Fifteen different classes of students from around the Lizard Lake area have been filled with the wonderment of nature thanks to support from Enbridge. Their sponsorship allowed the Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre to unite young people with the great outdoors. Today, all Lizard Lake supporters joined together for a project sign unveiling to celebrate the work being done to enhance this important wetland and the partnerships that made it happen.
“Education is an important aspect of Enbridge’s support in the Lizard Lake area,” says Rick Andrews, manager of provincial operations for Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC). “Local DUC wetland projects are used by surrounding communities and by schools and universities for educational purposes and we encourage those learning opportunities.”
Enbridge not only sponsors local education, the company also funded $100,000 of upgrades to DUC’s Lizard Lake project. Located between Miami and Manitou, Lizard Lake is one of DUC’s largest wetland conservation areas in Manitoba. The lake is 580 acres in size with an additional backflood area of 1,500 acres, which supports haying operations for local agricultural producers.
“The Lizard Lake project is a great example of DUC working with landowners to conserve wetlands that benefit wildlife, the agricultural industry and the local community,” says Andrews. “Since its restoration in 1985, it provides a world-class model of how a wetland can benefit a variety of stakeholders including recreational users, students, and a group of 31 landowners directly connected to the project.”
Lizard Lake is a conservation partnership with many stakeholders including the rural municipalities of Thompson and Pembina and the Pembina Valley Conservation District. The 1,500-acre backflood area provides early season habitat for waterfowl, hay for landowners, and important environmental benefits such as carbon storage and filtration of excess nutrients of the water moving through the watershed. The backflood area is only wet during the spring, so after July, the waterfowl move elsewhere and the land provides an important source of hay for local cattle producers.
“We are pleased to partner with Ducks Unlimited Canada to support their commitment to conserving Canada’s wetlands through the sponsorship of wetland habitat remediation projects near communities in which we operate,” says Les Scott, Enbridge community relations specialist, public affairs & communications, central region. “We are committed to being a responsible and considerate neighbour, and we deliver on that promise by investing in initiatives such as this that help make these communities better places to live.”