Meewasin is recognized world-wide for its leadership in conserving the natural resources of the 6,700 hectares of the Meewasin Valley. Meewasin sites and areas are home to more than 300 plant species, 150 bird species, and numerous insects, amphibians, reptiles and animals.
Meewasin strives to protect and enhance biodiversity in the Meewasin Valley through targeted conservation grazing, prescribed fire, ecological monitoring, removal of exotic invasive species and noxious weeds, native seed collection and planting of native grasses and wildflowers and clean-up of illegal dumping.
Complementary to other environmental or heritage review permitting processes, it focuses on the following parameters:
- Consistency with the Meewasin Development Plan;
- Conservation, preservation and interpretation of significant natural habitat;
- Protection of slope stability and good drainage practices;
- Design of aesthetics complementary to the natural setting of the river valley;
- Provision for public access.
The Meewasin mandate is to ensure a healthy and vibrant river valley for now and future generations with a balance between human use and conservation.
Meewasin follows a comprehensive plan to:
- Act as a conservation agency;
- Initiate a land stewardship program;
- Maintain resource management of the river valley;
- Restore damaged areas of the valley;
- Green the valley (afforestation);
- Enhance, restore and/or create wildlife habitat areas;
- Preserve remaining natural areas in the valley;
- Protect the natural and heritage resources; and
- Encourage river stewardship.
In 2015, Meewasin secured funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada to create a conservation action plan called the Valley-wide Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Meewasin Valley, which will guide Meewasin's conservation efforts over the next decade. The plan was developed in partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and engaged more than 50 stakeholders with representatives from all levels of government.
The RMP identified four conservation targets; rivers and creeks, swales, native grasslands, and wetlands. Threats were assessed and ranked, with the largest threat to the Meewasin Valley identified as invasive species. Other highly ranked threats include: dams and storm water management, runoff of pesticides and fertilizers, suburban development, trespass issues, fire and suppression, and regional climate change.
The RMP also identified more than 180 key conservation actions by Meewasin. Partnerships with like-minded organizations were identified as key to implementing the plan.
Meewasin continues to pursue other management tools throughout the valley that are intended to mimic natural disturbance regimes, including prescribed fire.
The Meewasin mandate is to ensure a healthy and vibrant river valley for now and future generations with a balance between human use and conservation by:
- Providing leadership in the management of resources;
- Promoting understanding, conservation and beneficial use of the valley; and
- Undertaking programs and projects in River Valley development and conservation.
Meewasin Valley-wide Resource Management Plan (RMP) 2017 - 2027 Poster
The report intent is to support the City of Saskatoon’s Green Infrastructure Strategy, and move toward Saskatoon’s vision of better integrating and conserving the city’s unique ecological network into the urban fabric