October 2017 Community Investment

The Board of Governors of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation approved $180,000 in community investment projects at their recent meeting.

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF) supports and originates initiatives that enhance the real estate industry and benefit the communities of Alberta. AREF was established in 1991 under the Alberta Real Estate Act. Since then, it has awarded over 18 million dollars in community and industry grants to nearly 550 projects across Alberta.

Projects approved at the October meeting include:

BC Non-Profit Housing Association – The Canadian Rental Housing Index – 2018 Update

The Canadian Rental Housing Index is an interactive web-map that allows users to access detailed rental housing statistics for over 1,200 jurisdictions across Canada. The intent of this project is to update the Index with 2016 census data, as well as develop new data analysis, comparison, reporting, and sharing tools. The update to the Index will allow stakeholders in Alberta and beyond to understand and act on affordable housing issues in their communities.

Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley – Sustainable Action Canmore Client Package

The project is to update, improve, post and then reprint, the highly popular Sustainable Action Canmore booklet and online supporting materials which AREF helped produce in the fall of 2013. The booklets were developed with the help of local Real Estate Professionals who wanted easily accessible local information on water, energy, transportation, garbage and recycling for their clients new to Canmore. The booklets are creatively wrapped and packaged together as newcomer packages with the AREF TNS Sustainability at Home Toolkit, the Town of Canmore Recycling brochure and the local public transit brochure. Packages are given out to clients by Real Estate Professionals, property managers, the Town of Canmore and other organizations and businesses.

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) of Southern Alberta  – Achieving Sustainable Outdoor Recreation: Phase Two Policy, People and Practice

The province’s spectacular natural areas play a large part in quality of life in Alberta, however, we can literally love our parks and wilderness areas to death if we don’t have a plan for sustainable use for the future. By working with other ENGOs, recreation groups, local communities and the Alberta public CPAWS Southern Alberta can help create a meaningful recreation policy and active stewards for our parks and public lands.

Calgary Arts Development  – SpaceFinder Alberta

Expand SpaceFinder Alberta beyond Calgary and Edmonton, in partnership with Arts Habitat Edmonton, giving all Albertans access to this innovative online marketplace linking organizations with space to rent with those who need space.

 Inside Education  – Youth Water and Climate Change Summits

Two separate two-day youth summits programs: S3 – a regional program in Wood Buffalo related to sustainable living in the North targeting and junior high and high school students in Fort McMurray and surrounding areas. Navigate Youth Water Summit – a province-wide water and climate education and action summit aimed at student leaders from 20 Alberta high schools. An important focus for both programs be household/home/school water and energy efficiency – this will include tours of ‘NetZero’ housing, discussions of energy efficiency best practices. For the Wood Buffalo (S3) program we will also feature energy efficiency home (re)building post-2016 fires.

Land Stewardship Centre of Alberta  – Septic Sense: Solutions for Rural Living

The Septic Sense program is a multi-agency initiative being undertaken in order to implement and evaluate a coordinated and collaborative septic system operation and maintenance workshop program for rural residential landowners and realtors in Alberta. Septic Sense fills an important gap in education and will raise awareness about proper septic system maintenance to Albertans. Through education and awareness, this workshop series will enhance and protect water quality of source water in Alberta as well as homeowner property values.

Oldman Watershed Council  – Watershed Legacy Program

OWC’s niche and ultimate goal of Connecting Urban and Rural Communities in the Oldman Watershed Legacy Program is to foster strong community ties between rural producers and urban consumers. Through rural community discussion sessions, OWC has gained a clear sense that the agricultural community feels misunderstood by their urban counterparts and wants to show the consumer that they can feel good about the food they eat, and the water they drink because of the best practices of agriculture. By bridging the gap and fostering strong community ties OWC can expand our capacity to help the agricultural community communicate their positive stories to the urban consumer, thus improving the producers social license, as well as the consumers understanding of food production and how the land and water is used.