June 16th, 2024

City launches Environment Week climate initiative


By Lethbridge Herald on June 5, 2023.

Environment Lethbridge executive director Kathleen Sheppard and the City’s Raene Barber helped announce the city’s environment week plans on Monday at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre. Herald photo by Justin Sibbet

Justin Sibbet – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The grass is green in Lethbridge and residents are once again enjoying the great outdoors, but as Environment Week kicks off, the City plans to ramp up its climate efforts.

One such initiative is set to start small, as the City launched a climate adaptation survey Monday to better understand what residents believe must be done for a safe, green future.

The survey is designed to aid the city in creating action plans that will be effective in Lethbridge specifically.

Raene Barber, a sustainability engineer with the Waste and Environment department, says the northern Alberta wildfires act as a reminder for our community that something must be done before it is too late.

“What the Climate Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan is looking to do, is develop actions the City of Lethbridge can do to better prepare our community resilience against extreme weather events and climate events,” said Barber.

She says the City is primarily looking to gather feedback from residents on the strategic direction of the plan.

Barber says the survey, which goes until June 26, will help the city “set the foundation for the action plan.”

Furthermore, she says the timing of this launch coincides with World Environment Day, which was yesterday, and it coincidentally lines up with the wildfires raging across the country.

While other municipalities have already created similar action plans, Barber says now is the time for Lethbridge to join them.

“We want to ensure that the City of Lethbridge is also prepared to adapt to these changing climate events,” said Barber.

She says an example of an action the city may take following this survey could be diversifying species of trees or increasing drought resistance to parks and green spaces.

However, the City is doing more than simply launching a survey for its Environment Week initiatives.

Kathleen Sheppard, executive director of Environment Lethbridge, says there will be workshops and other activities around the community over the course of this week for residents to get involved with.

“A couple of the highlights that we’re really excited about; tomorrow (today), Api’soomaahka, from the Kainai Ecological Protection Association is leading an Indigenous plant walk,” said Sheppard. 

“Then on Wednesday, for those who are interested, you can take a tour of the Waste and Recycling Centre.”

She says organizations and institutions around the city are also stepping up to bring awareness to Environment Week as well.

Sheppard says Chinook High School is one such institution that will be educating their students and the community at large.

“Wednesday, they are doing a schoolyard clean-up and on Thursday they are doing a bike-to-school day,” said Sheppard.

She says the City and residents have a shared responsibility to help the environment at all times of the year, not just during Environment Week.

“This is really an opportunity to maybe learn about some different things, to try out some different actions and activities,” said Sheppard.

She says those who are looking to limit or offset their personal carbon footprint in Lethbridge can start in many ways, such as planting trees.

Sheppard says the Helen Schuler Nature Centre is launching a program this year called “1,000 Trees in 2023.”

“It almost seems like a cliché to plant a tree, but it’s still one of the best things that you can do for the environment.” 

She says the new green carts for organic waste also act as a great starting point for those wanting to lower their carbon footprint.

“There’s a direct connection between organic waste and climate emissions,” said Sheppard.

She says she is more than pleased by what the city is accomplishing in its efforts to stay green.

“The city is really taking on all these new initiatives and it’s wonderful to see,” said Sheppard. 

To participate in the climate adaptation survey or check out the different events happening in Lethbridge this week, go to getinvolvedlethbridge.ca and environmentlethbridge.ca.

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R.U.Serious

Although transport trucks and couriers account for some of the city’s emissions, the city does not realize that every time just a car slows down, it releases more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when it resumes its speed.
We see increased three- or four-way stops, out-of-synchronized traffic lights, and plans to install additional traffic lights and pedestrian crossings on Third Avenue South as part of the effort to reduce the number of lanes from four to two in order to make room for bicycle lanes. These decisions cause increased emissions.
Please don’t tell me how green you are when you fail to realize the increase of emissions you create by making bad decisions!

snowman

Ms.Shepard you do not know what you are talking about you support the City ICI business group dumping over 80,000 tonnes of garbage with over 20,000 tonnes of organics in past years creating numerous amounts of methane gas and creating massive amounts of leachate from the organic cell #7. You support the City’s $17m boondoggle green bin collecting nothing in their $300,000 trucks collection fees of over $ 3 million and tipping fees of $1.5 million cost to households over $13,00 dollars per month
Have a greeny group and City supported. voluntary not mandatory backyard Composter and in sink garburator put nothing in green bin take all yard trash to $1.5 million cites cost me$3.60 month. no purchase of bags Ms Sheppard, you are a financial Hazard to its City citizens your City funding should be dropped. or do a proper service to this City with true facts

SophieR

It’s great to see the city make progress towards making Lethbridge more resilient.

It’s too bad every step forward is met by a headwind of ill informed curmudgeons. Ken, really, you’ve been using this same tired out argument for a decade – do you wonder why nobody listens to you? It’s because you don’t make any sense. But it doesn’t matter – just let rage and resentment rule.