Calgary City News Blog
 

Calgary City News Blog
 

  • The City's guide to Stampede parading 2 July 2015 It's that time of year again... rodeos, midway, shows, exhibitions and everything country. Those of us who know it, know it well.

    The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth kicks off tomorrow with the Stampede Parade and The City will be there to help you get around, view the parade, clean up and stay safe.

    Getting around
    Biking & Walking
    Cycle your way down to the Stampede Parade using the city centre cycle track network or ride along part of Calgary's 800 kms of pathways and bikeways.

    Take extra caution when passing through intersections. Most Stampede time pedestrian collisions occur on Friday and happen at traffic signals, when vehicles are making right hand turns. It’s important to watch out for one another so we can all enjoy a safe Stampede.

    Calgary Transit
    Effective the evening before parade day, 'round the clock transit service and discounted day passes will be available for Stampede week.

    During the parade about 350,000 float-fanatics line the 4.5 km parade route, so many downtown transit routes will be on detour. Thousands make their way to the Stampede Grounds afterwards and can use bus, CTrain and walking options from the parade to the grounds.

    Transit impacts on parade day will include detours for some regular and express bus services.

    Driving
    There will be a number of road closures to accommodate events all over the city during the Calgary Stampede (July 3-12). Spectators travelling to the Stampede Parade are encouraged to walk, bike or use transit to get into the downtown core.

    Road and parking impacts on parade day will include several parking lot closures.

    Viewing the parade
    The City has reserved and will monitor eight accessible Stampede Parade viewing zones along the parade route for people with mobility challenges (canes, walkers, wheelchairs, scooters) and their friends/families.

    Space is limited, so get there early! Look for barricades and signs. If space remains in the viewing areas after 8 a.m., they will be opened up to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

    The City in action
    Street sweeper critters have been a Stampede tradition for nearly 15 years, bringing joy to parade goers and youth at the Children's Hospital that are unable to travel to the Stampede parade --  the most rewarding event of the year, according to street sweeper operators.

    Representatives from Calgary Stampede, Public Safety Communications,
     Calgary Police Service, Calgary Fire Department, Alberta Health Services,
    Animal & Bylaw Services, and Inspections and Permits
    City staff collaborate across many departments to ensure the event flows smoothly and safely:
    • Parking and traffic control will be coordinated by the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA), Roads, Calgary Police Service (CPS) and Animal & Bylaw Services (ABS).
    • Calgary Emergency Management Agency will open the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and activate the Municipal Emergency Plan during the Stampede Parade to monitor and assist as required. 
    • CPS have collocated their Tactical Operations Centre in the EOC. This will help to ensure the facilitation of a collaborative, coordinated and multi stakeholder response.
    • Fire, ABS and CPS officers will be onsite and in communication for the duration of the Parade for immediate response.

    Other Useful Info

  • Mayor’s Urban Design Awards now accepting submissions 30 June 2015

    From towering skyscrapers to impressive housing projects, the Mayor’s Urban Design Awards celebrate the most innovative buildings and public spaces in our city.


    The City of Calgary is on the hunt for those who contribute to the beauty, comfort and vitality of Calgary through their designs.

    “Great design is integral to building a great city,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “People should be inspired and excited by the spaces and the places that they see and interact with every day.”

    The biennial awards recognize urban design projects in 12 categories such as community improvement, city edge development and civic design. This year, we have introduced two new categories: the People’s Choice Award and the Green City Award.

    “The Mayor’s Urban Design Awards give me a chance as mayor to really recognize the highest quality work that happens in our city,” says Mayor Nenshi.

    “The design bar keeps going higher in Calgary. We’re increasingly getting a national reputation for great design, and that’s something I want to see continue.”


    Do you know of a great urban design project? Nominate by September 18, 2015 at Calgary.ca/MUDA.  

  • Major transportation construction projects in the northeast 25 June 2015 Summer is finally here, officially kicking off with summer solstice on June 21, 2015! With Calgary's short summer season, The City maximizes efficiency by packing a lot of construction into a few summer months.

    Over the next few days, we'll be highlighting The City’s major transportation construction projects for Summer 2015. In Calgary's northeast communities you'll notice action taking place around Rundle C-Train station and McKnight Boulevard that will have benefits for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike.

    Rundle C-Train Station - pedestrian bridge, ramp & stair replacement
    Ramps will be closing mid-June for upgrading and re-opening in December 2015. A new bridge is part of the construction and will be lowered to meet the station. Stairs will be replaced and landscaping improved. During construction, the station and stairs will remain open. For more details, visit the project page.

    McKnight Boulevard widening & reconstruction (2015-2016)
    Kicking off in mid-July, widening and reconstruction increases McKnight Boulevard from four to six lanes between 12 Street N.E. and 19 Street N.E. These new lanes will increase route capacity by about 50 per cent and provide additional lanes from Deerfoot to Metis Trail. For more details, visit the project page.

    Stay tuned for updates on the other quadrants throughout this week.
    For a complete list of construction happening in Calgary this summer, be sure to visit Calgary.ca.


    Related Blog Posts
  • Major transportation construction projects in the northwest 25 June 2015 Calgary's northwest quadrant has a couple of major transportation projects underway this summer to help improve traffic flow and provide smooth driving surface for all commuters.

    Bowfort Road & Trans Canada Highway Interchange
    Early summer 2015 will see the beginning of construction detours for the Trans Canada Highway and Bowfort Road as preparation for a new bridge begins. The new infrastructure will bring improved access to Canada Olympic Park, area businesses and local communities, as well as smoothing the flow of traffic along the Trans Canada Highway. For more details, visit the project page.

    Bowness Road to 40 Avenue N.W. at Shaganappi Trail N.W. paving & maintenance
    Preparations and paving will be under way for Bowness Road to 40 Avenue N.W. at Shaganappi Trail N.W., with major closures in both directions beginning on the August long weekend. This maintenance will require the road to be fully closed for three consecutive weekends. For more details, visit the project page.

    For a complete list of construction happening in Calgary this summer, be sure to visit Calgary.ca.

    Related Blog Posts
  • Major transportation construction projects in the southwest 25 June 2015 This summer, Calgary's southwest quadrant will undergo some major transportation enhancements around Sarcee Trail, Anderson Road, Crowchild Trail and in the downtown core.

    Sarcee Trail
    A new fibreglass enforced grid underlay will be installed on a section of Sarcee Trail S.W. The material is expected to enhance the life of the roadway. Major rehabilitation on Sarcee Trail S.W. between Richmond Road S.W. and Bowglen Crescent N.W. will include slope drainage and safety improvements; work will be coordinated with pavement rehabilitation. This is expected to continue throughout the remainder of the spring and over the summer. For more details, visit the project page.

    1 Street S.W. Underpass
    1 Street S.W. Underpass construction
    The City is implementing an underpass improvement program aimed at improving pedestrian safety and connections between the Beltline and downtown communities. The 1 Street S.W. Underpass is undergoing rehabilitation construction this summer which includes new sidewalks and guardrails, improved lighting, integrated public art, painting of retaining walls and structure beams, improved drainage and new sidewalks. The west pedestrian walkway is already under construction and due to be finished by mid-July, when construction on the east walkway will begin. Construction should finish in Fall 2015. For more details, visit the project page.

    8 Street S.W. Underpass
    This summer, the 8 Street S.W. Underpass between 8 Street S.W. and 10 Avenue S.W. will undergo construction. Work includes the addition of LED lighting, new sidewalks and guardrails, and the repair and maintenance of upper and lower retaining walls.

    Anderson Pedestrian Bridge
    The City is building a pedestrian overpass at Anderson Road near 37 Street S.W. to enhance pedestrian safety and pathway connectivity throughout and after the construction of the South West Ring Road project. The bridge and pathway detours will be in place before construction of the South West Ring Road begins. For more details, visit the project page.

    Crowchild/Flanders Avenue Interchange final design
    Crowchild/Flanders Avenue Interchange
    Construction of a new interchange will begin in late Summer 2015 for Crowchild Trail at Flanders Avenue S.W. This new infrastructure is aimed at improving traffic flow in this high volume area. Transit-only access on northbound Richmond Road, a single-lane roundabout at the east side of the new interchange, an additional ramp from southbound Crowchild Trail to bypass Flanders Avenue, and retaining to the existing bridge/sidewalks are included in the scope of work. For more details, visit the project page.

    Stay tuned for updates on the other quadrants throughout this week.
    For a complete list of construction happening in Calgary this summer, be sure to visit Calgary.ca.

    Related Blog Posts
  • Major transportation construction projects in the southeast 25 June 2015
    Southeast Calgary commuters will notice some major transportation enhancements underway this summer.

    Glenmore Trail / Ogden Road S.E. Interchange
    Construction of a new interchange at Glenmore Trail and Ogden Road southeast with a new bridge built over Ogden Road will get underway this summer. The interchange will improve traffic flow and travel times on Glenmore Trail. For more details, visit the project page.

    Green Line Southeast Transitway Early Works Construction
    Immediate improvements to increase reliability and shorten ride times for transit customers in southeast Calgary, primarily south of Douglas Glen will be part of the City’s first steps of Green Line construction. Queue jump lanes, median bus lanes and bus-only left turn lanes are a few of these early measures. For more details, visit the project page.

    61 Avenue S.E. Extension
    Traffic accommodation connections to the South East Ring Road are also on our construction agenda this year. A two-lane roadway from 68 Street S.E., a four-lane roadway from 68 Street S.E. to 57 Street S.E. and a four-lane bridge over Forest Lawn Creek which is between 57 Street S.E. and 68 Street S.E. are all in the scope of work. Roadworks, stormwater management and bridge construction will begin in Summer 2015 with anticipated completion in August 2016. For more details, visit the project page.

    Stay tuned for updates on the other quadrants throughout this week.
    For a complete list of construction happening in Calgary this summer, be sure to visit Calgary.ca.

    Related Blog Posts
  • Construction zone safety: please slow down! 24 June 2015
    This summer, watch for some fresh, young faces out on the roads reminding Calgarians to slow down around work sites.  A partnership between Roads and Water Services has once again revised the popular “Please Slow Down - My Dad (or Mom) Works Here” campaign. The campaign features the children and grandchildren of Water Services and Roads employees and is aimed at reminding Calgarians that the people working out in the construction zones have families that they want to get home safely to at the end of the day.





    Put yourself in their shoes.


    Imagine sitting in your cubicle with cars whizzing by perilously close to your work space and so fast that you can feel the tailwind.  Well, that’s just what many of our employees in the field experience every day when they are out working on the roadway.


    “The only protection that we have are those signs and the cones, it’s all that separates our workers and the traffic,” says Marco Nicoletti, Roads Foreman. Marco’s son (pictured) and daughter are part of the 2015 “My Dad Works Here” Construction Zone Safety campaign, and he reminds motorists, “I’m always letting my guys know to keep their heads on a swivel. Sometimes cars can enter a zone which has been marked off limits, it's very dangerous.”



    With 1200 construction locations planned for Roads alone in 2015, commuters and construction are sure to meet. Many employees working on the street are only a few feet away from active traffic lanes, and in many cases, motorists are not taking care to slow down in these zones.


    Just how big an issue is speeding in construction zones?


    In 2014, Police monitored Construction Zone speeds at several sites both manned and with photo radar. Below are some statistics for enforcement stats attributed to speeding in a construction zone both, with or without workers present.


    2014

    Construction Zone

    Infractions

    Workers present

    8042

    No workers, speed reduction signs posted

    469

    Total Construction Zone Summonses

    8511


    We may think that speeding in Construction Zones is a non-issue, but these numbers paint a different picture. When you see construction it is imperative, for your safety and the safety of others that you slow down.


    Don’t forget: speeding fines are doubled in construction zones. The Government of Alberta also enacted increased speeding fines in construction zones, which now range from $156 to $949.

    So, when you are out and about on the roads, pay attention and slow down when driving through construction zones or near a City or emergency vehicle. Our fellow employees work there. 

    For more information, visit calgary.ca/constructionzonesafety

  • Canada Day celebrations - Things to know 24 June 2015 Next Wednesday, July 1, we’re throwing a huge celebration in honour of Canada’s 148th birthday and all of Calgary is invited to join us in the festivities.

    Canada Day is the city’s largest single-day festival drawing crowds of 250,000 during a full day of family-friendly fun that spans across the downtown core from Fort Calgary to Prince’s Island Park and many spots in between.

    With so much going on, we’ve put together a list of things you should know before heading down to celebrate.

    Getting around

    Walk, ride your bike or take transit to the downtown area. Plenty of bike racks have been added at various locations around downtown and you can download Calgary Transit’s new app, which makes it easy to plan trips, look up schedules and see real-time bus and train arrivals.

    Free all-day shuttle buses will run between various Canada Day event sites in the downtown core including Eau Claire, Olympic Plaza and Fort Calgary from 11 a.m. until midnight. A free fireworks shuttle will run between SAIT and McHugh Bluff Park from 6 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. Pay parking is available at SAIT, however Calgarians are encouraged to take the CTrain to meet the shuttle.

    Thanks to the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA), downtownCPA parkades (with the exception of the Arts Common parkade) and street parking will be free on Canada Day. Surface parking lots provided by CPA will offer a reduced Holiday Rate. But please remember there are a number of parking bans and road closures in effect to accommodate the many activities that are part of Canada Day.

    What to bring

    Bring your water bottle as we’ll have H2O Buggy water refill stations located at Prince's Island Park and the Riverfront Festivities. Also, don’t forget sunscreen, bug spray and a hat. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and if you’re staying for the fireworks, consider bringing a jacket for the evening.

    Waste, Recycling and composting


    Canada Day will offer waste and recycling stations including collection bins for beverage containers and compost stations for food scraps and napkins. You can also help keep our city beautiful by employing the ‘pack it in, pack it out’ method. This means any items brought to an event should be carried home with you for proper disposal.

    We want everyone to have a safe and fun time while celebrating our nation’s birthday and look forward to welcoming Calgarians to the festivities on July 1.

    For more important info on things to know for Canada Day, and for a list of all of the great activities on offer, visit Calgary.ca/CanadaDay

    Submitted by Lauren Greschner, Recreation

  • Beat the heat this summer at a wading pool, spray park or outdoor pool 22 June 2015 What better way to beat the heat than by visiting one of Calgary’s many wading pools, spray parks and outdoor pools?

    Variety Spray Park rendering.
    City spray parks and wading pools are now open at:

    Several more are scheduled to open in early July.
      
    The newly developed Variety Spray Park in South Glenmore Park, is tentatively scheduled to open July 19. The spray park has been undergoing major redevelopment.

    Get out there and have fun

    New features include an interactive spray park, picnic tables and enhanced landscaping. Updated mechanical equipment and a new water treatment system greatly improve the spray park’s efficiency. The redevelopment is funded by the Community Investment Fund, created by Council in 2011 to help fund community improvement projects.

    The Calgary Outdoor Swimming Pool Association (COSPA) opened its pools this past weekend. COSPA manages seven community-run pools throughout Calgary, including the newly restored Stanley Park Outdoor Pool.

    Silver Springs Outdoor Pool to be redeveloped

    Silver Springs Outdoor Pool will open this month but will be closed in 2016 for redevelopment. After extensive community engagement, we have committed funds to redevelop the existing pool basin, which has served the community since 1974.

    Additional funding is also available thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Silver Springs Outdoor Pool Fundraising Foundation. The pool will reopen in 2017.

    Submitted by the Communications Team, Recreation

  • Stampede Critters are back! Suggest a name to win your spot in the Stampede Parade. 22 June 2015
    This summer the Critters are back!

    Last year we said farewell to our Calgary Stampede street sweeping Critters. For 13 years Dixie, Samson, Rocky and Alfalfa kept the Calgary Stampede parade route clean on parade day.

    Since the Critters’ retirement last year, The City has worked to design and build four new Critters, including a horse, a cow, a bull and a buffalo, to replace the old crew.

    click to enlarge photo
    “The Critters have been a Stampede tradition for nearly 15 years,” said Roads Director, Troy McLeod.  “We received feedback from Calgarians who were disappointed when we retired the Critters last year so we wanted to continue the tradition for visitors and Calgarians enjoyment for many years to come.”

    The Critters aren’t just a part of the annual parade. They are also taken to the Alberta’s Children’s Hospital for the kids to enjoy during Stampede.

    “We are also glad to be able to bring some joy to the youth unable to travel to the Stampede parade and our operators say it is the most rewarding event of the year to support.” said McLeod.

    The Critters were designed and built in Calgary by Heavy Industries; you may recognize some of their work including Wonderland (the head at The Bow building). They are made out of light weight material and are fitted specifically to our new fleet of street sweepers which will make it easier for the operators to see during the parade. They’re also waterproof which will help keep the new Critters in good condition for years to come.

    Before the new Critters make their debut at this year’s Calgary Stampede Parade on July 3, they need names! So we’re hosting a naming contest on The City’s social media channels.

    Stampede Critters Naming Contest

    This is your chance to name a Stampede Critter and be in the Calgary Stampede Parade!

    Here’s how it will work:
    • Starting today, Friday, June 12, we’re encouraging Calgarians to post your name suggestions on The City’s social media channels. There’s several different ways you can do it:
    • The contest will be open for two weeks, ending on Friday, June 26.
    • Once submissions have been collected, City staff will vote on your suggestions to name the Critters.
    • Participants who suggested winning names will be put in a draw to win a ride-along in a Stampede sweeper during the parade. Four winners will be selected and the names will be announced before the Stampede parade.
    So what are you waiting for? Get your name suggestion in today and you could be riding in the 2015 Calgary Stampede Parade on July 3!
  • City’s Spring Clean-up program completed ahead of schedule 22 June 2015 This year’s Spring Clean-up program is completed, which puts the program approximately two weeks ahead of schedule.

    Normally, street sweeping runs from mid to late April until the first week of July. However, thanks to mild weather and little rain or snow in March crews were able to get a jump start on sweeping activities.

    “Mild weather wasn’t the only reason we were able to finish Spring Clean-up ahead of schedule,” said Roads Maintenance manager, Bill Biensch. “The dedication of our sweeping crews and Calgarians cooperation in removing cars and blue, black and green carts from city streets were also contributing factors to our early finish."

    This year City crews picked up over 37,000 tons of winter sanding materials, dirt and other debris from Calgary’s roads in just nine and a half weeks.

    Spring Clean-up improves safety and mobility in Calgary by removing sanding materials and other debris that have accumulated on roads and along major sidewalks and boulevards during the winter. The program also helps protect the environment by ensuring less material enters our river system.

    Now that Spring Clean-up has been completed crews can now focus their efforts on summer maintenance programs including pothole repairs, boulevard maintenance, and gravel lane repair.

    Although the Spring Clean-up program has finished, ongoing road maintenance and sweeping will continue throughout summer months.

    To find out more about other City of Calgary Roads Maintenance programs, visit calgary.ca/roads or contact 311.
  • Chief David Crowchild and Aboriginal Youth Awards 22 June 2015
    Today the Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee (CAUAC) and The City of Calgary presented the The Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award and Aboriginal Youth Achievement Awards. These prestigious awards honour those who build bridges of understanding between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultures.



    Award-winners building bridges between cultures

    2015  Winner of Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award: Daniela Navia (University of Calgary) and Levi First Charger (Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth (USAY)) led the collaboration on “Uncovering Colonial Legacies: Voices of Indigenous Youth in Child Welfare (dis)Placements”. This collaborative project tells the story, through various mediums, of Indigenous youth who were placed in government care. 

    2015 Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award: Macyn Morning Bull, 16, is a Grade 11 student at Henry Wisewood High School. She is involved in sport (hockey and basketball), as well as being an Ambassador for Junior Achievement. As the 2014-2015 Miss Piikani, she also is involved in cultural and community events such as awards, symposiums and powwows.

    More information on CAUAC and Aboriginal-specific initiatives.

    Submitted by Stacey Scott, Community and Neighbourhood Services

  • Centre City projects bringing Calgarians’ vision to life 10 June 2015

    The 2014/2015 Centre City Annual Update, released today, highlights some of the projects continuing to deliver on Calgarians’ vision for a Centre City that is safe, clean, vibrant and accessible.

    “The collaborative work being done by The City, community partners and businesses helps us achieve this vision,” says Ben Barrington, program manager, Centre City Implementation. “The breadth of projects undertaken in 2014, from new parks and public art, to upgraded mobility choices, to community and social programs, is a testament to how our downtown continues to get better and better.”

    These kinds of improvements make moving to the Centre City more attractive to Calgarians.
     “The amount of new homes in the Centre City continues to increase,” Barrington says, “providing more housing options for people in communities like East Village and the Beltline.”
    Since 2009, the population of the Centre City has increased 15 percent, compared to 12 per cent in Calgary overall.

    An economically and culturally vibrant downtown helps attract and retain businesses, residents and jobs and promotes continued investment in the city by the private sector.


    As part of The City’s Plan for Economic Resilience, a seventh strategy was added specifically referencing the downtown as an important economic engine for the city.

    “This relatively small area of the downtown, representing less than 1 per cent of Calgary’s land mass, generates over 25 per cent of The City’s tax revenue,” Barrington says. “This money helps fund growth and sustainment throughout the city.”

    “A resilient and robust downtown benefits not just those who choose to live, work and play in the Centre City, but all Calgarians.”

    Over the next week, we’re showcasing some of the 2014 projects that are continuing to improve our downtown. Check out the video above or follow The City’s @nextcityyyc Twitter account to learn more.
  • New guide aims to improve residential construction safety 10 June 2015 A new educational guide produced by the Canadian Home Builder’s Association – Calgary Region in partnership with The City of Calgary, Alberta Occupational Health and Safety, and the Alberta Construction Safety Association, aims to improve public safety around residential construction sites in Calgary.

    The Residential Construction Site Safety Best Practice Guide is an educational tool for home builders, trade workers and Calgarians that outlines the safety requirements and responsibilities at a construction site. It complements The City’s existing Practical Guide for Construction Sites and On-Site Construction Safety Best Practices, which focus on commercial construction sites in Calgary.



    “The City’s Safety Response Unit responded to 1,156 construction site safety issues and complaints impacting public safety last year alone,” says Dennis Terhove, Safety Response Unit Supervisor at The City of Calgary.

    “This guide will help to educate everyone about the safety responsibilities at a job site, which will help ensure things are done correctly. We hope this guide will help promote awareness and dialogue between home builders and the public that could result in fewer incidents and complaint calls to The City.”

    Outlining key areas that might impact public safety, the new guide provides industry and the public with links to related Acts, Regulations and Bylaws.

    “The guide is needed as a tool for communication,” says Georgina Nicholls, Safety Advisory Chairperson at the Canadian Home Builder’s Association – Calgary Region.

    “It will communicate the roles, rights and responsibilities of workers and the general public so that everybody understands what is required. It will give them the links and the tools they need to be able to get additional information and ensure compliance.”

    The new guide is available on calgary.ca, and reflects The City’s ongoing commitment to public safety via Alberta’s Safety Codes Act and City bylaws. It will help to limit the impact of residential development on both established and new neighbourhoods, and provides an overview of the principals of both public and property safety to home builders, home owners and the general public.
  • Thinking about a yard improvement project? 10 June 2015


    Garages, decks, fences and even driveway widening are just some of the projects that often require a permit.

    “Before you pay for materials, hire a contractor, or do it yourself, we encourage you to get in touch with us here at The City,” says Jamie Fandrich, Planning Services Technician at The City of Calgary. Fandrich is part of the team that helps Calgarians understand Alberta’s safety codes and City bylaws on the phone and in person at the Municipal Building.

    “It can sometimes be difficult to understand when you need a permit and what City bylaws might impact your project – we’re here to help guide you through the process,” Fandrich says. 

    Planning, development, licence or permit question?


    Planning Services
    Monday through Friday (closed holidays)
    8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
    Call centre: 403-268-5311 
    Permit counter: 3rd Floor Municipal building, 800 Macleod Tr S.W.
  • Helping people before the crisis hits 8 June 2015 In 2014, Family & Community Support Services (FCSS) helped fund 78 agencies in delivering 126 programs providing preventive social services.  The impact of this funding was shared today with member of City Council, provincial MLAs, City officials and members from the agencies who deliver the programs that make the real difference for Calgarians.

    Agency reps, MLA's, City/Provincial officials celebrated today.
    Calgary Counseling Centre says FCSS funding is a lifeline

     The Calgary Counseling Centre is one of the 78 FCSS-funded agencies. Their FCSS funds go towards programs that help people struggling with domestic violence.

    “FCSS being so responsive to the community has really allowed our agency and it’s funding to grow and change over the last 25 years,” says Calgary Counseling Centre CEO Bobbie Babins-Wagner . “This funding has really been a lifeline to people in Calgary who struggle with domestic or family violence and abuse.”

    The wider impact

    This is just one of many ways FCSS funding is helping where it’s needed. To learn more about the impact this funding has made in our community please see the FCSS 2014 annual report.

    Some highlights include:

    • FCSS funded programs served just under 111,000 Calgarians in 2014. 
    • Over 41,000 volunteers are involved in FCSS programs. The hours they contribute are estimated at $25.4 million. 
    • Programs cover the gamut, from counselling youth who are at risk, to keeping seniors in their homes longer, to preventing family violence, to teaching financial and parenting skills.

    FCSS is a joint municipal-provincial funding program targeted at preventive social services. Programs and services funded through FCSS provide vital threads in the fabric of healthy communities as our growing province faces increasing social pressures. For every $1 invested in preventive services, up to $13 are diverted from spending on other, more costly services such as policing, justice, mental health and health care services.

    For more information on FCSS visit calgary.ca/fcss.

    Submitted by Stacey Scott, Community and Neighbourhood Services

  • Crowchild Trail - We want your input 8 June 2015
    Crowchild Trail between 24 Ave N.W. and 17 Ave S.W.
    Crowchild Trail is an important part of Calgary’s transportation network. Whether you use Crowchild daily, a few times a month, or you choose not to use it, we want to hear from you.

    We’re conducting a new transportation study for Crowchild Trail from 24 Avenue N.W. to 17 Avenue S.W. The study will identify short-, medium- and long-terms plans for Crowchild Trail to accommodate future growth, and improve travel along and across the corridor. Your input will help us make better decisions for the future of Crowchild Trail.

    Join us in upcoming workshops and study area tours, provide your input online, or visit us at community events throughout June and July to share your ideas about the goals of the Crowchild Trail Study.

    “We’re in phase two of a new six-phase study process. We want to hear from Calgarians about how Crowchild Trail is important to their commute, to their neighbourhood, to area businesses and destinations, and to Calgary’s transportation network,” says Feisal Lakha, senior transportation engineer at The City.

    The new Crowchild Trail Study has a six-phase process and is expected to be complete by end of 2016. We just wrapped up phase one of the study, which included working with a group of 18 Calgarians to develop an engagement program for the study. Calgarians will have multiple opportunities to provide input during each phase of the study.


    Attend a public workshop or provide your feedback online.
    “We know Calgarians are eager to discuss specific improvements to Crowchild Trail. That conversation will happen in phase three of the study, when we start to identify potential design concepts in the fall.”


    From now until end of July, we’ll be gathering input to confirm study goals, which will help guide the development and evaluation of design concepts as the study progresses.


    “Whether you live or work close to Crowchild, or use it to get around Calgary, I encourage you to get involved now so your input can be used to inform the remainder of the study,” says Lakha.

    For more information about the Crowchild Trail Study, visit www.calgary.ca/crowchild. Click on the "Get involved" button to find out how you can participate in the study.
  • Spring is here! How to plant a new tree 3 June 2015 If you lost a tree in the snowstorm last September or are looking to plant another, here is what you need to know to plant your new tree.

    • Call before you dig. Before digging holes to plant trees or build fences, contact Alberta One-Call so a representative can mark the location of shallow utilities.
    • Choose the right tree for the right location. Check out our previous blog post that outlines how to select the perfect tree.
    • Ideally, plant your tree in the early spring or early fall when the weather is cool. 
      Choose the right tree for the right location.
    • To avoid “transplant shock” for your new tree, remember to properly prepare the new location. 
    • Dig a hole two to three times wider than the root ball, but only as deep as the root ball. 
    • Remove the covering (container or wire basket) and place in the hole by lifting by the root ball and not the trunk. 
    • Straighten the tree and gently add soil to stabilize the tree and fill the hole. 
    • Mulch the base of the tree to help with moisture retention and nutrients. 
    • Water new trees at least once a week if there isn’t any rain. The soil should be moist, but not soaked. 

    For a video demonstrating tree selection and planting tips, check out this recent interview featuring our Urban Forestry Lead, Jill-Anne Spence, who recently shared tips with Global’s Gemma Stroobant.

    You may be eligible for a $500 rebate

    Residents with trees severely damaged or killed by the flood or snowstorm may apply for a rebate, through the Alberta Urban Forest ReLeaf program, of up to $500 off the estimated cost of a landscape tree.

    The unseasonal snowstorm last September caused significant damage to our urban forest. Estimates indicate 50 per cent of the 500,000 public trees and 1.5 million private trees sustained damage from the storm. With three times as many damaged trees on private property as on City land, recovering from the storm will require us to look after our trees together.  More information can be found at calgary.ca/trees.

    Submitted by Althea Livingston, Parks
  • Flood Mitigation: taking steps to build resiliency 2 June 2015
    With recent news stories about the devastating floods in Houston and in Cache Creek, BC, building flood resiliency in Calgary is a timely topic that The City continues to address.  


    Elbow River Bridge Construction, Fall 2014
    Although almost two years have passed since the June 2013 Flood, for many Calgarians building flood resiliency remains important. Results from the 2014 Citizen Satisfaction Survey indicate that 93 per cent of Calgarians believe that The City should invest more or the same in providing protection from river flooding. And, that is what The City is working towards.  

    For Calgary and Calgarians, building flood resiliency means increasing our ability to quickly recover from a flood event, as well as taking preventative measures that will help to mitigate flooding in future. Over the past two years, more than 200 repair or restoration projects have been identified to contribute to Calgary’s flood resiliency.

    “The Citizen Satisfaction Survey told us that 85 per cent of Calgarians believe protection from river flooding is important,” says Carolyn Bowen, Program Manager, Flood Resiliency and Mitigation. “We are taking a comprehensive and collaborative approach to implementing the most effective combination of solutions to mitigate the impacts of flooding in our city.”


    Some of the key steps The City has taken to improve flood resiliency to date include: 
    • Strengthening our understanding of river flooding by improving river monitoring stations, river level forecasting and flood inundation mapping.
    • Securing $14.89 million in funding for four projects through the Province’s Alberta Community Resilience Program.
    • Restoring and reinforcing 19 critical and high priority areas, including bridges and riverbanks, to make them more resilient to flooding.
    • Delivering flood recovery and preparedness presentations to 6,000 citizens and developing flood readiness information and tools, now available at calgary.ca/floodinfo.
    In July 2013 The City of Calgary created an Expert Management Panel to steer The City’s River Flood Mitigation Program. The Expert Management Panel developed a report that included 27 recommendations to achieve a safer, more flood resilient city. To view the Panel’s recommendations and the progress The City has made on them, to date, you can download the Flood Resiliency and Mitigation 2014 Annual Report

  • Fair Entry: A streamlined application process for subsidy programs 26 May 2015
    We are launching a new application process for City-subsidized programs and services. The new process, called Fair Entry, will assess your eligibility for five City programs with a single application. 

    This new approach has several benefits. You may qualify for, and be told about, programs and services which you were not aware of previously. You will only have to explain your current financial situation once and the streamline process and makes it more convenient to access more than one program. 

    With one application you can now be assessed for these five programs:
    1. Property Tax Assistance
    2. No Cost Spay/Neuter
    3. Recreation
    4. Calgary Transit low-Income Passes
    5. Low-income seniors programs  



    Two locations have been opened where you can apply in person:
    • Village Square Library: 2623 56 St N.E. 
    • Municipal Building: 3rd floor, 800 MacLeod Trail S.E.  
    To learn more about the Fair Entry program, download an application form or find additional ways to apply, visit Calgary.ca/fairentry.

    Submitted by Peter Jacoby, Community & Neighbourhood Services

 

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