The Environment team protects the natural environment, including air and water, through implementing and monitoring the Environmental Management System (EMS) and working across the organization to advise the organization on regulatory compliance. The department responds to environmental emergencies, hazardous contamination and releases, instructing on appropriate mitigation measures and managing all response procedures.
Environmental Programs and Initiatives
Residents are encouraged to keep pets out of the wetland to help protect the environment. Many species of wildlife thrive in this ecosystem. It is best for the wetland to have minimal disturbances. The water within the wetland may also be stagnant which is not healthy for your pet. Standing bodies of water can harbour bacteria that can potentially make you or your pet ill.Image
Why are wetlands important to protect and keep healthy?
Biodiversity: Healthy wetlands promote a variety of microorganisms, plants and even fungi that are crucial to our natural world.
Vegetation: Vegetation in a wetland acts as a filter in a riparian area and protects aquatic habitat.
Wildlife Corridor: A variety of animals such as deer, moose, coyote, bears, muskrats, voles, waterfowl and many other species use this area for food, shelter and a means to get from one place to another.
Sound Attenuation: Even a small size wetland can help muffle the sounds of a busy intersection or bustling community.
Water Retention: This can help keep areas from flooding and help with droughts.
Vermicomposting is a way of composting with worms inside your home. It is a great way for you to put your organic kitchen scraps to use. In less then a year of composting this way, you will be left with beautiful nutrient soil that can be used for indoor and outdoor plants. Commonly referred to as "black gold soil," the resulting soil is the best addition to creating an ideal environment for your plants.Image
Do the bins smell? No, they do not produce a foul odour and do not attract pets or pests.
How long does it take to create enough castings to use? Generally, about 7-9 months and using a little of the castings goes a long way. Be sure to replace any castings you remove with new black earth soil.
How much do I feed them? You begin with a cup of food a week and then increase it from there. As long as they are eating the amount of food you are feeding you can keep increasing it.
What are the tiny bugs all across the top of the soil? They are harmless mites and are part of a healthy ecosystem inside your bin. They will not come out of your bin or cause any problems.
There is mould growing, is my bin okay? If it is just on the surface you can skim it off and discard it. If your bin is wet or has a foul smell you may need to remove your worms and begin a new bin.
Can they be fed bread? Meat, dairy, bread, pasta, salad dressing, and anything processed should be kept out of the bin. Red Wigglers can’t digest these things and will make your bin smell bad or cause it to rot.
Check out this short vermicomposting video to learn how you keep a bin in your home or classroom.
The importance of healthy riparian areas, found next to water bodies, is described within Provincial strategies such as Stepping Back from the Water. This natural vegetation at the water’s edge performs a number of ecosystem services including:
- Retaining pollutants from entering the water
- Stabilizing the slopes of the facility from erosion
- Absorbing excess nutrients that otherwise may result in algal blooms
- Providing habitat for waterfowl and other organisms
Since 1991, Trout Unlimited Canada’s award-winning Yellow Fish Road™ program has been Canada’s premier water education program targeted to reduce water pollution. The Yellow Fish Road™ program educates Canadians that storm drains are the doorways to our rivers, lakes and streams and anything other than rainwater can harm life in and around the water, as well as us as Canadians who need clean water. Participants learn that together we can prevent pollutants such as soap, fertilizer, litter, dirt, oil, pet feces and construction materials from entering storm drains and protect Canada’s water.
In Grande Prairie, groups can contact the City to obtain the supplies needed to make storm drains with the yellow fish. The program is free of charge and is done through the months of May to September when the snow has cleared.
The Community Growth Committee recommended that Council formally adopt a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 2009 baseline levels by 2019 for municipal operations, as per the Partners for Climate Protection recommended target, and to further this direct Administration to:
- Develop adequate processes to support timely, accurate and comprehensive data collection for greenhouse gas emissions inventories
- Develop a baseline community greenhouse gas emissions inventory for 2009 and set a reduction target
- Develop a project team to gather information about energy efficiency and emission reduction measures that have been put in place, are planned or could be implemented to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions for municipal operations
- Develop a local action plan for energy conservation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to achieve reduction targets
The City of Grande Prairie is one of over 240 municipalities that have joined PCP, making a public commitment to reduce emissions. These members cover all provinces and territories and account for more than 80% of Canadians. The PCP program has five milestones:
- Create a GHG emissions inventory and forecast
- Set an emissions reductions target
- Develop a local climate action plan
- Implement the local climate action plan
- Monitor progress and report results
What types of GHG emissions are measured?
The inventory tracks three principal GHGs: carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and
methane (CH4), expressed as a CO2 equivalent (CO2e).
Typically, these GHGs are generated from:
- the use of fossil fuels to light, heat, cool and ventilate buildings (including homes and offices) and to municipal power operations, industrial processes and vehicles
- the decomposition of organic waste in landfills.
Did you know...
FCM’s Green Municipal Fund™ (GMF) provides grants of up to 50 per cent of costs to
a maximum of $350,000 toward the completion of PCP Milestones Two and Three. GMF also
offers grants for feasibility studies and grants and low-interest loans for capital projects to
implement measures identified in the local action plan.