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Earth day in Calgary

Earth Day, held annually on April 22, is the largest environmental event in the world. More than six million Canadians will join one billion people in over 190 countries to participate in activities to protect the environment.

Earth Day is a day of civic participation and action, and this year’s theme is Protect Our Species. At The City of Calgary, Earth Day is an opportunity to show our commitment to environmental protection. There are a number of initiatives and programs spearheaded by The City’s Parks team that educate and raise awareness of the rich biodiversity found within our city.

Calgary enjoys an abundance of wildlife and natural habitat. We can promote healthy urban living while conserving sensitive natural areas and the creatures that share our city. Read more about our strategic plan supporting biodiversity.

There are also many committed local organizations working tirelessly to build and activate programs to protect our natural environment and encourage individual action.

When we come together, the impact can be greater. By participating in Earth Day each year, The City grows awareness around the many environmental programs and services that Calgarians can take part in every day.

Urban Porcupine

City Nature Challenge

Take photos of urban plants or wildlife and upload them here between April 26 and 29 to see how Calgary’s nature stacks up to cities around the world. Calgary is the most northern city in North America competing. Halifax is the only other Canadian city to compete in this initiative and have directly challenged us.

Calgary Captured

In the late spring of 2017, The City of Calgary began to monitor select parks with remote cameras to understand how we coexist with wildlife in our city. Calgary Captured encourages citizens to help identify wildlife sightings within Calgary that have been caught on camera over several months.

The images are uploaded to the Calgary Captured website, ready for identification. ‘Season 3’ of the image capture was uploaded to the site on April 3. Citizens who visit the website and make wildlife identifications, can help us understand how wildlife is using our city and help us make better decisions about how to manage our park spaces. Join in by visiting Calgary Captured and following #wildlifewednesday #yycparks #urbanwildlife to find out what wildlife is living in your city!

Dale Hodges Park

Calgarians will soon be able to enjoy Dale Hodges Park, opening in June, a large natural environment park that lies along the northern bank of the Bow River, adjacent to Bowmont Park. Sitting on the former Klippert gravel pit site, the park will help restore the ecological integrity of the area and include stormwater wetlands, wildlife habitat, trails for cycling and walking, and lookout points across the scenic river valley.

Pathway and River Cleanup

A simple way to get involved in caring for our natural environment is to volunteer for this annual initiative. This year’s cleanup with take place on Sunday, May 5 and you can find more details and register here or by calling 311.

Mason Bees
Unfortunately, native honey bee populations have decreased across the continent because of parasitic mites, loss of habitat and climate change. Mason bees are excellent early spring fruit pollinators. Female mason bees build their nests in naturally occurring gaps, such as between cracks in stones, or in hollow stems, and holes made by wood-boring insects. You can help accommodate them by building your own mason bee house.

Why naturalize?

Naturalization is the process of transforming an open space, such as a lawn, into one that reflects the naturally-occurring landscape of the region. Naturalized areas help support biodiversity conservation by providing habitat for native plants and wildlife and can reduce maintenance costs for manicured areas for The City.

Are you a community association or group interested in working with The City to create a naturalized open space? Check out these steps to naturalization for more information.

Velvet Deer 
 

Other ideas

Small actions make a big difference. Here are some other ways you can help protect our natural environment:

  • Pick up litter
  • Pick up after your dog
  • Respect parks and pathways closures
  • Stay on designated trails
  • Do not cut or remove riparian vegetation
  • Prevent contaminated water from oil or soap from entering storm drains
You can find more general information on The City’s wide range of environmental initiatives here.