Inter-Mountain Watershed District develops new memorial park

Published on Tuesday, 30 August 2022 07:00

Inter-Mountain Watershed District (IMWD) has developed new Memorial Park and held a ceremony honouring its first two inductees, Ernie Bayduza and Wes Bernat.

IMWD’s new Memorial Park is located in the yardsite of its office near Ethelbert and is intended to honour the volunteers instrumental in founding and building the district into what it is today.

According to IMWD general manager Jeff Thiele, tremendous growth has been accomplished during Bernat’s and Bayduza’s time with the district, and their work constitutes important building blocks for the next generation which will be working and volunteering in conservation.

Bayduza was a long-time councillor, reeve and farmer in the RM of Dauphin. His conservation ethic led him to become a subdistrict member with the Turtle River Watershed Conservation District 1986, and he was integral in the formation of Intermountain Conservation District (IMCD) in 1997. With the new district, Bayduza became chair of the Wilson River subdistrict and served as chair of IMCD between 1999 and 2004. Bayduza remained an active member of the main board of directors until he stepped down in 2011. He continued on as chair of the Wilson River subdistrict until his death in 2019.

During his time on the board, Bayduza also served as chair of the Manitoba Conservation District Association’s board from 2001-03. He received the Conservation Builder Award in 2004 and Bayduza and his wife Alvina were the district’s Conservation Award winners in 2008.

Bayduza also played an important role with the Dauphin Lake Advisory Board and Dauphin Lake Integrated Watershed Management Plan.

“We would like to acknowledge Ernie’s many years of commitment to the district by recognizing him today as a founder and builder of IMWD,” Thiele said.

Bernat grew up and farmed in the RM of Dauphin and also had a long-time career with the City of Dauphin. He was first employed by the City as the Engineering clerk and went on to become the personnel director. Bernat was later elected as a city councillor. He was a member of the IMCD since its establishment in 1997, when he was appointed as the City’s representative on the Vermillion River sub-district.

Bernat was appointed as Chair of the Vermillion River sub district in 2013 and remained an active member of the main board of directors until his passing in 2016.

Bernat participated in many district events such as the annual water festival, conservation district conferences and meetings and was instrumental in the creation of the district’s water retention strategy as well as the implementation and expansion of conservation programming.

Bernat was chair of the Personnel Committee and was instrumental in developing the district’s human resource policies and procedures.

“We would like to acknowledge Wes and his wife Stephanie’s many years of commitment to the district by recognizing him today as a builder of IMWD,” said current chair of IMWD, Jack Bremner. “Both Wes and Ernie were very passionate about conservation and the health of our watershed. It is important for us to recognize their contributions in our new Memorial Park”.

IMWD is in a partnership with the Province of Manitoba and the fmunicipalities of Alonsa, Dauphin (City); Dauphin (R.M), Ethelbert, Gilbert Plains, Grandview, Lakeshore, McCreary, Mossey River, Mountain South, Riding Mountain West, Roblin, Rosedale and Ste. Rose.

These partnerships enable IMWD to deliver a variety of soil, water and educational programs in the area.

IMWD was recently created after the amalgamation of Turtle River Watershed Conservation District and Intermountain Conservation District. Check out its website at imwd.ca for more information.

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