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Citizen scientists test the waters

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: August 23, 2021 10:00 a.m.

Citizen scientist Joni Darke has joined forces with the University of Regina’s community-based, water monitoring program to test the water on Saskatchewan’s Echo Lake.
Citizen scientist Joni Darke has joined forces with the University of Regina’s community-based, water monitoring program to test the water on Saskatchewan’s Echo Lake. Photo: Arthur Ward

Joni Darke looks out over the lake as she describes a photo of her grandparents, taken in almost the exact same spot she’s standing more than 125 years ago.

“I have a picture from about 1905 of my grandmother Darke riding horseback along the shoreline on the other side of the point. She’s in a long skirt riding side saddle, and the men are all in long pants, white shirts, rolled at the sleeves, and even hats…” reminisces Darke from her sister’s lakefront property at B-Say-Tah, a resort village on Saskatchewan’s Echo Lake. 

Echo Lake and the village have been a part of her family since the early 1900s and part of her life for the better part of seventy years. Now her kids and grandkids are keeping up the family tradition – and this is why the quality of the water – and its decline over the years – has her worried.

“The water quality has become worse and worse every year,” says Darke. “My grandchildren are swimming in this lake and I want it to ensure it’s safe for them. And I’ve always wondered about everything that’s in this lake.”

These questions and concerns are what led her to join forces with the University of Regina’s community-based, water monitoring program.

To read the full story visit the University of Regina’s Discourse Research Magazine and read “Citizen scientists test the waters.”