As stewards of the river valley corridor, Meewasin strives to ensure a healthy and vibrant river valley. Balancing human use and conservation for the benefit of present and future generations is no easy task but it has proven to be a valuable and effective approach.
Meewasin’s fundamental mission is based around the concept of partners working within a single agency to conserve regional natural and cultural resources. It was introduced through Raymond Moriyama’s original vision for this organization.
Every five years, Meewasin issues a State of the Valley Report to provide a point in time assessment of the advancement Meewasin has made in relation to the overarching themes of Health, Balance, Fit and Vibrancy. The time frame covered the report runs from 2014 to 2018, and provides a wonderful reflection of Meewasin’s work.
Assessing the Health of the study area includes factors such as land use and land cover and changes, biodiversity, and conservation measures. And progress has been positive on the majority of Meewasin’s ecological goals.
Within the study area, 84% of Natural Areas are in patches larger than 20 hectares, making up 28% of the total study area. Within the Meewasin Valley, that proportion is 91% which comprises 50% of the total valley area.
The Health of flora and fauna were also assessed.
Seventy rare or COSEWIC ranked species were found in the study area, out of 524 unique species reported. Horticulture restoration planting projects were established at multiple locations, resulting in 35,122 plantings within the Meewasin Valley.
Over 900,000 invasive species plant stems were treated within the reporting period. Monitoring of aquatic invasive species continues at multiple locations. To date no invasive mussels have been detected, which is key for our waterways.
Finding Balance between conservation and human use of the region is never easy. This means providing safe access for community recreation and nature appreciation while not endangering conservation efforts.
The State of the Valley Report indicates things are progressing well and sets out some great suggestions of where focus can be intensified.
Within the City of Saskatoon, 92% of the shoreline is publicly owned. Significant work happened over the reporting period with over 13 kms of new trail was established in several areas and upgrades were also completed during the reporting period and many more upgrades being made now. Green space now encompasses 1,998 hectares of the total study area, making the Valley a great home for native flora and fauna.
Fit and Vibrancy
Meewasin’s strategic goals related to Fit and Vibrancy are being achieved. This includes goals facilitating recreational access to the river valley, achieving diversity in activities, and increasing education and public participation.
Additionally, Meewasin has expanded communications, outreach, and engagement opportunities within the region. These new and enhanced strategies have resulted in broader and diversifying engagement, with a much larger volume of community participation reported.