The Kensington North Watershed Association area is situated on the north shore of Prince Edward Island between Malpeque Bay on the west and New London Bay on the east. The Kensington North area straddles the boundary between Prince County and Queens County covering all of Lot 18 and part of Lots 19, 20 and 21. The area wholly covers twelve old school districts and the major portion of five other districts and moderate to small portions of five more districts. Two municipalities are situated within the Kensington North area: the Town of Kensington and the Community of Malpeque Bay and together they account for nearly 45% of the total area while the remainder is unincorporated.
The Kensington North Watersheds Association is a community of watersheds working with residents, youth, landowners, farmers, commercial and recreational fishermen, and industry towards something we all want and need. Clean Water.
The reason for forming a new group made up of several local watersheds became obvious as the work in Sea View and Indian River was fairly well completed, and the opportunity to expand into the neighbouring watersheds was becoming possible.
In December 2007, the Sea View Board of Directors met with Ministers Wes Sheridan and George Webster to present and discuss our idea of amalgamation and were encouraged to proceed. In January 2008, the organizing group met with Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry officials and were presented with the Department’s point of view, that they would rather deal with a set number of groups, in the range of 25-30 for the Island, rather than dealing with each of the 268 watersheds individually. This fit well with our goal and with the recommendation of the Environmental Advisory Council’s Report on the Public Consultations on Managing Land and Water on a Watershed Basis, dated April 2007. Department officials proposed that we approach the watersheds that make up the map of Kensington North today.
Following direction from the floor from a public meeting held in April 2008, a steering committee of citizens from the proposed Kensington North area was formed to direct the process of amalgamating the communities of the different watersheds. Sea View and Indian River Watershed Associations, the only two active watershed groups in the proposed area, combined to become Kensington North. The 2008 operating budget for both groups was performed under Sea View’s books. There was no budget for Kensington North for the summer of 2008. The steering committee accumulated the support from communities / watersheds in the following ways: public meetings, canvassing door-to-door and Letters of Support. With these demonstrations of support in-hand, the Kensington North Watershed Association was formed. A four person Executive was established to oversee the organization.
At a public meeting in September 2008, the Steering Committee was formally installed as the Board of Directors of the Association. In addition, four Honorary Lifetime Memberships were handed out to individuals who laid the groundwork for watershed groups in the area. The recipients were Sally Hooff, Bruce Gillespie, Don MacEachern, and Lee Sudsbury, from the Sea View, Indian River, Spring Valley (Southwest River) and Margate (Tuplins Creek) watersheds respectively.
In February 2009, the Association became incorporated under the name Kensington North Watersheds Association Ltd. Becoming a legal entity permits Kensington North to obtain tax breaks and exemptions, provides stronger structure by having bylaws, and helps in matters of liability. In March 2009, a logo was obtained to identify and help promote the organization in the community.
In early 2011, Kensington North expanded eastward to include Harding Creek. In October 2011, the Association was officially registered as a charitable organisation with Canada Revenue Agency.
In March 2012, Kensington North expanded further eastward to include Sutherland Creek and MacIntyres Creek. The addition means that the Association will be providing support to all of the watersheds that drain into the Southwest River.
The Kensington North Watersheds Area is a healthy, sustainable rural community that values clean water, biodiversity, quality of life, and responsible land use and development where Community members act in cooperation with each other as stewards of the watershed supporting environmental, social, economic, and educational values.
To preserve and protect the watersheds of Kensington North in a healthy, natural state; to develop projects and activities that will maintain or restore the rivers to such a state; and to promote an appreciation and respect through public awareness and education for the beauty, importance and environmental diversity of the watershed.