Membership in BLESS

BLESS members have been instrumental over the years in advancing natural area conservation and protection through a variety of means. Opportunities for members to contribute are many, from serving on the board of directors or on educational or lobbying committees to being involved in environmental activities and events to reporting on conditions when out in the natural area.

In the past, BLESS members have made presentations to schools and other organized groups speaking with informative slide talks about the flora and fauna of the Big Lake wetlands. BLESS members have also conducted field trips for schools and other organized groups including informative hikes through the Big Lake wetlands or "show and tell" at the BLESS viewing platform.

BLESS members have attended municipal government open houses and other public events to review proposed activities and provide advice on potential impacts to the Big Lake wetlands. Members have worked with developers in mitigating potential environmental effects of development projects around Big Lake.

We encourage all who have an interest in the Big Lake natural area, or in conservation or environmental protection in general to join us. Become a member of BLESS and make a difference. Following are some of the ways that new members can become involved in the work of BLESS:

  1. STEWARDSHIP. Members can report environmental problems noticed on site. Examples would be to identify and locate invasive plant species, or to report anyone dumping garbage, allowing dogs off leash, or wandering too closely to bird nesting areas or sensitive plant locations. These reports can be sent to info@BLESS.ab.ca and will be forwarded to the appropriate Provincial department. We are advised to not confront the public about any issues, but rather to send in photos, videos or written reports.

  2. CHILDRENS' SUMMER NATURE PROGRAM. Last summer the program was reorganised to accommodate COVID protocols, and a similar program is currently being planned for July and August 2021. A report on the 2020 program can be found on the BLESS website. This educational program is usually led by a paid university student. If additional volunteers are required, we will send requests to our members.

  3. MIGRATORY BIRD DAY FESTIVAL. This year's event has again been postponed. We hope to put on a simplified event this Fall, in conjunction with Nature Alberta. Volunteers will be greatly appreciated.

  4. LOBBYING. BLESS is in frequent communication with various levels of government regarding environmental issues. This is an opportunity to volunteer if you feel that you can contribute.

  5. ATTEND NATURE ZOOM MEETINGS. Members can attend monthly online information meetings and report back to our society. Both the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance (NSWA) and Nature Alberta hold very interesting sessions throughout the year. As a new member, you might also enjoy listening to some of these zoom meetings for your own interest without making a report.

  6. FUND RAISING. BLESS usually raises funds to pay for the Summer program by volunteering to work at a Casino. Our involvement in this is currently on hold.

  7. CITY AND OTHER AGENCY EVENTS. Members are welcome to represent BLESS by "manning" a booth at city or other agency events, or by attending meetings and reporting back to the board.

  8. NEWSLETTER. Members are encouraged to share interesting photographs and descriptions of bird and other wildlife sightings at Big Lake or write articles that can be included in the BLESS' quarterly newsletter.

For more information,please email info@bless.ab.ca. To become a member, please complete the membership form and send it to:
Big Lake Environment Support Society
P.O. Box 65053
St. Albert
Alberta
T8N 5Y3