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Survey, activities planned as part of Environment Week in Lethbridge

This week is Environment Week with the City of Lethbridge and its inviting residents to take part in the planning for the future with a survey.

The Climate Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan Survey will be open until June 26th and residents are encouraged to provide feedback on how the City can adapt to the ever-changing climates here in Lethbridge.

Some things that will hopefully be identified are ways to better weatherproof city assets and services when extreme weather events appear. Community feedback and input is an important component on how to ensure the City’s plan aligns with what residents’ needs, values and desires are.

“As we’ve seen recently with the northern Alberta wildfires, changing and extreme weather events can cost communities millions in damage to assets and services,” says Raene Barber, Sustainability Engineer with the Waste & Environmental Department. “This work will help the City identify the climate risks to our community and develop actions we can take as an organization to support community resiliency to extreme weather and climate events.”

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Barber says that the adaptation planning is typical in various municipalities in the province as well as in Ontario. An example of something that might be included in the plan could be park spaces.

“Preparing our park spaces for the change in climate, so whether that be increasing our tree diversity or naturalizing park spaces for drought resistant species, that would be an example of an action that may be included in the plan,” says Barber.

Kathleen Sheppard, Executive Director of Environment Lethbridge says that this survey is an opportunity for community members to learn about and take action to protect our environment.

“For lots of reasons we really need to be prepared as a community, not just from an environmental perspective but from an economic perspective, from a personal safety perspective, and so its really exciting that the city’s climate adaptation plan is going to bring all of those pieces together and really come forward with a strategy that we can use as a community,” says Sheppard.

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The Helen Schuler Nature Centre is also celebrating with their own program to plant 1,000 trees in 2023 and a tree guide can be found on its website which explains the best trees suited for the weather in southern Alberta and allows residents to register their tree.

“this year we’re hoping to see 1,000 trees planted across the city by residents,” says Paige Rosner, Environment Educational Program Coordinator with the Helen Schuler Nature Centre. “The big trees we enjoy today were planted many years ago by residents just like us. We want residents to plan a tree, register it with our tree registry and help us reach this goal.”

There will be various activities and workshops this week with Environment Lethbridge and partners including Bike to Work Week happening all this week, free compost at the CASA parking lot on Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m., and a tour of the Waste and Recycling Centre on Wednesday from 6-8 p.m.

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