch southwest of Pincher Creek to spend the day picking the infamous Blue Weed from the riparian areas along the Pincher Creek. The ‘campaign’ ran from the Forest Reserve to a point 4 miles downstream of Pincher Creek.

The volunteers began assembling at 9:15 AM to enjoy coffee and donuts. Under the watchful eye of Michael Gerrand (BWB Reach Manager), the participants were split into groups and assigned one of twelve “reaches” of the creek. In most cases, the landowner adjacent to the creek was present to guide the team to the proper location. The groups disbursed amidst a flurry of shovels, gloves, hats, lunches, water, sunscreen, rain gear, laughter and conversation… and were never seen again until about 4 PM !

In summary, the 65 people picked 12 ‘reaches’; 263 bags of weed were collected and bagged. The total weight of the haul was 3400 lbs.

During the wind-up dinner, MC Brad Bustard presented the following awards: Youngest picker, oldest picker, picker from furthest away, biggest blue-weed root, biggest plant, longest root, determination (2), and the Bent Back Award.

The Pincher Creek Watershed Group would like to thank the following sponsors: Shell Waterton Complex, Town of Pincher Creek, Municipal District of Pincher Creek No 9, Alberta Parks, Parks Canada, Tim Hortons, and Southwest Waste Management. Pincher Creek and District FCSS provided the sound system and Jim and Suzanne Curran supplied the power for the sound system. Music was provided by Isaak Bustard.

In the lead-up and during the event, our intrepid coordinator, Caron Kosachenko did a great job keeping the herd organized, on-time and on-budget.

A special thanks to Kristin and Bob for, once again, being generous hosts. The ranch continues to be a perfectly located ‘staging area’ for this annual event.

This event continues to draw volunteers from across and beyond the region. This is indeed “community caring for the creek”.

Aiden Bustard

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