The Seine Rat Roseau Watershed District (SRRWD) plans and undertakes projects within the Watershed District aimed at the long-term sustainable use and management of land and water resources.
The SRRWD staff organizes and oversees the programs which are proposed by sub-district members and landowners within the Watershed District.
SRRWD staff is always willing to discuss potential projects with District residents.
Joey Pankiw and Chris Randall with the SRRWD talked about 4 different projects they have worked on in the past and how they are beneficial to the landowners and the community.
The first project they demonstrated was the St. Pierre-Jolys Frog Ponds.
The Frog Ponds provide a natural habitat for frogs and other wildlife, while allowing residents and visitors to enjoy nature within the village.
It benefits the environment by capturing nutrient run-off and being a wildlife and pollinator habitat.
The Parc Caillon Committee approached SRRWD with an idea to improve a low-lying wet area in the park.
They wanted to creat a wetland that would be designed for the community to enjoy, support the local frog populations, and be an interpretive and educational site for nearby schools to use for nature tours.
Randall says they debated putting a fence around the pond to prevent people from swimming in it, but they were able to come up with a better solution of cattails.
“That almost defeats the (purpose) if you put a fence around, because then nobody can actually get near to look at it,” he says. “And so by having this natural shoreline, people are much less likely to go swimming.”
He notes the pond also acts as a skating rink in the winter, so it’s great for recreation.
The second project they showed was the Ron Vermette Field Erosion Control.
This project is great for the environment as it captures nutrient run-off, reduces erosion, and is a wildlife and pollinator habitat.
It benefits the producer as it reduces the costs spent on seeds and fertilizer, reduces nitrogen loss, they can gain income from grazing or baling, it makes the land easier to manage, and reduces sediment into waterways.
Ron Vermette farms along the Rat River in the RM of De Salaberry, he signed up to participate in the SRRWD Erosion Control Program in 2021.
Vermette had a drain going across his land that had become severely eroded over the years.
He and the SRRWD staff were able to come up with a plan where a control structure was constructed at the outlet end of the drain along with regrading of the drain.
This slows the flow of water going down the drain which reduces the possibility that the drain will suffer from gully erosion again.
This ¼ mile strech will now reduce soil erosion and siltation along this waterway.
The third project is the Martial Gosselin ALUS Perennial Grass Project.
It has the same benefits to the environment as the previous project, and also benefits the producer in a few similar ways.
Gosselin’s land was highly susceptible to flooding during high-water events, as it is right in-between the Rat River and the St. Malo Canal.
Flood water would remain on the field for 2-3 weeks, which caused him to lose a large portion of his crop every few years.
He thought that this land would be well suited to perennial grass where it could act as a flood plain.
Gosselin now receives an annual payment, is able to harvest the grass, and is helping the environment through nutrient capture and erosion control.
The last project they highlighted was the Edwin Froese Water Retention.
This piece of land was often flooded with water coming from many different directions. The field is located between Grunthal and St. Pierre-Jolys and the project was a collaboration between three municipalities and the landowner who worked together to benefit the community.
The water retention is designed to back flood when water flowing from the upstream watershed exceeds 5 cubic meters of water per second.
It is also designed to slow down the flow heading to the village of St. Pierre-Jolys to allow their run-off water to escape before more flow floods their infrastructure.
This project consists of two cells with earth berms, ditches, multiple culverts, and livestock crossing. Fencing along the berms protect the berms from the cattle while allowing for ample grass for grazing and haying.
This project also prevents flooding on adjacent farmland and provides a reliable water source for cattle.
If you would like to improve your land and don’t know how, contact Joey Pankiw at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 204-326-1030 ext 1.