By Justin Parsons, Bow Valley Crag & Canyon
Thursday, June 11, 2015 9:52:28 MDT AM
Two different initiatives with a common goal got a financial boost last week thanks to a grant from RBC’s Blue Water initiative.
Two local organizations — the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative — received a total of $30,000 in grant funding last week towards water conservation and education initiatives.
$10,000 of that funding went to the Biosphere Institute to create a Mobile Water EduKit, an educational tool that will make the rounds to local schools, businesses and other organizations containing valuable tips, tricks and tools aimed at keeping Bow Valley residents young and old engaged and encouraged to conserve water.
“The idea is it would be that we put really hands-on oriented activities that kids and adults can work through to get the idea of how they, individually, can preserve and protect the water in this region and in many other places as well,” said Biosphere executive director Melanie Watt, noting that the kit will also challenge groups to track their water use and keep tabs on water saving opportunities.
“It’s that idea to have people be more aware and also to have lots of little tricks you can use to really reduce your water use. Each of these individual actions adds up because you do it multiple times a day.”
The remaining $20,000 of the grant will go to Y2Y’s efforts to engage with members of the public, as well as private industry and government, on the upcoming North Saskatchewan Regional planning process, which will provide a valuable opportunity for citizens to tell the government how they’d like to see Alberta’s headwaters protected.
“We’ll be encouraging people to make their voices known and working with them so they have a better understanding of exactly what impact the headwaters have and exactly what impact protecting them better can have,” said Y2Y’s Claire Jarrold.
“It’s very important for people to engage with the land use planning process to let government and the decision makers know that headwaters are important and to talk about things that can make a difference.”
The funds came through RBC’s Blue Water Project, which has provided $41 million to charitable organizations dedicated to protecting water around the world.
“At RBC, we know that water is essential to everything we do – from our most basic daily needs to ensuring our global economy can function successfully,” said Michelle Dagenais, Canmore RBC Branch Manager.
“By supporting the efforts of Yellowstone to Yukon and the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, we are able to help raise awareness and fund water projects that will help provide access to drinkable, swimmable, fishable water, now and for future generations.”