BLESS Accomplishments

Stewardship and Public Information

  • Wrote and made public numerous position papers on environmental issues including the western bypass road
  • Successfully nominated Big Lake for the Special Places 2000 program
  • Successfully nominated Big Lake for the Important Bird Areas program
  • In 2002 started a routine series of inspections of the BLNA as part of the volunteer stewardship duties.
  • In 2005 helped fund and participated in a River Edge Enhancement Project for the Sturgeon River in St. Albert

Awards and Recognition

  • In 1996, BLESS was honoured to receive the Alberta Emerald Award for Environmental Excellence.
  • In 2005, BLESS was awarded the Steward Service Excellence Award, the provincial government's most prestigious stewardship award. Alberta Community Development presents only one of these awards annually to the most deserving official steward.


  • Every summer, using hired summer students, BLESS conducts a free Summer Nature Program for children at the RCMP log cabin in St. Albert.
  • BLESS commissioned a rare plant survey of Lois Hole Park in 2013
  • BLESS has produced plant and bird guides for Lois Hole Provincial Park

Monitoring and Data Collection

  • As provincial stewards of Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park, BLESS regularly monitors and reports on conditions and activities around Big Lake.
  • BLESS implemented a water quality monitoring program that has obtained baseline water quality data for Big Lake, its inlets and outlet.
  • BLESS members have maintained 10 years of Bird Count records for the Big Lake area
  • BLESS members have collected water level measurements of Big Lake for Alberta Environment

Capital Projects

  • With funding from Alberta Parks, BLESS has installed a web camera on the shores of Big Lake
  • With partners, BLESS designed and built a viewing platform on Big Lake
  • With partners, BLESS constructed a well-used shelter along the Red Willow Park Trail near the St. Albert Rugby Club
  • BLESS helped facilitate signage related to bird species typically found on Big Lake near the viewing platform

Festivals and Events

  • Every year BLESS members help organize and participate in the annual Sturgeon River cleanup event
  • BLESS member Dan Stoker conducts the two-day Springing to Life event at the platform every year

Contact BLESS

Photo Credits
Top: Miles Constable (first and second panel), Dave Burkhart (third panel)
Left: John Samson (panel 1, 3, 7 and 8), John Warden (panels 2 and 6), Dave Burkhart (panels 4 and 5)