Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group

A Glimpse into the Exciting World of Watersheds on Prince Edward Island

Open Letter to the Town of Stratford

Open Letter:  Town Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

Dear Mayor Ogden and Council,

The Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group (SAWIG) would like to commend the Town of Stratford on the environmental initiatives it has undertaken in the past number of years, such as the creation of a Community Energy Plan and water conservation initiatives like the toilet rebate and showerhead exchange program, among others. By continuing to invest in environmental sustainability the Town of Stratford can work towards mitigating the effects of climate change and development pressures on our community, safeguarding the future prosperity of the Town. In return, such investments provide not only environmental benefits, but also economic value, by attracting investment and tourism, and social value, by creating a vibrant green community where resident’s social, physical and spiritual needs are met.

To make progress on long-standing environmental issues, and to act upon resident feedback that Town resources be used to protect the environment (2019 Resident Survey), SAWIG is requesting that the Town allocate resources toward the following initiatives (many of which have been committed to but never achieved);

  • Reviewing the 2010 Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan for Stratford
  • Implementing Stratford’s Community Energy Plan
  • Preventing sediment runoff from development sites
  • Implementing policies and initiatives to protect Stratford’s urban forest
  • Developing a Natural Areas Lens for Stratford
  • Developing active transportation and a green network
  • Conserving ecologically valuable lands
  • Working toward the 2028 vision of a sustainable Stratford.

Carrying out these and other pressing initiatives will not be possible without a designated staff person.  By formalizing a position, the Town can achieve consistent progress toward reaching its sustainability goals, support existing Town initiatives and investments, address public environmental concerns, protect Stratford’s natural assets, and implement current Town sustainability plans. The position will also foster greater cooperation with the municipalities of Charlottetown and Cornwall on sustainability initiatives, helping to coordinate initiatives across municipalities, identify opportunities for collaboration, and increase efficiency.  Further, this position will provide greater opportunity for collaboration with SAWIG on projects that will benefit the community.

To ensure that the Town of Stratford is able to meet its environmental commitments and protect the environmental integrity of the community, SAWIG urges the Town to formally create a designated staff position to pursue environmental initiatives full time.


Connie Gaudet, Acting Chair of the SAWIG Board of Directors

A sunny day at a freshwater pond, with lush green trees surrounding the pond
Kelly’s Pond – Credit : Winston Maund

New Water Audit Program

Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group and the Town of Stratford’s new water audit program aims of to improve the quantity and quality of local groundwater.

The water audit program will:

  • Teach residents how to read their water meter and check for leaks
  • Educate residents about how much water they are using
  • Provide homeowners with recommendations for how to reduce water consumption in their household
  • Protect and enhance riparian buffer zones by planting native tree and shrubs species

The program encourages residents to think about their water use and look for ways to reduce their consumption by offering free in-home water audits. The free in-home audit looks at your water meter, fixtures, and household habits to determine how much water is being used in your home. Based on the results of the audit homeowners will be given recommendations for ways they can reduce water consumption.

As part of the program, Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group will also undertake riparian buffer zone improvement work to protect and enhance freshwater and aquatic habitats by planting native tree and shrub species. Native trees and shrubs help stabilize eroding banks and shorelines and improve water quality by acting as natural filters trapping sediment and absorbing nutrients through their roots.  

To schedule your FREE in-home water audit or to find out more contact

2019 Christmas Bird Count

Nature PEI (Natural History Society of PEI) arranges the schedule for Christmas Bird Counts on PEI and the dates are posted on and on the Bird Studies Canada CBC site. There are two ways to participate in the Audubon Christmas Bird Counts on PEI.

  1. Feeder Watchers: Should you live in one of the 24 km diameter circles and feed birds or know a friend who lives within the circle, you can simply register to participate, count the birds you see during the day, and submit your sightings to the count coordinator. You count the highest number of birds of a given species at your feeder, in your yard around the feeder, or flying through or over (e.g at 8 am you see 5 Black-capped Chickadees and 3 Blue Jays while at 9 am you see 1 Black-capped Chickadees and 8 Blue Jays, the you would record 5 Black-capped Chickadees and 8 Blue Jays on your summary sheet). If
    you can identify the birds by sound, they count too. A CBC day runs midnight to midnight but most participants count during daylight hours.
  2. Field Birders: The circles are split up into count zones and a knowledgeable birder leads the team for a particular zone. Counters car pool for the day, Usually there is room for a few people to join a team and participate with the team so that those new to birding can learn from more knowledgeable team members. The coordinator gathers the necessary information on the number of birds seen by species, the distances and times driving and walking, weather and snow conditions and other particulars.

    If you have questions, please contact Dan McAskill at

Workshop: Build your own Bird Feeder

It’s that time of year! Birdfeeder time! Come build your very own birdfeeder, just in time for winter! 🐦🐦🐦🐦
Saturday, November 30th 2019 at the Stratford Town Centre
9:30am – 10:30am or 10:45am – 11:45pm
To sign-up please contact 902-367-3605 or

Registration is by donation at the door. This even is made possible with help from the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund.

Monarch butterfly emerging from chrysalis!

We captured videos of both a male and a female monarch butterfly emerging from their chrysalis! They were found knocked down after the hurricane in our monarch garden, so we brought them inside and they emerged not long after!

In the video they appear small and crinkled after emerging but as the abdomen pumps a fluid called meconium into the wings, they will expand and take their normal shape. What an amazing natural process!