November 15, 2009
Capital Region Board Hears EALT Discussing the Municipal Benefits of Natural Areas, Parks and Rural
EALT was invited to give a presentation to the Capital Region Board (CRB) on November 12th.
The CRB is comprised of 25 municipalities in the region, represented by the mayors of the municipalities. The CRB was charged with developing a Growth Plan for the Capital Region to address four components: land use, transit, housing, and GIS. The Plan was submitted in March, 2009, and established principles and policies to guide growth. The minister of Municipal Affairs subsequently charged the Board to do more work on specifics, and a Growth Plan Addendum was developed, October 2009 (available at http://www.capitalregionboard.ab.ca).
This Addendum includes such interesting topics as:
• Maps of priority growth areas, cluster country residential areas, and regional buffer areas
• Regional conservation buffer areas
• Criteria for locational planning
• Traditional design versus Conservation design
The Growth Plan Addendum made an excellent topic for part of our presentation, since EALT is interested in seeing alternative, more environmentally sensitive approaches to building, developing and growing. In fact, EALT supports a land use planning approach that includes keeping what we value, as well as putting infrastructure on the landscape. And we very much support the Conservation design principles advocated by the CRB.
We pointed out that while the Growth Plan Addendum acknowledges natural resources (or goods) provided by the environment, there was little discussion of the services the environment provides. Thus many natural areas and landscapes, beyond those which are environmentally sensitive, provide huge value to municipalities and their citizens.
We described how natural areas and rural landscapes convey tremendous benefits, which are economic, as well as social and environmental. This information was made available as a handout. The handout only summarizes the multiple benefits; the fact that there are a huge number of economic benefits from conservation, should have provided very good news to the Board members.
Those who wish further information about these topics, should contact EALT at (780) 483–7578.
October 29, 2009
EALT has Expert Advisors
EALT is delighted to have a group of experienced individuals who have agreed to act as Advisors, and bring a vast range of specialities and perspectives to our work. We anticipate being able to draw on their expertise and experience as we go about our activities.
Our Advisors are listed on the EALT People page (Mariusz, please link to that page). Their expertise includes law, academia, municipal affairs, real estate appraisal, site assessment, industry, agriculture, communications, strategic planning, landscape architecture, land trust acquisitions, agriculture, first nations, education, urban-natural area planning and design, plant ecology and vegetation dynamics, woodlot management, urban forestry, geography and environmental studies.
We would like to extend an invitation to others who might be interested in becoming involved as advisors or in other ways. For those who would like to explore this opportunity to advance land conservation and to serve the community, please contact Pam Wight with any questions or suggestions: (780) 483–7578.