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About Traversing Terrain and Experience: Atlas of the Battle River and Sounding Creek Watersheds

By Battle River Watershed Alliance

The land that drains into the Battle River and Sounding Creek- these watersheds- provide a backdrop for the unfolding lives lived full of courage and tragedy, heroism and heartbreak. Over time, this landscape has witnessed the retreat of glaciers, Indigenous peoples and great herds of bison, the arrival of the Fur Trade and European settlers, the ploughing of fields, and the creation of modern cities. This book tells these stories, and many more.

In 2014 with the help of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation and others, the Battle River Watershed Alliance set out to tell these stories in an Atlas unlike any before. In 2017 the dream became reality and the Traversing Terrain and Experience Atlas was published. This is no ordinary atlas; this is a compilation of stories, art, photography, geography, and interesting facts that make our home unique. It blends the science with the social, it reflects on how the land has shaped us, and how we have shaped the land. It expands our understanding of place, as it takes you through the story of a landscape rich in history, culture, resources, and inspiration.

 

The 120 pages of this hardcover book contain 100% local information on everything from climate and weather, to population density, to art and culture. The watersheds region is expansive and diverse. The Atlas has equal representation from urban and rural perspectives, from the western headwaters at Battle Lake to the eastern confluence with the North Saskatchewan River, from the northern parkland to the southern grassland, from past, to present, to future.

The Atlas will be distributed at no cost to the 60+ schools and 40+ libraries in the watershed, ensuring all students and community members can have access to it. Books are also available for purchase through the BRWA website at www.battleriverwatershed.ca/atlas.

By reading through this atlas you will come to understand the deep and profound relationship between the land, water, people and all living beings. You will see the interconnection between our environment and our economy. You will learn more about the communities which make up this region, and the extraordinary people who call this place home.

Climate and Weather Pages

Population Density Pages

 

 

Unlocking the door to Smart Energy Communities – a Framework for Implementation

Communities – the places where we live, work and play – account for 60% of energy use in Canada, as well as over half of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). In other words, when we invest, plan and implement effectively for Smart Energy Communities, we can have a direct impact on addressing Canada’s energy and GHG challenges.

QUEST believes that there are three fundamental features of a Smart Energy Community that you can view by watching this video.

  • First, a Smart Energy Community integrates conventional energy networks. That means that the electricity, natural gas, district energy and transportation fuel networks in a community are better coordinated to match energy needs with the most efficient energy source.
  • Second, a Smart Energy Community integrates land use, recognizing that poor land use can equal a whole lot of energy waste.
  • Third, a Smart Energy Community harnesses local energy opportunities.

Many cities and communities in Canada have taken ownership over their energy, recognizing the significant impact energy has on the local economy, health and community resilience. These communities are exemplifying some of the features of a Smart Energy Community.

Consider Surrey, British Columbia, where the municipal government is building a district energy system that will efficiently provide heating and cooling to buildings in the City Centre. Surrey is also developing the largest Organic Biofuels facility in Canada which will turn organic waste into renewable natural gas that will replace diesel and gasoline fueling for municipal vehicle fleets.

Consider also Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, which successfully completed a 10-year community energy plan and exceeded greenhouse gas emission reduction targets by 100%, in part by converting from oil to renewable wood-pellet burning heating systems throughout the city.

And finally, consider Guelph, Ontario where the municipal government and electric utility have collaborated to develop the Galt District Energy system, seven solar energy facilities, a small-scale combined heat and power system, and plans for both a large-scale combined heat and power facility and biomass projects. Guelph is also playing host to net-zero residential developments.

These and many other communities are blazing trails – led in particular by the initiative and leadership of the municipal and provincial governments, gas and electric utilities, and real estate stakeholders that make them up.

Though there is no one-size-fits-all approach to becoming a Smart Energy Community, Surrey, Yellowknife and Guelph each use a Community Energy Plan to guide decision making around energy.  Lessons learned in these communities can be applied in every community across Canada.

A Community Energy Plan is a tool that helps communities define priorities around energy with a view to improving efficiency, cutting emissions and driving economic development. Community Energy Plans are an important and effective enabler for becoming a Smart Energy Community.

Community Energy Planning: Getting to Implementation in Canada

That is why QUEST has partnered with The Community Energy Association and Sustainable Prosperity, Canada’s leading community energy experts, to launch a national initiative entitled Community Energy Planning: Getting to Implementation in Canada. The objective of this multiyear initiative is to build the capacity of Canadian communities to develop and implement Community Energy Plans. This will be done through the development of a Community Energy Implementation Framework.

Over the next year, the project will be drawing on lessons learned from communities across Canada through research, as well as a series of national workshops, to develop the Implementation Framework.  The Framework will help communities navigate the challenges faced when it comes to implementing Community Energy Plans and will provide them with the tools they need to become Smart Energy Communities.

QUEST recognizes that every community will have its own unique set of opportunities and challenges for advancing Smart Energy Communities. The solutions will vary from community to community. The Getting to Implementation initiative is one of the first steps for identifying the success factors and barriers for CEP implementation. Understanding these will bring QUEST one step closer to defining how other communities across Canada can develop and implement Community Energy Plans effectively, and become Smart Energy Communities.

Be sure to attend Community Energy Planning: Getting to Implementation in Alberta on June 18th 9:30 am – 3:30 pm at the University of Alberta. Register here.

By: Eric Campbell, Acting Director, Programs & Service, QUEST and Sarah Marchionda, Manager, Research & Education, QUEST

2014 Annual Report for the Foundation

The Alberta Real Estate foundation just released it’s 2014 Annual report. You view and download the report by visiting this link.

Highlights of the report include:

– Over 493 Grants funded since 1991.
– Over $15,650,000 in funding since 1991.
– Overview of partnership with Alberta Emerald Foundation.
– Review of projects including: Community Energy Association, Pembina Institute, the Centre for Public Legal Education and the University of Calgary Environmental Design School.
– A total of $749,800 was given out in grants to 17 projects in 2014.
– Report on revenue for the Foundation.

In 2014 and into 2015 the Foundation commits to providing more dollars in to projects in Alberta amidst low interest times.

Stewarding Lac La Biche, by Living Lakes Canada

Lac La Biche is the seventh largest lake in Alberta, with importance to the local economy and culture.  Local and provincial government, in collaboration with lake stakeholders, created a watershed management plan for Lac La Biche in 2009, but little has been done to date to implement it.  That is soon about to change, with the formation of the Stewards of the Lac La Biche Watershed, a group of community stakeholders committed to implementing the monitoring, outreach and stewardship recommendations in the plan.  With the support of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, the newly formed group will be able to take on activities that will increase publicly available science about the lake and provide means of disseminating that information to stakeholders.  Since the project start date, a group of steering committee members has formed to work out the mechanics of the group so that it will make the broadest and most enduring impact on protecting the lake values.

Location of Lac La Biche

 

 

 

Fall 2014 Community Investment Recipients

The Board of Governors of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation approved $203,300 in community investment projects at their recent meeting on October 3rd, 2014.

Of the 6 projects funded in June we are delighted to include:

$20,000 to the Western Sky Land Trust for their Bow & Beyond Initiative

$30,000 to the University of Calgary School of Public Policy for the Urban Policy Program

$25,000 to the Land Stewardship Centre for the project titled “Operation and Maintenance of Private Wastewater Systems Workshop

$60,300 to the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta for the Residential Tenancies Legal Information Program in 2016-2017

$28,000 to the Edmonton Social Planning Council for development of Neighbourhood Profiles

The Governors also approved a $40,000 community and industry sponsorship fund for the Foundation to use in the 2015 year.

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation supports initiatives that enhance the Real Estate Industry and benefit the communities of Alberta. The Foundation was set up in 1991 under the Alberta Real Estate Act. Since then, it has awarded over 15.5 million dollars in community and industry grants to over 493 projects across Alberta.

CURB Magazine: Boomtown Edition

Boomtowns – a familiar concept for Alberta. Rapid growth, while providing economic opportunities for communities, also comes with challenges of sustainability and quality of life. The City-Region Studies Centre is pleased to present its “Boomtowns” issue of Curb Magazine, the second part of its “Place-making in a Growing Economy” project, supported by AREF. This issue of Curb, reaching municipal offices and planning departments across the province, as well as available online and through retail outlets, explores shared challenges facing booming communities and planning and policy strategies to overcome them. Specific topics include the affordability and availability of housing and commercial space, homelessness, regional planning, planning for population and demographic changes, and creating engaging public spaces. This issue features case studies from Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Camrose, and Cold Lake, and includes interviews with members of Alberta’s real estate community. A preview version of Curb’s “Boomtowns” issue is available through the AREF online library, and a full version is available through the CRSC website at http://crsc.ualberta.ca/CurbMagazine.aspx.

Download Preview Issue

by Brittany Stares, CRSC

Foundation Announces Summer Community Investment Recipients

The Board of Governors of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation approved $279,000 in community investment projects at their recent meeting on June 13th, 2014.

Of the 7 projects funded in June we are delighted to include:

$100,000 over three years to Community Energy Association for community energy mapping in Alberta.

$54,000 to the Toronto Atmospheric Fund to develop the Green Condo Guide for Alberta and to engage condominium boards in energy efficiency.

$20,000 to the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues to host community social media training for volunteers.

$30,000 to the University of Calgary Faculty of Environmental Design to hold a senior research studio on medium density residential options for Calgary’s establish communities.

$30,000 to Operation Grasslands Community Program to run a long-term cumulative effects modelling excise to measure ecological value of sustainable ranching.

$40,000 to Canadian Parks and Wilderness Association (CPAWS) to understand Albertans’ views of nature and recreation for better sustainable landuse decision making.

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation supports initiatives that enhance the Real Estate Industry and benefit the communities of Alberta. The Foundation was set up in 1991 under the Alberta Real Estate Act. Since then, it has awarded over 15.4 million dollars in community and industry grants to over 487 projects across Alberta.

Alberta Real Estate Foundation teams up with Emerald Awards

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF) is partnering with the Alberta Emerald Awards to sponsor the Shared Footprints Award which celebrates excellence in land use.

The Shared Footprints Award, which recognizes excellence in Integrated Land Management (ILM)—a  strategic planned approach to managing and reducing the human-caused footprint on public and/or private land—was created in 2009 in partnership with Alberta Sustainable Resource and Development.

“With the reputation and success of the Emerald Awards in Alberta, it made sense for us to work together to make a unique category that celebrates great stories in sustainable land use in Alberta,” says Gary Willson, AREF’s Chair.

“This is a unique partnership for us, as most of our partners come from the corporate and government sectors, so we have never had a formal partnership with another foundation,” says Emmy Stuebing, Executive Director of the Alberta Emerald Foundation, which puts on the annual awards.” We are very proud to call the Alberta Real Estate Foundation an Emerald Leader.”

Nominees must meet the standards of the Emerald Awards, address the Shared Footprints Award criteria plus demonstrate how their efforts support the principles of ILM.

“The nominees in this category demonstrate collaboration, dedication and creativity in working to improve and enhance land use practices in Alberta,” says Stuebing. “The Shared Footprints category of the Emerald Awards showcases excellence in land use.”

Both Foundations look forward to working together to support and recognize champions in ILM in Alberta. AREF’s sister organization, the Real Estate Foundation of BC has been running their own Land Awards for over four years. Instead of considering their own awards program, AREF has chosen to collaborate with the well-established Emerald Awards. The 23rd annual Alberta Emerald Awards will take place on June 5th in Calgary.

The Foundation announces spring community investment recipients

The Board of Governors of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation recently approved $267,500 in community investment projects at their recent meeting on March 21st, 2014. 

Of the 4 projects funded in March we are delighted to include:

$150,000 for the Alberta Emerald Foundation to fund the shared footprints land use category for the Alberta Emerald Awards over 3 years.

$12,500 to the Battle River Watershed Alliance Society for their “Traversing Terrain and Experience: The Atlas and Educator’s Guide.”

$90,000 to the Center for Public Legal Education for phase one of consumer condominium education in Alberta.

$15,000 to Wildsight, in collaboration with Living Lakes Canada, for their “Lac La Biche Shoreline Stewardship Project.”

Gary Willson, Chair for the Foundation comments:
“We are very proud to be partnering with the Alberta Emerald Foundation for the shared foot prints award category, and we are looking forward supporting the finalists in recognizing their good work and impact on Alberta Communities.”

Cheryl De Paoli, Executive Director adds:
“Condominiums are a hot topic in Alberta, we are pleased to be support the Centre for Public Legal Education in Alberta to develop a great resource for Condo owners, boards and Real Estate Professionals.”

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation supports initiatives that enhance the Real Estate Industry and benefit the communities of Alberta. The Foundation was set up in 1991 under the Alberta Real Estate Act. Since then, it has awarded over 15.1 million dollars in community and industry grants to over 480 projects across Alberta.

The Foundation welcomes Krista Bolton and Jamal Ramjohn to the Board

In January of 2014 the Foundation has gained two new Governors.

Krista Bolton was appointed to the Foundation on behalf of the Real Estate Council of Alberta.

Krista is a Chartered Mediator with a practice focused on family mediation and specializing in the management of complex family issues.  Her education includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Linguistics from the University of Victoria, certification in Conflict Management from the ADR Institute of Alberta, and ongoing education toward a certificate in Tribunal Administrative Justice. 

Krista currently serves on the Real Estate Council of Alberta as the public member appointed by council.  Some of her RECA committee work has included governance, hearings and finance and audit.  She also sits on hearings and appeal panels as a public member.

Read more about Krista here


Jamal Ramjohn was elected as a Public Appointee

Jamal has spent much of his land use planning career in the private sector, helping a diverse range of governmental, corporate, First Nation and development clients.  He holds a Bachelor of Design in Environmental Planning from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and Master of Design in Planning from the University of Calgary.  He is a Registered Professional Planner (Alberta), Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and is presently a Senior Planner in New Community Planning at The City of Calgary.

Read more about Jamal here

The Foundation is pleased to welcome Krista and Jamal to the Board. Both new Governors will serve for 3 year terms.

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