Happy Environment Week Fort Saskatchewan!

North Saskatchewan River

So, what’s environment week? Established in 1971 environment week celebrates environmental achievements in Canada and inspires Canadians to take action towards conserving and protecting their environment. Even the smallest action makes a big impact! Actions like starting a compost, taking public transit, building a pollinator garden, or maybe it’s No Mow May are all great steps to take. The list goes on, and on. That’s a little bit about what you can do, and here’s a little bit about what we’re already doing at the City:

 

Parks, trees and gardens:

  • Did you know our Parks Department Staff also includes 1,000 goats? These critters love to munch and are also an environmentally-friendly way to stop weeds and invasive plants. Plus, goat poop is a fantastic fertilizer! You’ll see them munching at West River’s Edge over the summer months.
  • Speaking of gardening, we have two pollinator gardens to help our local bee colonies, and they’re right next to our community gardens. Right now bees are listed as threatened under the Species at Risk Act. Remember, Bees are our friends!
  • What the tree?! Trees are planted or replaced each year to maintain our urban forests. Why is it important to plant and replace trees yearly? Our urban forest helps capture carbon, keeps us cool during summer heatwaves, prevents soil erosion, and is a home for our local wildlife.

Getting around town:

Get your copy of the River Valley Trails Map! You can bike, walk and scooter your way around the city safely and quickly. Plus, it’s great exercise and a fun way to explore the parks. Trails aren’t the only low carbon way to get around, Fort Sask Transit is another way to reduce your carbon foot print. Plus with a new electric bus on the fleet, our carbon footprint will decrease by 38,938 grams per day — that's a 25% drop! Find your route.

Waste not, want not:

Did you know the residential curbside collection program diverts 58% of material from the landfill? This includes sorting stations in City buildings, year-round hazardous waste collection, zero-waste staff events and a cigarette butt recycling program – to date, we’ve collected over 75,000 cigarette butts! The plastic is recycled into pallets or benches and any remaining tobacco is composted. Who knew cigarette butts could be turned into benches to give your butt a rest? Speaking of reuse, bet you didn’t know West River’s Edge trails and the parking lots at Taurus Field and the Gymnastics Centre are made from recycled concrete and asphalt.

Go Paperless!

One of the hardest habits to kick is paper use. We rely on printed paper for record keeping and sending flyers and letters to people living in Fort Saskatchewan. But, there are other ways to share! Switching to electronic record- keeping has resulted in less paper being purchased. In 2020, supply costs for the City-wide purchase of paper from January to December decreased by 64% compared to the same time last year.

How can you use less paper? Many services providers now offer the option to receive bills by email to lower paper use. Check if your service providers offer an e-billing option.

That’s some high quality H2O!

Did you know all city planters, hanging baskets and community gardens are watered with captured water? Yup, rainwater is collected from the roof of the Peter Schmidt Mechanic Shop and the Curling Club then later used for watering. You can also collect rainwater at home to water your gardens with a rain barrel!

What’s a Stormwater pond?

You’ve probably seen a pond or water feature in your neighbourhood, that’s a Stormwater pond. These ponds and bio-swales create a habitat for animals and plants, but also help prevent flooding and remove sediments from the water, before it get sent to the river. Watch our Storm pond safety video.

Air Quality & Climate:

  • We’re collaborating with ATCO on a hydrogen blending project, which will decrease emissions from residential natural gas use. Learn more about this project.
  • The City of Fort Saskatchewan is a member of the Fort Air Partnership and currently hosts four active air quality monitoring stations (three continuous monitors and one passive monitor). Learn more about the Fort Air Partnership.

Energy Efficiency

Did you know all appliances have an energuide rating? City facilities retrofit actively to use energy efficient appliances. You can make your home more energy efficient too!

Long story short

There’s still lots more we can talk about, but now you know a little bit more about how we’re conserving and protecting the environment, and a little bit about what you can do too. And, remember even the smallest action can have a big impact.

Learn more about Environment Week in Canada and join the conversation on your social using #EnviroWeek and #OurNature

 


Fortitude – The idea for Fortitude came from wanting to both educate and entertain our readers. This City blog seeks to tell noteworthy stories through a different lens than a typical news story. Expect tales about how City programs and services impact our life here in the Fort. We would love to hear your thoughts and your story ideas.

The City of Fort Saskatchewan is a vibrant economic and cultural hub located just 15 minutes northeast of Edmonton on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. Home to nearly 27,000 people, the City proudly manages state of the art recreation, culture and historic amenities including 80 km of outdoor trails, a performing arts theatre and fitness centre within the Dow Centennial Centre and the 1875 – 1885 NWMP Fort Representation in historic downtown. Fort Saskatchewan is the largest urban centre with the Alberta Industrial Heartland region.