The Swift Current Creek Watershed Stewards annual general meeting covered not only the success of 2023, but also the financial reckoning of missing grants. 

While the meeting covered much of the smaller details and events from the last 12 months, some of the larger ones were the DNA detection of Prussian carp in the Swift Current Creek within city limits, the budgetary troubles experienced last year, and the upcoming invasive weeds program.

Helping run the meeting for the SCCWSS was Executive Director, Kevin Steinley.

"The meeting was just information from SCCWSS regarding the work that we've done in the past," said Steinley. "The work that we're doing, and our financial position, and our general business meeting."

There were also two presentations made at the meeting. The first was on snow survey's CoCoRaHS, and potential runoff in the spring. This discussed how to sign up to be part of the survey, which makes use of snow data, how to properly collect a sample, and the various different ways submitted data is used and how to submit it.

The second presentation was used to showcase the Saskatchewan Association of Watersheds.

"Which is a group that we are aligned with," said Steinley. "And have been aligned with for a number of years."

Once the presentations ended, the focus went back to the local Watershed. Within the discussions, a big topic was the financials. Last year saw the structure of grants changed, some of which were stripped from the operating budget of the SCCWSS, pushing them into the red.

Steinley is actively looking to secure more funding in order to continue the Watershed operations.

"[We are] applying for funding to do these local projects that are needed on the local level," said Steinley. "To help improve this stream health and water quality of the Swift Current Creek."

Steinley said he will be looking to the City for possible support, as they are one of the main beneficiaries of the SCCWSS efforts. Those discussions have yet to get rolling, but he is hopeful.

"We've let local authorities know about our situation," said Steinley. "But we're not at that point where we are asking for money yet, and it's still only a possibility."

Despite the financial stress, Steinley was pleased with what the SCCWSS was able to accomplish in 2023. The year saw success in its invasive plant program, which will be back again in 2024.

Volunteers will be able to help search the banks of the Swift Current Creek for invasive plant species, plucking and surveying them. This helps to not only update the data and track the problem but doubles down as an opportunity to remove the non-native species.

"I'm very happy with what we were able to achieve being a small crew," said Steinley. "What I'm most happy with is that we were able to continue the work that's been going on by the SCCWSS for just about 25 years now. That to me is probably the biggest thing."