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‘It takes all of us’: Elk River Alliance celebrates community with barbecue

It was the first such event held since 2020
A community appreciation barbecue was held by the Elk River Alliance (ERA) on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. From left: Nic Milligan (on the board of the ERA), Lee-Anne Walker (a director and founder of the ERA), Marie Wilfong (volunteer with the ERA), John Poirier (a founding director of the ERA), and Chad Hughes (executive director with the ERA). (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)

The Elk River Alliance (ERA) hosted a barbecue on Tuesday (July 26) to show appreciation for the community that keeps the conservation organization going.

The event took place at James White Park, and saw ERA directors, past directors, staff, volunteers and their families show up for food, drinks, and chats.

Lee-Anne Walker, a director and the founder of the ERA, said they’ve held similar events before, but not since 2020.

“Post-COVID, we’re having an opportunity to celebrate the very important volunteers, directors, people involved with this amazing organization,” she said.

“Thank goodness we’re able to do that again.”

She said the talent that is involved with the ERA is unbelievable, and pointed to the scientists, conservationists, and those with the ‘brawn for digging holes’ and putting up signs.

“The local intelligence that is a part of this organization is just unparalleled, it’s fantastic,” she said.

“I think as an organization, we hit beyond our weight,” she said.

Walker pointed to their Elk River Discovery Camps being sold out, that they are restoring wetlands, doing education, putting interpretive signs around town, helping install amenities along the river, and are involved in Cottonwood conservation.

“It’s just vast, our social media is really taking off. We’re doing all kinds of interesting things,” she said.

Walker said she was recently out on the river and saw hundreds of people there.

“The Elk River is an incredible asset that we have,” she said.

“We need to work together as a community to keep this amazing resource in the condition that it’s in, and it takes all of us to be a part of that.”

Food for Tuesday’s barbecue was provided by Save-On-Foods and beer was provided at a discount by Fernie Brewing Co.

READ MORE: ‘Incredibly grateful’: Canyon Raft Company raises $3,060 for Elk River Alliance

READ MORE: Elk River Alliance presents 2020 watershed monitoring results, says sites overall ‘looking pretty good’


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