Students lead legacy restoration projects in new partnership

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November 27, 2018
Lakeland College agricultural sciences and environmental sciences students are working together to restore the ecological integrity, natural structure and function of two wetlands on college land.
Group of students in front of one watershed project
The wetland restoration projects are a collaboration with ALUS Canada, the Vermilion River Watershed Alliance (VRWA) and the Battle River Watershed Alliance (BRWA).
 
“We need a lot of land to farm and to use all this land we need to give back. More farmers want to practice sustainability and stewardship in their operations, which are practices that are not common yet. This project is a great opportunity for us because it gives students a foot in the door,” says Liam Peterson. Peterson is a second-year animal science technology (AST) beef major and the sustainability and stewardship manager for the Student-Managed Farm – Powered by New Holland (SMF) beef research unit.
 
Current and future students who are part of the SMF, bachelor of applied science in environmental management (BASEM) degree program and the Student-Environmental Consulting Office are charged with planning and budgeting each stage of the projects.
 
“This experience is very eye-opening and it is the most practical project I have had the opportunity to work on at Lakeland. The organizations want to move forward with our ideas and fully develop them, which is cool because they are taking our recommendations and us seriously,” says Keeley Bromling, a BASEM student.
 
The wetlands are located on pasture land, south of the Vermilion campus. A project proposal submitted to ALUS in March 2018 recognized the cattle as the cause of the wetlands’ poor conditions. 
 
With a producer perspective, agricultural sciences students devise restoration solutions based on recommendations from environmental sciences students. Environmental sciences students work with the perspective of an environmental consultant. The solutions are presented to the project partners for further consideration. 
 
In September, students determined the first course of action for the wetlands. “In spring 2019 we will fence off the wetlands to stop the cattle from causing more damage. One of the wetlands is a natural slough and the other is a manmade dugout. In the slough, we’re installing wooden posts with wildlife friendly fencing - a barbed fence with a barbless top. Metal posts and a wildlife friendly fence will be installed around the dugout,” says Brandee Charlton, a second-year AST livestock major and the sustainability and stewardship manager for the SMF sheep livestock unit.
 
They are also planning to install a watering system in the manmade dugout. In October 2018, the agricultural sciences students viewed four different systems they could potentially purchase.
 
Bromling added the environmental sciences groups continue to observe the pugging around the wetlands and the status of a Canada Thistle infestation, test bank stability and water quality, and clear dead trees and fallen branches. 
 
The watering system and fencing is the first step, explained Jessica Emmott, an agricultural sciences instructor and a project advisor. In the coming months, Emmott will continue to work with James Woodhouse, environmental sciences chair and a project advisor, as well as ALUS, the VRWA and BRWA to determine the one-, five-, and 10-year goals for the project. The partner organizations continue to oversee the project plans, and offer expert advice and financial support. ALUS will also periodically make on-site visits to assess the restoration progress. The wetlands could be used by VRWA as demo sites for local producers to evaluate how they can produce valuable ecological services on their farmland.
 
Learn more about ALUS Canada, Vermilion River Watershed Alliance and Battle River Watershed Alliance by exploring their websites​
  
Photos: (Top-Bottom): Agricultural sciences students meet at one of the wetlands they'll be restoring over the next few months. Environmental sciences and agricultural sciences students meet to discuss the wetland restoration project.
What Students Say
With the Student-Managed Farm you learn to be accountable for what you’re doing and the choices you make. You get an understanding of what it’s like to be out in industry or on a farm making decisions that count.

– Anthony Biglieni

Agribusiness Class of 2006

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College has been a integral partner in growing our own through the school of business. As an alumnus of the college, I have first-hand learning experience in the school of business. The professors welcome Servus Credit Union to facilitate classes in the Business Ethics course each year.

– Sandi Unruh

Senior Human Resources Consultant

What Faculty & Staff Say
Vertex has had great experience bringing on students from Lakeland College. We have found the Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Management) program to provide students with good academic knowledge of the environmental industry and the criteria that governs the land reclamation

– Sean Fuller B.Sc., P.Ag.

Vice President, Environmental Services, Vertex.

What Alumni Say
There is no way I would be where I am today without Lakeland College. It inspired me to be a better person and to get a job in something I love doing. I am so thankful I had such a great experience at Lakeland and I hope future students do as well.

– Danielle Gaboury

Business studies, Class of 2016.

What Students Say
I recommend the UT program to people all the time. The smaller setting Lakeland offers, is very conducive to learning. It's less intimidating than the larger universities and allows for more class interactions and discussions

– Kelly Mykytuk

2nd year UT student, 2017-18

What Alumni Say
I have loved my experience at Lakeland. The teachers are personable, and quick to share about their own experiences. They encouraged me to run with my own ideas and see what would happen; they got excited about my designs, which gave me the confidence to do my best and be more creative.

– Payton Ramstead

Class of 2016, Interior Design student.

What Alumni Say
At Lakeland College you are guaranteed to have time out of the classroom where you can put everything you learned together and actually see that what you’re learning is relevant.

– Alisa Brace

Animal Health Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The friendships I made, the experiences we were provided with, and the welcoming atmosphere of the Vermilion Campus made my time at Lakeland extremely valuable and memorable

– Grayden Kay

Animal Science & Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College was a learning environment unlike any other school. It allows students to learn beyond the classroom, and staff and faculty genuinely want to see students succeed. It’s a place where you can feel comfortable asking questions and where everyone has a place and fits in.

– Carson Reid

Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The instructors were the highlight of my time at Lakeland. It made a huge impact on my college experience to have instructors who challenged, encouraged, and believed in me.

– Jessica Cadrain

Child & Youth Care, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
At the beginning of my first year, I was really stressed out as I felt I had no artistic ability. But with the instruction and time put in by the interior design faculty, I was able to develop my artistic abilities. Now I am fully confident in and exceeding well in the artistic side of this career!

– Naomi Mason

Interior Design Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I just feel like you get the best education at Lakeland, especially from the time that the instructors can actually spend with you. I like the class sizes too – everything’s been great about my Lakeland experience.

– Dean Coulson

Heavy Equipment Technician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I do give Lakeland College credit for reigniting my interest and even preparing me for Miss Rodeo Canada. Lakeland helped me to grow enough to have the confidence to think I could take on that role and become that person. I think that I have and I am really grateful for that

– Ali Mullin

Agribusiness, class of 2014, former Miss Rodeo Canada.

What Alumni Say
I feel the professors at Lakeland actually prepared me for the profession. It’s impossible to be just a number here when there are 12 students in all of your classes. When the school advertised small class sizes, they actually meant it.

– Stephen Mark Visser

Real Estate Appraisal and Assessment, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I was involved in the president’s gala in April where I was an emcee for the evening, it was a great experience, and I had a lot of fun doing it and would recommend it to everyone.”

– Lucas Tetreault

HOPE Power Engineering, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I would recommend Lakeland College for the simple fact that it's for everybody. As a mature student who went back to school much later than his 18th year, I was immediately accepted, and not ostracized in the least

– Donald James Shaw

Accounting Major, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
All the hands-on learning was great and very helpful once placed into the industry. Having clients leave with a smile after each service assured me that I was in the right field of work. I would recommend Lakeland to anyone.

– Courtnee Coolidge

Esthetician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The professors care so much about their students at Lakeland and are able to know each and every one of them by name, so much so that they are able to nominate a ton of students for awards.

– Stephanie Wakefeild

University Transfer, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
They really put you in the lead at Lakeland. Lakeland cares about its students, empowers them, and gives them opportunities to achieve their goals. I don’t see Lakeland as a stepping stone or a first step – I see it as a bridge and an integral part of my education.

– Alyssa Wells

University Transfer, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I wanted to get experience in the field of assessment as it would give me exposure to what it’s like day to day. It was an invaluable experience as I find it hard to imagine what it would be like working in a particular field or area until I’m doing the work.

– Sheldon Farrell

Real estate appraisal and assessment, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
In the campus spa, they give you time to work with each client so nothing is rushed and you’re able to concentrate on providing the best service you can to your client.

– Daphney Couturier

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
It’s going to be a lot easier to start our first jobs having this experience and having been able to build our confidence in the campus spa. I love that we get to have this opportunity.

– Darby Watchel

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Employers Say
Lakeland is a great place to find employees. The college provides real world training that equips soon-to-be employees with knowledge and people skills that are highly sought after in the agriculture industry these days.

– Dustin Dinwoodie

Key Account Manager – Western Canada Arysta LifeScience