Kathy's Local Action Project

Kathy owns a cottage on a lake in Alberta. She is concerned that the lake is degrading. Water quality has suffered as the water table has dropped in recent years. She feels people around the lake, like herself, could be doing more to help the lake. She uses a survey program in Wayfinders Business Co-operative to contact other cottage owners and poll them about their concerns and interests regarding the lake. When she discovers that many owners are also concerned she organizes an online forum in Wayfinders to get some ideas on what to do and how to proceed.

The online service has a variety of apps for polling, as well as for sharing and collaborating. Kathy realises that connecting on line is not the only, or the best way to get people engaged in rehabilitating the lake. She organizes a local get-together and BBQ at her cottage, sending invitations through the Wayfinders invitation app. Kathy also brings in a highly recommended facilitator from Wayfinders to ensure a productive session. Concerned cottage owners meet and, building on prior online discussions, are able to drill down into the issues and options creatively.

Afterward, many members reported feeling far more committed to changing the way they interact with the lake. One group member, who is associated with the University of Alberta, brought in a marine ecology professor and a provincial government water quality expert. Dr. John and Annette used Wayfinders eco-simulation program with flora, fauna, and water quality data collected by government, cottage owners and students. They worked online with those owners to come up with a rehabilitation and stabilization program for the lake.

Together they established an ongoing healthy lake management program and set up a remote sensor monitoring system at the lake. Using project planning tools in Wayfinders, they continue to co-ordinate actions, monitor outcomes and adjust their actions accordingly. Now Kathy and others are looking for other worthy causes to apply their new-found skills and toolboxes.