By Kevin Murray, PR & Social Media Coordinator
Last summer, I went paddling through the interior of Algonquin Park on a three-day canoe trip. I’ve been going on canoe trips since I was a kid, and there’s something magical about paddling through a lake completely untouched. As I was paddling Penn Lake, a plastic bag floated by. It could have been floating in the lake for years by the looks of it. Even when you think there’s still untouched places in nature, humans have managed to leave our footprint behind.
When you break down what’s in your beer, it’s more than 90% water (no wonder it’s so refreshing). Without fresh water, you can’t make fresh beer. In Muskoka, where lakes and rivers surround us, it’s easy to think we’ll never run out of fresh water. But thanks to pollution, littering, and a lack of care, these beautiful water sources may not be around forever.
When I joined Muskoka Brewery, I was happy to find out about the Evergreen Fresh Water Grant. The program was set up by the Brewery and Evergreen; a Canadian charity focused on inspiring action towards sustainability. The program supports Evergreen Canada and awards grants to three non-profits making a real difference in their communities: Lake Ontario Waterkeeper (LOW)
, Ottawa Riverkeeper and Muskoka Conservancy.
Thanks to our grant recipients and the help of 149 local volunteers, including the Muskoka team, these funds had a big impact.
- LOW was able to purchase and test a new in-house water quality lab
- Ottawa Riverkeeper was able to quantify the microbead pollution in the Ottawa River for the first time, igniting a public dialogue around the issue
- Muskoka Conservancy will complete the Wetland Access Inspiration Trail (WAIT) in spring 2017, providing access to an 114-acre nature reserve with a 15-acre wetland. Volunteers spent 90 hours scouting and planning the trail’s path, and cutting and clearing brush
- Muskoka Conservancy will complete the wetland observation deck in spring of 2017, planting an additional 30-40 native plants along the WAIT trail
- Evergreen Brick Works installed a multi-use fountain, with water bottle filling station, child-level access and a dog fountain
In 2017, we are continuing the work we started. We all need to do our part to protect Ontario’s biodiversity and fresh water sources, not just to make great beer, but to help our environment. Thank you to Evergreen Canada, our grant partners and all the engaged volunteers who turned these funds into real action. To brew great beer, you need great ingredients. I’m hoping future generations get to enjoy Ontario’s wilderness just as I have: sitting on a beautiful lake sipping a beer made from its fresh water.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can protect fresh water sources in your community, check out these sites: