Branches and Banks 2007 Tree Plant and Watershed Awareness Festival

Branches and Banks Environmental FoundationCochrane Environmental Action CommitteeBranches and Banks is getting geared up for our 2007 tree plant and river/creek clean up again for this spring. We are changing things up a little bit this year with the organization of a whole day event – on June 2nd for Environment Week (Wetlands Awareness is the theme this year).As you might know – B&B has planted close to 30,000 trees and willows along the banks of Cochrane's watershed to restore and protect riparian health and to educate and create awareness of the value of riparian habitat.This year – we are looking at setting up several booths and interactive workshop-style events – with the support of organizations like Cows & Fish, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Alberta Conservation Association - where folks can learn and participate in watershed, wetland, and ecosystem conservation.We have decided to host the event in the Cochrane Ranche area and we are focusing this year's tree plant and clean up along sensitive areas of the Big Hill Creek in the Cochrane Ranche (which is also a designated Heritage Park)!Name a Wetland!The ASN has a new initiative that supports the "Naming a Wetland" where we are considering using this event to have folks "cast ballots" and suggest a name for the watershed wetland that is located along the Big Hill Creek. This will be an important opportunity to both educate and potentially create a lasting educational tool for the schools and general public in Cochrane.ParticipationWe are extending the invitation to the wider conservation community this year and hope that there will be many groups and organizations willing to help bring information and resources to the residents of Cochrane and area who come out annually to this event.The annual B&B event brings approximately 150-300 volunteers for the tree plant and river clean up every year. This year our bio-engineering project is just one of several activities occurring throughout the day. Our volunteers have been canvassing for funding, organizing signage, getting approvals, and hosting weekly meetings for this important day.Media & FoodWe will be doing a lot of advanced advertising with our local schools this year to bring up participation levels of our youth. Our communications team also is prepared to coordinate with the local newspapers and our radio station to bring folks out. The event coincides with the first day of our local Farmer's Market which will also bring folks from around the region to the Cochrane Ranche.This event will be a full-day awareness and outreach opportunity for the environmental community in and around Cochrane. There will be a BBQ lunch and several other goodies available for volunteers as is the usual for B&B events.I hope there is some excitement about participating and supporting this event.Support and Involvement!Please could you or someone from your organization contact the undersigned to discuss how you can participate prior to May 10th so that we can coordinate media releases and promote activities to our community.For more information please contact:Lisa Maria FoxVice-PresidentBranches and Banks Environmental FoundationCochrane Environmental Action Committee6 – 205 First Street EastCochrane, Alberta T4C 1X6Office (403) 932-4548Fax (403) 932-6824Cellular (403) 975-2973lisafox [at] telus [dot] net