Calgary City News Blog
 

Calgary City News Blog
 

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  • Do your trees need mulching? Find out here! 24 April 2015
    With spring here, you might be out working in your yard but something that is often overlooked is mulching trees. All trees can benefit from mulch. It provides numerous benefits, including improving overall tree health by providing needed nutrients and reducing moisture loss.

    What is mulch?
    Mulch is a layer of organic material, such as compost, shredded wood or bark, or inorganic material such as pea gravel, that is spread on top of soil. It creates a healthy, attractive yard that requires less water and weeding. Mulch also suppresses the growth of weeds and helps protect your tree’s roots from extreme temperature changes through insulation.

    Proper mulch depth is between 5-10 cm.
    Mulching a tree for the first time? 
    Put a five to 10 centimetre layer of mulch around the base of the tree leaving space to expose the trunk. When mulch is piled against the trunk it may negatively impact the health of the tree. In order to get the full benefits of mulching, you want to a depth of five to 10 cm. Too much mulch can lead to excessive moisture at the roots, nutrient deficiencies, fluctuating moisture, girdling roots and encourage pests and rodents. Often this happens over time, so be sure to check the mulch depth each time. 

    What do I do if I am re-mulching? 
    If mulch is present around your tree, be sure to check the depth. If it is already five to 10 centimetres deep, work on improving the mulch that is there by breaking up any larges pieces with a shovel. This is also a great time to make sure the trunk is exposed and the mulch hasn’t piled against it. If this is the case, clear the mulch back approximately 10 centimetres from the base.

    Are there alternatives to buying mulch? 
    You can use what you have in your own yard with a little bit of preparation! If you have wood chips, tree bark and/or leaves around your yard already, you can put them in your composter for two to three months. After this period of time you will have usable mulch that you can place around established trees and shrubs.

    Free mulch!
    Come to a Community Tree Resource Fair this spring and receive free mulch for your trees. We will be at the following locations:
    ·        Saturday, May 9 – Disaster Alley at McMahon Stadium
    ·        Sunday, May 17 – South Glenmore Park 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    ·        Sunday, June 14 – Prairie Winds Park 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    ·        Sunday, June 28 – Bowness Park 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    For more information on caring for your trees, tree events, and tree planting opportunities in Calgary, visit calgary.ca/trees
  • P.U.P.P.Y. program - Help make our parks #1 by picking up #2! 23 April 2015 With over 100,000 dogs in Calgary, pet waste in our parks can quickly add up. We invite you to join experts in City parks across Calgary to learn more about the need to pick up after your pets.

    Volunteers and City staff at a PUPPY event last year.
    The P.U.P.P.Y. (Pick Up Pooch’s Poo Yourself) program will be on hand at several City parks this spring and summer, beginning April 25 at Sue Higgins Park.

    Learn about a variety of pet-related topics and participate in interpretive programs led by City volunteers. Supplies will also be on hand for anyone wanting to help clean up the park. A complete list of locations and dates is available on The City’s P.U.P.P.Y. page.

    Picking up your dog’s waste is not just about responsible pet ownership - it’s about keeping our parks and off-leash areas safe. Dog waste is not only an attractive snack for coyotes, it often contains parasites like E. Coli and other bacteria, which can cause serious illness in humans. Dog waste doesn’t wash away or disappear, so the risk of spreading its harmful effects can linger for years!

    Thankfully, there is a simple solution. Always carry pet waste baggies with you when walking your dog, and pick up and dispose of your pet’s waste as soon as possible.

    Check out The City’s website for more information on responsible pet ownership and where to find the nearest off-leash park for you and your pooch.

    Submitted by Heather Hastie, Parks
  • Seven actions you can take to help the environment 22 April 2015

    Spring is here and it is a great time to help protect our precious land, air and water. Together we can make a difference. Here are seven actions that can make a big difference.


    1. Attend a community tree fair



    This spring, we will be hosting tree fairs at community parks all around Calgary, with free resources and demonstrations showing you how to care for your trees and plant new trees. There will also be lots of fun activities for kids, entertainment and food options. Together we can recover our trees that were damaged in the September 2014 snowstorm and help our trees grow to what they once were. For locations and dates, visit the "Events" tab of calgary.ca/trees.


    2. Reduce idling



    When vehicles are left running while parked, they continue to produce emissions that contribute to air pollution and climate change. Turning off the engine is a great way to reduce emissions and save money. Ten seconds of idling uses more fuel than turning your engine off and restarting it. If you want to start an idle free zone at your school or workplace visit calgary.ca for idle free posters that can be downloaded and printed.


    3. Plant some smarty plants



    This summer enjoy a beautiful yard that is easy to maintain. Smarty plants are part of The City of Calgary’s YardSmart program and are plants that don’t require a lot of water and still thrive in Calgary’s unique climate. Since summer water usage can increase by 50 per cent, becoming water and YardSmart can reduce your summer watering bill and this means more savings for you. Visit calgary.ca/yardsmart to find a list of smarty plants and other YardSmart actions.


    4. Use a rain barrel


    A good rain shower can quickly fill a rain barrel and provide a free source of water for your yard. Your plants will love the rain water and will flourish. Green Calgary is hosting a number of rain barrel sales this spring and summer, to see the dates and locations of the sales go to greencalgary.org.


    5. Reduce/Reuse/Recycle


    Reducing the amount of material that gets sent to the landfill is important to everyone. Thanks to the efforts of all Calgarians, we’ve recycled more than 350,000,000 kilograms of material in the last five years. By reducing, reusing and recycling, we are doing more with less – and that is great for the environment. The City of Calgary has created a searchable online tool called What Goes Where and it has helped thousands of Calgarians find out how to give a second life to materials. Check it out at calgary.ca/whatgoeswhere the next time you are wondering where something goes.


    6. Just compost it


    At this time of year, nearly a third of our residential garbage is yard waste. Rather than putting your old leaves, branches, and plants in the garbage, give these materials a second life by turning them into compost. Bring your yard waste for composting to any City landfill for free until the end of May. Visit calgary.ca/springcleaning for more information on the program and landfill hours.


    7. Eat local



    Local food is miles better. The average meal travels 2500 kilometres to reach your plate – that’s a lot of fuel, energy and carbon emissions. Growing your own food or eating food that is produced locally is a great way to save energy and help protect the environment. The added bonus is that local food is fresher and taste great! If you're looking for more information on local food or are interested in joining a community garden, visit calgary.ca/localfood.

    Please visit calgary.ca/spring to find out more information on spring in Calgary.
  • A foot-in-the-door for hundreds of Calgary youth 21 April 2015
    In the first half hour, over 600 kids entered this year’s Youth Hiring Fair and another 2,000 were waiting to enter. Today’s hiring fair gives youth ages 15 to 24 a chance at one of the over 5,000 opportunities available through participating employers. 

    Jessica was first through the doors this morning.
    A chance to get needed skills

    This event provides opportunities for youth to find a job and get the experience they need to build confidence and skills in the job market. 

    We’ve all been there – just starting out without any experience. Getting the right opportunity to get you off on the right foot can make all the difference.

    Among the first people through the doors today was Jessica Mcgaughey, 22 years old, who was excited for the chance to meet so many employers in one location. The Youth Hiring Fair provides that foot-in-the-door, making job hunting more comfortable.

    Employers benefit too

    Employers were equally happy to see so many qualified young people with the potential to fill needed roles within their organizations. McDonald’s has been a supporting employer for several years now and keeps coming back because of the opportunity to meet so many potential hires.

    Laura from McDonald's.
    “Last year alone we hired for 200 positions from 600 applications,” said Laura Schaufele. “This really helps us staff up for summer when over 50 per cent of our staff are youth.”

    The Youth Employment Centre provides a variety of free year-round career planning and employment services to people between the ages of 15 and 24 such as hiring fairs, one-on-one career counselling, resume support and job search assistance.

    For more information on today’s Youth Hiring Fair, opportunities to participate next year, or ongoing employment services for youth, visit www.nextsteps.org.

    Submitted by Stacey Scott, Community and Neighbourhood Services
  • Calgarians are talking about their main streets 16 April 2015

    Calgarians have been sharing their ideas and concerns to improve their main street neighborhoods.

    Want to share your views? Attend upcoming information sessions being held across Calgary from April 21 to May 15.

    This is part of a larger City initiative called Main Streets, which is exploring what growth and change is important to Calgary’s main streets.

    “Right now we’re listening and learning about what matters most to the people who live, work and play in these areas,” says Kevin Barton, Lead Planner for Main Streets.



    Between November and February, hundreds of Calgarians came to Main Streets workshops, participating in an astounding 1,000 hours of discussion about their main street neighborhoods. The number of people getting involved continues to climb as Calgarians share their ideas online as well.

    We’re continuing the conversation this spring. Join us at any of the upcoming information sessions to see what other Calgarians have said, provide your input, share ideas, and chat with City planners about the future of your main street neighborhood.

    To learn more, visit calgary.ca/mainstreets.

    Upcoming information session topics

  • Giving thanks for a life saved 13 April 2015
    When your child isn’t breathing, nothing is more important than getting help as quickly as possible. On January 30, 2015, Crystal Finlay found herself in that situation when she heard funny noises coming from the baby monitor in her 16-month-old daughter’s room and went to investigate. Her daughter, Avrylyn, was having difficulty breathing and was turning blue. Crystal called 9-1-1 and was transferred to Public Safety Communications (PSC), Calgary’s 9-1-1 centre, and received the help she needed to save her daughter’s life.


    The Finlays travelled from Olds to Calgary on March 25 to meet Emergency Communications Officer Don Marisi, who promptly provided life-saving support over the phone that helped save their daughter.


    “I don’t know what I would have done without you,” said Crystal when she finally met Marisi face-to-face. “Thank you for being there when I needed you.”


    The Findlay family was invited to tour the 9-1-1 operations centre and meet Marisi. Avrylyn and her older siblings, Teyden and AJ, were delighted to also toured through an ambulance and police cruiser. 


    Finding closure after a stressful event

    At times, our calls come in so quickly that we don’t get the opportunity to follow up after an intense situation or get an update on a patient’s condition,” said Marisi. “Having the opportunity to meet Crystal and her family, especially Avrylyn, is a sincere privilege because you get to speak face-to-face with the person who was on the other end of the phone during that critical moment.”


    Avrylyn recovered fully from the incident and Finlay notes having the opportunity to meet Marisi helped her find closure after the stressful event.


    Say #thanks911 this week

    “I don’t know how [they] do it,” said Finlay. “Without [PSC], there would be a lot people who wouldn’t get by.”


    National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is being celebrated this week, April 12 to 18, to recognize the important role emergency communications officers play in emergency services. They are the first to answer the call for help and must use critical thinking and compassion to establish a connection with callers and get them the help they need.

    Go to our Facebook event page to tell your story or just say #thanks911.

    To learn more about your 9-1-1 Centre and the role of an emergency communications officer visit calgary.ca/911.



    Submitted by Tanja McMorris, Public Safety Communications


  • Spring Clean-up coming to a neighbourhood near you 13 April 2015 Spring is in the air and that means The City’s Spring Clean-up program is coming to a neighbourhood near you. This year street sweeping officially begins Monday, April 13.

    Due to warm weather in March crews were able to complete more pre-sweeping than normal. During pre-sweeping, or winter sweeping, crews gave priority to clearing high traffic volume streets where parking ban compliance has been low in years past.

    Street sweeping improves safety and mobility for Calgary motorists, cyclists and pedestrians by removing sanding materials and other debris that has accumulated on roads and along major sidewalks and boulevards during the winter.
    Move cars and blue, black and green carts from the road
    when these signs are in your area.

    Keeping Calgary clean is a collaborative effort. We are asking all Calgarians to help make the city beautiful by removing cars and blue, black and green carts from city roads when you see street sweeping signs in your community. If street sweeping and garbage collection in your neighbourhood fall on the same day, simply move blue, black and green carts onto the curb.

    If gravel, dust and other debris is left behind because a car has not been moved you can sweep up the debris yourself by following these steps:

    • If gravel, dust and other debris is left behind because a car has not been moved you can sweep up the debris yourself by following these steps:
    • When cleaning up gravel, dust, rocks and other debris put all materials into a garbage bag and double bag it. This will help keep the air free of dust and keep garbage collection vehicles clean as well.
    • Rocks and other material may be heavy and need to be double-bagged to avoid punctures and rips in the bags.
    • For your garbage collector’s safety, make sure your bags are not overweight (less than 20 kg) and place all debris inside your black cart for removal.
    Typically Spring Clean-up lasts until the end of June, wrapping up just in time for the Calgary Stampede.

    Find more information on Spring Clean-up including when street sweeping is scheduled in your community visit Calgary.ca/sweep.
  • Cycle Tracks pilot project under construction, open by end of June 13 April 2015
    Calgarians will soon have more transportation options available to them with the opening of the Centre City Cycle Track Network pilot project.

    Scheduled to open by the end of June this year, the pilot project includes the installation of four new cycle track routes through the Centre City.

    Cycle tracks are different from bike lanes in that they are separated from vehicle lanes by a physical, on-street barrier. The physical barrier increases safety and comfort on the road for cyclists, drivers and pedestrians alike.

    “These new cycle track routes will be very similar to the cycle track that was installed on 7 Street S.W. in 2013,” said Tom Thivener, Bike Coordinator at The City of Calgary. “After the 7 Street cycle track was built, we saw the number of people bicycling quadruple, making it the busiest on-street bikeway in Centre City. We also saw sidewalk riding go down significantly. We hope to see the same success with these new cycle track routes.”

    Instead of a concrete barrier the new cycle tracks will have a barrier that is not permanent because of the pilot nature of the project.

    The new cycle track routes are:
    • 5 Street (from 3 Avenue S.W. to 17 Avenue S.W.)
    • 12 Avenue (from 11 Street S.W. to 4 Street S.E.)
    • 8 Avenue (from 11 Street S.W. to 3 Street S.W.)
    • 9 Avenue (from  Macleod Trail to 4 Street S.E.)
    Stephen Avenue and the Olympic Plaza block will not have a cycle track but will be a shared space between people cycling and walking during the daytime hours and will be shared between people cycling and driving in the evening hours. It will be designed to be a slow and safe street for those who walk, bicycle and drive.

    Construction will begin on the new routes in mid-April.  The City will aim to minimize traffic disruptions by working in the off hours as much as possible.

    Members of the public are invited to see the final cycle track network design at one of four public information sessions:

    April 14, 2015 
    11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
    Bankers Hall, 315 8 Ave S.W. (+15 level, next to The Source)
    April 21, 2015

    5 – 7 p.m.
    Kahanoff Conference Centre, 105 12 Ave S.E., Jim Hume Room
    April 16, 2015
    11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
    Calgary City Hall, 800 Macleod Trail S.E.
    April 22, 2015

    11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
    Western Canadian Place, 801 6 Street S.W.

    For more information about the Centre City Cycle Track Network pilot program, visit: www.calgary.ca/cycletracknetwork   
  • Recognize your Snow Angel by April 17 8 April 2015 Calgary Snow Angels may have had less snow to shovel from their neighbours’ walkways this winter compared to last, but those who benefit from their generosity nonetheless herald the work they do.

    Councillor Andre Chabot (Ward 10) with Al "Richie" Richardson.
    “Snow Angels are doing much more than helping neighbours comply with snow removal bylaws,” says Chris Thomson-Hunter, coordinator of The City’s annual Snow Angels campaign. “They’re strengthening our communities, connecting with neighbours and showing what it means to be a community.”

    Many Calgarians are unable to shovel their drive and/or walkways, whether for the short-term due to illness, injury or an extended absence from home, or for the long-term due to age or mobility issues.

    Waiting for a transplant 

    In 2012, Sylvia’s husband was diagnosed with a rare lung disease. In 2013 he had a double lung transplant, but tragically passed away shortly after the surgery.  Throughout the process, Sylvia spent countless hours in Edmonton waiting with her husband for the transplant.  During the winter months, a Snow Angel kept their sidewalks clear so Sylvia could be by her husband’s side.

    Now on her own, Sylvia is equally grateful for her pair of Snow Angels who are always ready to spring into action whenever the snow starts falling.

     “Younger neighbours and people with snow blowers look out for the older folks and pay close attention to what’s going on in the circle,” Sylvia said.

    Waking up to a shovelled walkway

    Thanks to Snow Angels, Sylvia and many others who struggle to keep their walks clear needn’t worry. Their walks will be shovelled, often before they rise in the morning.

    The City’s Snow Angels campaign encourages residents to help neighbours keep their walks clear of snow and ice. It also gives those who have a Snow Angel a means to express their appreciation through having them officially recognized by The City of Calgary.

    The deadline for nominating Snow Angels for recognition this year is April 17. Submission information is available online or by calling 311.

    Stories from across the city

    We’re fortunate in Calgary to hear many stories that make us feel good about our neighbourhoods; including those about Snow Angels and the people like Sylvia that they take care of.  You can read more stories below or visit the Snow Angels page.

    Dalhousie Snow Angel
    Lake Bonavista Snow Angel
    Marlborough Snow Angel
    McKenzie Lake Snow Angel
    Oakridge Snow Angel
    Wildwood Snow Angel

    Submitted by Donna Bertrand, for Community & Neighbourhood Services

  • Three City golf courses to open this Easter long weekend 2 April 2015 Swing into spring as the 2015 golf season begins with the full opening of three of The City of Calgary’s golf courses over the Easter long weekend.

    The 18-hole courses at McCall Lake and Shaganappi Point will open this Friday, followed by Maple Ridge Golf Course on Saturday, April 4.

    Course openings are subject to weather conditions. Courses will be opening with permanent greens. Reduced green fees may be in effect.

    For up-to-date information on City of Calgary golf course and driving range openings, hours of operation, green fees, and tee time bookings, visit Calgary.ca/golf or download our mobile app.

    Join the more than 9,000 golfers who tried out our app last year and enhance your golfing experience.

    McCall Lake -18 opens Friday, April 3
    Shaganappi Point - 18 opens Friday, April 3
    Maple Ridge - 18 opens Saturday, April 4

    Submitted by April Tanner, Recreation



  • Let’s partner to plant trees 31 March 2015 With the 25 NeighbourWoods communities for 2015 now selected we are looking for your help! If you live in one of the communities listed below, now is the time to register online or call 311 to volunteer to plant a City-tree in your community.

    Planting a tree in Highland Park.
    “Because of the September snow storm, we’re tackling planting trees in a big way for 2015,” says Erin Brown, Neighbourwoods program advisor. “We typically work with ten communities to plant trees – this year it’s 25.”

    To help support volunteers we provide the trees, help prepare the planting site, share tree care information and much more. Volunteers pay $30 for each tree and then choose which tree is planted and help plant and care for the tree.

    If you do not live in one of the 25 communities, you can still apply to have a City-tree planted in a public area in your community with the Planting Incentive Program. If approved, we will match 50 per cent of the cost of a new City-tree, do all the planning and planting, and the community will get to choose the type of tree and where it can be planted.

    Communities were selected based on factors like the health and condition of the existing neighbourhood trees, community interest and tree planting opportunities.

    For more information on planting trees in your community, visit calgary.ca/trees.

    The 2015 communities are:  

    • Acadia
    • Altadore
    • Banff Trail
    • Bankview
    • Bridgeland
    • Capitol Hill
    • Dover
    • Elbow Park
    • Mount Pleasant
    • Glenbrook
    • Glendale
    • Killarney
    • Lower Mount Royal
    • North Haven
    • Renfrew
    • Richmond/Knobhill
    • Roxboro
    • Scenic Acres
    • Sherwood 
    • Spruce Cliff
    • Taradale
    • Tuscany
    • Upper Mount Royal
    • Windsor Park
    • Willow Park
    • Woodbine 
    • Woodlands
    Submitted by Althea Livingston, Parks

  • George began his career with the City in 1965. Calgary’s population was 311,116 30 March 2015
    George Dorn with his 50-year service award
    George Dorn has seen a lot of firsts.

    When Calgary launched the LRT system in 1981, Dorn became one of its first operators.

    As the holder of Badge No. 1, Dorn is now retiring after a 50-year career. Dorn is making history as the City’s longest-serving employee ever.

    “I started with rubber tire trolleys. I was on the trains before Calgary Transit brought in power steering,” said Dorn, 78.

    Dorn started as a bus driver in 1965. Back then, drivers took riders on city-wide tours and would even pull up to your doorstep if you called for a ride outside the routes.

    “Never had a boring day,” he said. “I never learned what the word stress is. I’ve had a good career. The City has treated me good.”

    The fact that Dorn has been present for every CTrain line opening in Calgary’s history is remarkable, said Transit Manager Doug Morgan. “When I speak with George, it strikes me that he sees himself as a regular guy earning an honest living. I think he underestimates his impact on the community. He is a member of the Calgary Transit family who will be missed. He is part of our story and someone who will be remembered long past his retirement date.”

    Dorn spent 16 years driving buses and 34 at the helm of CTrains.

    “I enjoy the kids I work with, they’re young and full of energy. I think I stayed around so long because I didn’t want to quit. You really get to know personally your ridership. I’ve got some long time riders that are friends.”


    Transit supervisor Cam Perkins says Dorn will be missed.

    “I think the City was lucky to have someone like George because of the passion he had for the job, and the pride he took in transporting Calgarians to their destinations. He truly loved meeting people and talking with them,” said Perkins.

    For now, Dorn says he’s going to enjoy a relaxed pace of life and enjoy time with his four children and eight grandchildren.





  • Venture into your yard & check the health of trees 27 March 2015 As temperatures warm up, it’s time to venture into your backyard and check your trees for damage that may still be there from the September snow storm last fall. Right now we estimate three quarters of the tree damage is located on private property.



    Here are a few things to look for when caring for your trees:
    • Comply with the Alberta elm pruning ban between March 31 and September 30. Alberta is one of the last geographic areas in North America to be free of Dutch elm disease. Elm trees are also one of the few types of shade trees that grow in Calgary so it is important to protect them.
    • Consider all options before removing your trees. Tree have many benefits such as providing shade and cooling, slowing down storm water runoff, increasing property values and helping to keep people healthy and happy.
      • Removing entire trees or large limbs can change the wind dynamics in a location or within the tree.
      • Do not take the drastic step of “topping” your tree in an effort to control its size. Topping is the drastic cutting back of major branches. Topping may destroy the natural form of the tree and encourages the tree to put our weakly attached shoots which are more prone to damage.
    • Practice safety first. Start with issues that will lead to major problems if ignored. Look for potential hazards such as major limbs that are still hanging in the canopy of the tree and/or trunks of trees that are split. These issues should be addressed as soon as possible, especially if there is a risk to injure people or damage property.
    • Know your skill level. Consult with an International Society Arborist (ISA) certified arborist or a tree care company that employs ISA certified arborists. This could apply if trees need work in their canopy, large limbs need to be removed or specialized equipment is needed.

    It’s important to look out for our trees not only for safety purposes but because they contribute many environmental, social, and economical benefits. Trees are one of a few assets that appreciate in value over time.

    For more information on supporting your trees and recovering from the September 2014 Snow Storm, visit calgary.ca/trees.
  • Unplug for Earth Hour on March 28 27 March 2015
    Participate in Earth Hour with The City of Calgary by turning off your lights and electronics and attending Calgary Unplugged, a free family event at Olympic Plaza. The event runs from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and features kid-friendly activities, free hot chocolate in compostable cups, an LED lantern parade, and music and lighting generated by pedal-power bikes.

    Earth Hour is a global initiative to raise awareness about how energy use contributes to climate change and ways we can all take action to reduce our impact.

    Each year The City participates by shutting off non-essential and feature lighting in various buildings and bridges. On March 28, lights will turn off at 8:30 p.m. for one hour at:

    • The Municipal Building and old City Hall
    • Calgary Public Building
    • Manchester Centre Building E
    • Ad Valorem Place
    • Whitehorn Multi-Services Centre
    • all fire stations
    • Centre Street Bridge
    • the 4th Street S.E. underpass
    • the Riverwalk area near Prince’s Island Park
    • Langevin Bridge

    The City’s commitment to reducing energy use in its operations goes far beyond Earth Hour. Some of the work underway includes converting over 80,000 community streetlights to more energy efficient LED bulbs. Additionally, The City is conducting a pilot to automatically power down desktop computers during non-work hours. If the pilot proves successful, a corporate-wide program could save enough electricity to power over 340 households per year.

    Join The City and go beyond the hour by taking action to reduce your energy use every day. Visit Calgary.ca for simple energy saving tips.
  • Green Line SE...Demystified! 25 March 2015 The City hosted three public workshops from March 10-12 about the Green Line SE Transitway route and development around transit stations. Approximately 400 people participated in the workshops. If you missed these sessions, check out the online survey - available until April 1.

    Since the workshops, we’ve been hearing a lot of great questions about the project. Read on for further information about sections of the Green Line route that are currently in discussion.

    Council has already approved the Green Line route alignment, so why is The City looking at possible alternate routes?

    The plans for the Green Line SE were started in the 1980’s – so when Council approved funding for the Green Line SE in 2013, they asked The City to revisit the plans to make sure they work for Calgary today and in the future.

    The project team looked at opportunities for improvement along the route. We focused on identifying areas where the route could be better integrated into communities, and potentially plant the seed for development around transit stations.

    What areas of the route are currently up for discussion?

    Three locations are currently under review for the Green Line SE route alignment:
    • 11 Street S.E. in Ramsay
    • Ogden Road
    • 24 Street S.E. in Quarry Park

    Why do we want to hear from SE Calgary about the three routing options?

    We see opportunities to build a more integrated service that accommodates all modes of transportation, serves the community, and encourages liveable neighbourhoods. The alternate routes offer better community access to stations, seamless integration with local streets and sidewalks, and potential for future development. However, we also recognize that we need to consider the trade-off’s in terms of traffic and land impacts. We want to understand how the communities along the Green Line feel about the alternate routes, and where they see issues and opportunities.

    Why are we looking at alternate routes in Ramsay?

    The current Council-approved Green Line Southeast alignment in Ramsay has a number of challenges, including space constraints between Canadian Pacific Rail (CP) tracks and the neighbouring historical resource buildings. We are currently looking at this option in more detail to determine how/if this route can work within this space.

    What opportunities does The City see if the Green Line runs down 11 Street S.E. in Ramsay?

    Ramsay is a beautiful character community, and we believe the Transitway can offer a unique chance to extend this quality to 11 Street S.E. One of the City’s tools create more liveable neighbourhoods is the Complete Streets Guide, and the project team sees opportunities to enhance the street by tying into store fronts and businesses, and creating a pleasant and safe environment with green space, upgraded sidewalks, and better connections for pedestrians and cyclists.

    Why is The City looking at an alternate route in Ogden?

    The current Council approved Green Line SE alignment in Ogden shows the route running parallel to CP land. The Transitway would be on the east side of Ogden Road and would transition to the backside of the community of Ogden, extending from Lynnwood (near CN bridge crossing) through to South Hill. This option works well from a transit speed point-of-view, but misses the opportunity for community building and/or integration with the station.

    Similar to the reasoning for an alternate route in Inglewood/Ramsay, we believe that there might be an opportunity to run the Transitway along Odgen Road to provide a more easily accessible station in the heart of the community. We are also looking at a hybrid option which would involve keeping the Green Line next to CP Rail with a station that fronts on Ogden Road. These could also potentially trigger revitalization and further development of Ogden Road

    When will the Green Line SE route be finalized?

    The route recommendations will be presented to Council in October 2015. The City will report back to communities with the final recommendations in September, prior to meeting with Council. Recommendations will be made based on input from the public, the development community, and The City’s internal groups (Transit, Planning, etc).

    Visit calgary.ca/greenline for more information.
  • World's first fully integrated research facility opens in Pine Creek wastewater plant 17 March 2015 Embedded within The City’s Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, a brand new, real-time, world class research facility has opened - Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA).

    The ACWA facility, with additional locations on the University of Calgary campus, is the only fully integrated research facility located within an active industrial wastewater treatment plant that will enable world class research that cannot be completed anywhere else.

    Students from the University of Calgary will work with City staff from multiple disciplines to develop new methods of wastewater testing, treatment technologies, and potential impacts on public health and the environment.

    "Water is our most precious resource. Every community along the Bow River is responsible for keeping it healthy," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi at the ACWA opening. "Developing wastewater treatment technologies that can improve the ecosystem and protect human health is not just important for Albertans – it’s also a global issue. ACWA represents our commitment to be responsible stewards of the environment and demonstrates we are good custodians of the public money invested in research."

    Manager of Water Quality Services, Nancy Stalker adds, "The City monitors emerging trends and regulations as well as pilot technologies to protect public health and the environment. Scientific findings are helping support our decision- making for our assets and natural environment."



    The ACWA research facility is result of the Urban Alliance collaborative partnership between The City of Calgary and University of Calgary that ensures Calgary and Calgarians directly benefit from applied research. The Urban Alliance specifically promotes and expedites the seamless transfer of cutting-edge research between The City and the University work on a wide range of issues (including water) that may impact our citizens and the community.

    Through other strategic partnerships with Water Research Foundation, Water Environment Research Foundation, Canadian Water Network and ACWA, The City of Calgary works as part of a greater team to ensure safe and sustainable water quality and quantity for our citizens.
    • Remembering Calgary’s Irish-born Councillors 17 March 2015 Saint Patrick's Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious celebration held March 17 in honour of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

      To celebrate, we’re taking a trip back in time to visit some famous City Council members. Their stories are fascinating: a man elected mayor eight times, the founder of Riley & McCormick, a woman elected into Council in 1936 for three consecutive terms, and an Alderman who landed himself in jail for his beliefs.

      Read more about Calgary’s Irish-born Councillors below, information courtesy of The City's Corporate Record’s Archives.

      Andrew Davison

      Andrew Davison
      City of Calgary Alderman, 1922 - 1926
      City of Calgary Alderman, 1929
      City of Calgary Mayor, 1930 - 1945

      In 1921, Mr. Davison was elected to Calgary City Council as a Labour Alderman. After serving four terms as Alderman from 1922 to 1926 and in 1929, he was elected Mayor. He was re-elected Mayor another seven times, serving a total of sixteen years as the City's Chief Magistrate, a record unequalled before or since. During his term the ambitious and controversial Glenmore Dam water system was completed, as well as additions to the General Hospital. He is also credited with sound management of The City's finances during the Great Depression.



      Eneas Edward McCormick


      Eneas Edward McCormick
      City of Calgary Alderman, 1925 - 1930

      Does Mr. McCormick’s name sound familiar? It should. In 1902 he and W.J. Riley founded Riley & McCormick Limited. Over the 45 years that he was president of the company, he served on many boards. He rode in the first Stampede Parade in 1912 and was an associate director for the Stampede from 1913 – 1944. He also served as the ‘model’ for the Boer War Monument which still stands in Calgary’s Central Memorial Park. McCormick served three consecutive two-year term

      s as an Alderman on City Council. For part of that time he was the Chairman of the Legislative Committee of Council.


      Rosamond Elizabeth Owens Wilkinson

      Rosamond Elizabeth Owens Wilkinson
      City of Calgary Alderman, 1936 - 1943
      City of Calgary Alderman, 1944 - 1951
      City of Calgary Alderman, 1952 - 1955

      After studying nursing in England, Rosamond Wilkinson immigrated to the United States to be with her brother. She met and married her husband and moved to Saskatchewan. In 1927, they moved to Calgary. In 1935, Mrs. Wilkinson elected to City Council. She was re-elected for continuous two-year terms through to 1955. Upon her retirement from Council, a civic banquet and public reception were held in her honour, which was highly unusual for civic politicians. She also served as a social credit MLA from 1944 to 1963.



      Patrick Denis Lenihan
      Patrick Denis Lenihan
      City of Calgary Alderman, 1939 - 1940

      Patrick Lenihan came to Canada in 1922 and worked at various jobs across the country before arriving in Calgary in 1931. In 1932 he spent a year in jail for union activities. A self-avowed Communist, he was elected to Council in 1938 for a two-year term. Alderman Lenihan was the only acknowledged Communist to ever hold office. In his capacity as Alderman, he welcomed King George VI and Queen Mary upon their arrival in Calgary during their Royal Tour in 1939. Controversial and politically outspoken, Mr. Lenihan was charged with sedition (the crime of saying, writing, or doing something that encourages people to disobey their government) during the 1930s, but was later acquitted. On June 11, 1940, he was arrested by the RCMP for his opposition to the war, and interned at a camp in Kananaskis until his release in 1942. After his release, Lenihan was worked with The City in Parks & Recreation Department. He became the President of the Civic Employees Union (CEU). He founded the NUPE (National Union of Public Employees) which was the predecessor of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees).

    • Small business continuity plays a part in Calgary’s resiliency 17 March 2015 Did you know The City of Calgary, in conjunction with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, has developed a business continuity handbook to help guide small business through their planning? Small businesses (those with 50 employees or less) are encouraged to download the materials and help increase their resiliency, which helps increase the resiliency of Calgary as a whole.

      Small businesses are an important part of our Calgary community. They employ twice as many people in Calgary than large businesses, and account for almost 40 per cent of Calgary’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

      What is business continuity?

      Business continuity is about understanding the risks your business could face, and developing strategies and plans to ensure continued operations during and after a disruption. In the past two years, almost 64 per cent of businesses have reported an interruption, which impacts business operations, employees and citizens.

      Proper planning will allow you to analyze and understand which products and services are critical to your business operations and will introduce you to the risks and hazards to which your business may be vulnerable.

      The handbook and additional worksheets, including templates, are available on calgary.ca/cema.

      Emergency Business Contact database

      Created by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, the Emergency Business Contact Database helps facilitate the communication and collaboration between the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) and the business community. During an emergency or disaster that could impact your business it is important to get timely information regarding business continuity and about the emergency or disaster as it is known.

      Small businesses can register on the Emergency Business Contact database.

      Business Continuity Week

      Business Continuity Week runs from March 16 to 20, 2015, and is the perfect time for businesses to assess their own plans. Visit Calgary.ca/cema or calgarychamber.ca for more information.
    • Prune your elm trees before April 1 to prevent the spread of Dutch elm disease 13 March 2015
      Our current warm weather is a great time to get out and check any elm trees on your property. Did you know you can only prune elm trees between October and March? A provincial pruning ban exists between April 1 and September 30 to discourage pruning elm trees at the wrong time.

      This is to help prevent the spread of Dutch elm disease. Dutch elm disease is spread by elm bark beetles attracted to the freshly pruned trees. Pruning when these beetles are not active helps reduce the risk of your tree attracting beetles and getting the disease.


      Here are a few tips to help care for your elm trees:
      • Elm materials should be disposed of at City landfills – stored elm firewood is an ideal breeding ground for elm bark beetles.
      • All trees should be watered every two to three weeks from April to mid-August, then again in the fall before freezing. Trees need much more water than lawns do. 
      • Ensure your trees are mulched properly. Mulch should be applied no deeper than four inches, not applied against the trunk of the tree (four inches away) and spread out as far as permitted. Mulch adds nutrients to the soil, conserves moisture and regulates soil temperatures. All good things for roots. 
      • And remember, prune your trees ONLY between October 1 and March 31 when the beetle that spreads the disease is not active. 
      Keep your trees free of DED
      Since Dutch elm disease (DED) was first introduced to North America from Europe in 1930, it has destroyed millions of elm trees. Alberta is one of the last geographic areas in North America to be free of DED and we want to keep it that way. Elm trees are also one of the few types of shade trees that grow in Calgary so it is important to protect them.

      The unseasonal snowstorm last September caused significant damage to our urban forest. Preliminary estimates indicate 50 per cent of the 500,000 public trees and 1.5 million private trees have sustained damage from the snowstorm. This means there are three times as many damaged trees on private property as there are on City land. Recovering from this storm will require us to look after our trees together.

      For more information on helping your trees recover from the 2014 September snowstorm visit calgary.ca/trees or view one of our other videos on tree health. 


      Submitted by Althea Livingston, Parks
    • Saving money by recycling handrails 11 March 2015
      Construction taking place at the 1 Street SW underpass
      Construction on the 1 Street SW pedestrian underpass is well underway with demolition work now complete on the west side walkway of the underpass.

      Through a collaborative design process, improvements will be completed on both the underpass structure and the pedestrian environment extending from 9 to 10 Avenue SW, including: improved lighting, new sidewalks and guardrails, integrated art and way-finding elements, water mitigation and painting of retaining walls and structure beams.

      Prior to the start of construction, City staff inspected the existing handrails of the pedestrian walkway and determined that they could be recycled and reused in other locations. Instead of the material being demolished, approximately 70 metres of steel handrail was salvaged from the west side walkway. The City believes there is an equivalent amount on the east side walkway that will be removed when the contractor moves over to that side later in the spring.

      Salvaged handrails from the 1 Street SW underpass

      The railing is currently being stored in The City’s bridge maintenance compound. One option being considered is to use the material to upgrade pedestrian railings at other Canadian Pacific Rail underpasses.

      Reusing the salvaged handrails should result in an estimated cost savings of $50,000.

      The 1 Street SW enhancement project is part of a broader underpass improvement program by The City to improve the pedestrian environment and underpass connections between the Beltline and downtown communities. The 1 Street SW underpass was prioritized for improvement because it has the highest pedestrian use of all Centre City underpasses, is an important gateway connection, and because of its significance as a heritage structure.

      To learn more about this project, please visit Calgary.ca 
     


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