Protecting Edmonton’s Natural Areas Earns Emerald Award
June 06, 2012
The City of Edmonton has won an Alberta Emerald Award for its leadership role in protecting biodiversity.
The Office of Biodiversity leads the City’s work in protecting natural areas. In the last decade, the City has protected more than 4,000 hectares of natural areas and has become a global leader in the protection of biodiversity.
“It’s a great honour for the City of Edmonton to be presented with the Emerald Award this year,” says Mayor Stephen Mandel. “The City’s work to preserve and protect natural areas ensures that we all enjoy nature and the bounty of life that these natural areas provide within our communities.”
“Maintaining our rich biodiversity is critical to the future of our city and to achieving the sustainability goals outlined in The Way We Green, the city’s environmental strategic plan,” Mandel says.
The Office of Biodiversity, created in 2002, purchases and protects natural areas using a $20 million fund set up by the City. 70 natural areas outside of the river valley parks network have been purchased. These natural areas are located in neighbourhoods throughout Edmonton.
The office has created a number of initiatives, such as the Master Naturalist Program, to protect natural areas and help citizens understand the value of these areas.
It was also instrumental in the creation of the Edmonton and Area Land Trust (EALT), a partnership of six community groups which uses start-up funding and an operational endowment from the City of Edmonton to buy conserved land and hold it in trust.
The Office of Biodiversity’s Emerald Award is in the Government category. The award was presented in Calgary on June 6, 2012.
“Our judging panel indicated that the Government Institution category had the strongest nominations this year, and the Office of Biodiversity’s shone above the others,” says Emmy Stuebing, Executive Director of the Alberta Emerald Foundation. “The judges were especially impressed with the major impact the office is making, as well as the great collaboration with partners such as the Edmonton & Area Land Trust. The City of Edmonton truly is leading by example.”
For more information about the work of the Office of Biodiversity visit www.edmonton.ca/biodiversity.
For more information:
Mary-Ann ThurberCity of Edmonton