2013 Recipients

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 14 RECIPIENTS SELECTED FOR THE 22nd ANNUAL EMERALD AWARDS!

Not-For-Profit Association

Edmonton and Area Land Trust for the Preserving our Lands;  Preserving our Legacy

The Edmonton and Area Land Trust EALT is Alberta’s newest conservancy, conserving and stewarding land in the Edmonton region. Land conservation focuses inside a hundred kilometer radius of the city. In city regions, land is expensive, yet in less than five years, they have secured five properties totaling 1,000 acres of healthy ecosystems. This speaks to their capacity, as well as to the generous contributions of the citizens they serve. EALT must steward lands for generations to come, therefore their mission is as much to grow residents’ love for local habitats, as to lovingly conserve the actual land. They are doing both, through partnerships and outreach. As a small charity conserving land for the public and municipal good, they are able to act nimbly and will always serve to protect our land while learning and gaining a special sense of place.  Watch the video.

Calgary Folk Music Festival for the Eco-initiatives Program

For 34 years the Calgary Folk Music Festival (CFMF) has been a cultural beacon bringing together music lovers and makers from all over the world. In 1997, the CFMF began to introduce environmental initiatives aimed at reducing waste, increasing recycling and promoting human-powered travel back and forth from their verdant urban site on Prince's Island Park. For the last 16 years, these seeds have grown into a governing philosophy for the organization. The CFMF's commitment to the environment has become a part of everyday operations with the building and completion of Festival Hall, the CFMF's new permanent home and performance venue. From complimentary bike parking and beer-cup composting to wind-powered stages and passive heating and cooling systems, the CFMF has set lofty goals that have been achieved through baby steps, important partnerships and by engaging all members of the folk fest community. Watch the video.

Community Group

Road Watch in the Pass, led by Rob & Loretta Schaufele

Road Watch in the Pass (RW) is a successful “cutting edge” citizen science project located in the Crowsnest Pass (CNP) of southern Alberta that has diligently endeavored to protect the diverse wildlife species in this area of the Rocky Mountains. Highway 3 (HWY 3) has a negative impact on wildlife by restricting their movements, reducing wildlife connectivity and increasing wildlife mortality from wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC’s). Additionally, RW strives to increase safety for people because WVC’s pose a major safety issue. RW tenaciously works towards mitigating WVC’s and restoring wildlife connectivity by: providing public education regarding road ecology; facilitating community and public advocacy to implement effective wildlife crossing methods on HWY 3; using local knowledge, gathering and studying data and educating the public and decision makers about HWY 3 wildlife crossing issues and mitigation strategies; and providing an educational forum for connecting road ecologists, local citizen scientists, residents, academics, conservationists and the general public.  Watch the video.

Large Business

DMI, Peace River Pulp Division for the Nutriboost Program

The Peace River Pulp Division of Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd(DMI) runs a soil amendment program known as NutriBoost. This program involves the land application of biosolids from its treatment process to farm fields supplying farmers with slow-release nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients to boost agricultural productivity and eliminate the need for commercial fertilizers. This program has effectively taken what was once considered a waste and turned it into a beneficial product. On an annual basis, the NutriBoost program recycles 5,000 BDT of biosolids, which makes it the largest recycling program in northwestern Alberta.  Watch the video.

London Drugs Limited for the What’s the Green Deal Program

London Drugs is a 100 per cent Canadian-owned retailer with 75 stores. ‘What’s the Green Deal?’ is a program that brings together the organization’s 4 pillars of sustainability; Upstream Buying; Energy & Operations; Customer/Employee Communication and Recycling/Reuse. Through this initiative, they are well on their way to meeting their goal of diverting 95 per cent of their waste from landfills by 2015. London Drugs offers customers in-store recycling that goes beyond what is mandated by regulations. They work with their buyers and suppliers to improve their product sustainability and they communicate with their customer’s in-store and online with a dedicated website, blogs, videos and social media. London Drugs realizes the journey to sustainability is one that never ends and that’s why ‘What’s the Green Deal?’ is a question they will continue to ask themselves, even as they endeavor to answer it.  Watch the video.

Small Business

The Carbon Farmer for the Afforestation Project

The Carbon Farmer Inc. is a grass roots agricultural business that addresses climate change, creates habitat and helps sustain the family farm through its “Carbon Farming Project” that began in 2007. The business concept is to plant native trees, shrubs and grasses and create forests that sequester carbon and help offset emissions while at the same time creating long term habitat for wildlife and providing a sustainable business model for the family farm. To date they have planted more than 300,000 trees in Alberta (180,000 trees on their family’s farm and more than 120,000 on conserved land owned by municipalities and land trusts across the province). In 2013, they plan to plant another 330,000 trees bringing their total trees planted to over 630,000 by the end of 2013. This equates to the reduction of about 126,000 tonnes of carbon (equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of about 25,000 Albertans) and approximately 750 acres of new or restored forest habitat for wildlife.  Watch the video.

Education: School or Classroom, Presented by

Emma Gilberston, Deb Greiner, Antonella Bell for the Green School and Kids in the Garden

Let children get dirty? Run through a meadow? Hold leaches? Snowshoe at -20 degrees? Follow moose tracks through the forest? Yes to all and much more. The 100,000 children who have participated in Devonian Botanic Garden’s Green School and Kids in the Garden programs immerse themselves into the outdoors with either daily or week-long nature experiences called “slow education”. These formative nature experiences, once commonplace for rural kids, are now missing from city upbringings. Outdoor education professionals Deb Greiner (lead Green School teacher, BA Education), Emma Gilbertson (Program Director, MA Education) and Antonella Bell (Program creativity, Education PhD student) lead learning in the garden’s woodlands and wetlands. These innovative outdoor educators directly tackle Nature Deficit Disorder as well as teach public school teachers how to bring experiential education to classes. Since 1981 grades K-12 students have been outside getting dirty and loving it!  Watch the video.

Public Education and Outreach

Inside Education for the Teacher Professional Development Programs

Inside Education’s Teacher Professional Development Programs provide career-changing experiential learning opportunities for school teachers, community educators and career counselors. Since the first program in 1991, nearly 3,000 Alberta teachers have been immersed in the science, technology, issues and futures surrounding Alberta’s precious water, forest and energy resources. Visiting places like Fort McKay in the north and Pincher Creek in the south, Inside Education provides full-scholarship learning opportunities for educators across the province. The teachers learn from experts in Alberta industry, government, academia, the environmental community and Alberta’s Aboriginal peoples. Once the teachers see and experience the province, they take a bias-balanced, multiple perspective approach back to their classrooms and challenge the hundreds of students they impact annually to be critical thinkers and tomorrow’s environmental stewards.  Watch the video.

 

Emerald Challenge Award: WATER, Presented by

Shirley Pickering for the Oldman Watershed Council

Shirley Pickering’s leadership on progressive water management and stewardship has no peers in the private, volunteer, or public sectors. She has built community and agency capacity and then crafted strategies that address intractable watershed issues with solutions that last because they meet provincial needs and are based on community consensus and technical competency. Shirley’s accomplishments stand in marked contrast to her deliberate, modest and self-effacing manner. She gives freely of her time, skills, experience and considerable professional expertise in providing leadership to basin councils, non-government stewardship organizations, government committees and community groups.  Watch the video.

Government Institution 

Alberta Department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development for Alberta's Wet Areas Mapping Initiative

Alberta’s Department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development actively pursues innovative solutions that balance economic, environmental and social concerns. Stewardship requires particular emphasis be placed on conservation of aquatic habitats and sensitive lands. The problem is traditional mapping of water in Alberta relies upon photo interpretation. But unseen, wet areas, soils that are sensitive to disturbance and small channels remain unknown to resource planners. The Department commenced on what has become a nine-year journey with researchers at the University of New Brunswick to develop functional datasets in a geographic information system that reveals both hydrological and soil features with amazing accuracy. Wet areas mapping has become a model of recognizing an innovation opportunity and moving good science through to a simple, robust, cost-effective tools with a growing array of applications. The initiative was never about making new regulations, it is about empowering Albertans by providing them with data to best achieve environmental excellence.  Watch the video.

Individual Commitment

Michael J. Mappin for University of Calgary, Biogeoscience Institute Experiential Education Programs

Since 1988, Mike has worked at the University of Calgary’s Kananaskis Field Station (now called Biogeoscience Institute BGS) where he has pioneered the development, implementation and evaluation of field-based education programs to enhance ecological understanding for students, teachers and educators, policy makers and the general public. Mike has worked tirelessly to create programs for students and teachers ranging from day trips to week long residential field trips. He has taken a leadership role in identifying and addressing emerging issues in experiential and ecology education and building programs around these topics. What makes his programs different is he takes current scientific research and communicates this directly to participants while covering the specific science curricula. Students in BGS programs experience real research science, as opposed to text book lessons.  Watch the video.

Dory Rossiter

For more than 20 years, Dory has created and organized events and campaigns to help bring awareness and positive change to many environmental issues. In response to manufacturers using excessive amounts of packaging when marketing products, she organized a national letter-writing campaign generating more than 145,000 letters. She wanted to clean up areas that were polluted with garbage, so she organized and participated in more than 30 area clean-ups. Dory wanted students to appreciate the environment, so she talks to about 20 classes each year. She wanted to make sure old clothing was not ending up in landfills, and as of 2011, more than 21,000 pieces of clothing have been repaired and given to the homeless and those in need. She has given up vacation time and countless weekends to work on what she believes is important and her efforts have helped make our world a better place for future generations.  Watch the video.

Youth, Presented by

Kelcie Miller-Anderson for the Mycoremediation of the Oil Sands

Since the age of 15, Kelcie has been pursuing her own research in an effort to create a method of remediation to combat the tailing ponds created by one of Alberta’s leading industries - the Alberta Oil Sands. Developing a novel method of remediation that utilizes oyster mushrooms, her research showed a substantial reduction of petroleum hydrocarbons, naphthenic acids and pH levels and an enhanced sodium absorption ratio of both the tailings and the tailings pond water — all major challenges to successful remediation. Her work has earned recognition and awards from various organizations across Canada, most notably a Manning Young Canadian Innovation Award. She was also recently chosen as the 2012 Featured Student at the AsTech awards. In relating her findings to peers, industry and academic professionals she has also been able to share her passion in changing the negative perceptions surrounding the Alberta Oil sands.  Watch the video.

 

Shared Footprints Award, Established by 

Presented by

Montane Elk Project

The Montane Elk Program is committed to research ensuring the environmentally sound development of Alberta’s energy resources. With a particular focus on mitigating the effects of energy development on elk in southwest Alberta, the project has become the world’s largest radiotelemetry study on elk. Mitigating the ecological effects of energy development is achieved by sharing roads with the ranching and timber-harvesting industries and by gating and reclaiming roads to natural gas wells in the Forest Reserve north of Waterton Lakes National Park. The Montane Elk Program has documented the efficacy of access management for the enhancement of habitats for elk and other high-profile species, including grizzly bears, wolves and cougars. Research is underway by scientists at the University of Alberta, University of Calgary and Oregon State University. Substantial investments by Shell, NSERC, the provincial government, Alberta Conservation Association and several additional stakeholders have made this project possible.  Watch the video.