Imagining Who We Could Be: A Natural & Built Environments Story

It's the Year 2040...
It’s a night worth celebrating, and our community environmental leaders are doing it in style. With applause all around, they’ve just walked across the stage to accept one of Albert’s top stewardship awards, joining the elite ranks who can claim this badge of honour. Next stop, national competition? Why not.

After all, the people of our community have already taken the leap to the national stage in the Communities In Bloom contest, with significant success. Each honor earned has spurred residents to work harder at making our community an inviting, environmentally friendly, leading-edge place to live. And that’s a good thing.

Best of all, the community’s environmental honors can’t be pinned on any one chest. Instead, they’re the combined effort of a host of individuals, groups and corporations; non-profit, corporate and private - with a passion for stewarding the beauty and resources so abundant in this mountain community. They are the ones who live in Net-Zero homes with solar panels up top, rain barrels outside and toilets filled with drain water from bathtubs and sinks.
Theme 5 Natural and Built Environments
They are the ones who championed the funicular that now connects hill with valley, a joy for town folk and visitors alike. They are the ones who have evolved gardens, greenhouses and farmers’ markets from a minor curiosity to a thriving source of food security. They are the ones who are moving green technologies from the research bench and pipedream to thriving and interconnected local enterprise.

That’s not to minimize municipal leadership. It’s no accident that this community is home to a green government centre, Canada’s first eco- industrial park and an enticing network of trails and parks. Not to mention solar-powered crosswalk signs. And resource companies that lead their industries in sustainable practices, including timely return of the land to its natural state.

The Community Sustainability Plan has promoted another leap forward, in partnership with private, non-profit and provincial leaders. With a comprehensive environmental management plan in place, the community can boast a full menu of alternative energy sources, a thriving green business sector and entire districts that produce more energy than they consume.

More than ever, our community is leading the environmental pack. That’s a lot to say for a community whose bread and butter continues to be natural resource use and extraction.

“We make our living off of natural resources. But at the same time we are, in the truest sense of the word, stewards of the landscape that we live on. The folks that are working in the forestry industry, they understand what we need to do to preserve it for future generations - we've been doing it for 50 year."
- Glenn Taylor, Former Mayor of Hinton