Battle River Watershed tour 2019

Battle River Watershed tour 2019

“Finding Common Ground 2.0” two day tour

Recently, I had the pleasure of joining 34 other volunteer energy ambassadors for the Battle River Watershed “Finding Common Ground 2.0” two day tour.

Visiting eight sites in the watershed, the tour included industrial, government, business and homeowner efforts. Nineteen guides and speakers, plus eight student EcoVision ambassadors presented informative and thought provoking discussions about energy production and efficiency, emission and footprint reduction.

At the Paintearth coal mine we learned the coal mining for power production, started in 1956, will soon complete the phase out. Reclamation of the 6,226 hectare footprint will be completed with pea and willow planting, and biosoil amendments.

The coal is being replaced by a 10” natural gas line for the Atco Power plant near Forestburg. We trooped up 113 steps to the fifth story to see the massive former coal burning boilers converted to natural gas. This will reduce emissions by two thirds.

Travelling to Halkirk, we entered an actual wind turbine tower at the Capital Power site. The 83 wind turbines, 80 m tall with 44 m blades, generate enough power to support 50,000 homes (same amount as the Atco generating station).

The 25,000 acre footprint is jointly used for agriculture.

A passive solar geodesic dome greenhouse with aquaponics was the highlight of the presentation by eight student EcoVision Ambassadors at the Lacombe Composite High School. As part of the environmental teachings of the curriculum and extra curricular clubs, students grow food in the greenhouse, outdoor raised beds and an indoor food tower.

The Louis Bull Solar Initiative, located at Maskwacis, provides alternative energy with solar installations on public buildings: the adult training centre, fire hall/security centre, Head Start children’s project, Maskwacis Health Services, with plans for the transfer station, daycare centre and more. Solar energy has saved money and maintenance costs for the community. It has provided career development and jobs for community members and cultural integration.

The Louis Bull Renewable School with a full solar array and solar heating is the next project. Other projects being investigated are hydroelectric from the Battle River, geothermal from existing oil and gas wells and producing ethanol from hemp.

The Nadon straw bale home in Camrose County optimizes residential energy efficiency. Site orientation, straw bale wall construction, salvaged materials, energy efficient windows, appliances, lighting; and infloor heating and entry air locks all contribute to àn inviting, cozy family home.

More Battle River Watershed information and photos from the tour are available at www.Battle River Watershed.ca or email: nathalie@battleriverwatershed.ca.

2019 Common Ground 2.0 conclusion:

“We all use energy.

We are all part of the solution.

We all have a part to play.

We all will benefit from finding solutions together.

We all share this watershed, this province, this planet.”

Our conclusion might agree with Aldo Leopold, dean of ecological thinking, 1938:

“We end, I think at what might be called the standard paradox of the 20th century, our tools are better than we are, and grow better, faster than we do. They suffice to crack the atom, to command the tides. But they do not suffice for the oldest task in human history: to live on a piece of land without spoiling it.”

Submitted by Pat Reiter, gardener

Camrose County

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday 12, 2020.

Manluk Centre/ Impress
Manluk Centre re-opens to the public

Drop in and registered programs will be available; one-third facility capacity to be followed.

File photo
Leduc RCMP request assistance to identify armed robbery suspect

Leduc RCMP are looking for male responsible for an armed robbery at Super Car and RV Wash in Leduc.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Most Read