Natural Areas

Year-round enjoyment of the Sheep River Valley by all Okotokians is encouraged with appropriate sensitivity to environmental impact and safety.  Youth spending time outdoors in nature and exploring these natural areas will have intrinsic benefits for their healthy growth and development. However, when recreational use and the long-term survival of significant habitats conflict, protection of the resource must take precedence.

CAMA awardOkotoks received national recognition for its Natural Asset Inventory from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA). Learn more about this award

In the same year, Okotoks Natural and Naturalized Asset Inventory project also received the inaugural 2021 AUMA Municipal Environmental Award in the category of municipalities with a population of 10,000 or more. Learn more about this award

Podcast: What On Earth with Laura Lynch

images of natural areas in Okotoks

Listen to the podcast, "For the love of swamps: Why Canada's wetlands are a natural climate fix", featuring Sheri Young, Climate Change and Energy Specialist as she discusses the Okotoks natural assets inventory.

Click to listen

Why do we need natural areas in our Town?

There are a number of benefits to protecting natural areas. These include environmental benefits such as maintaining healthy natural vegetation and habitat, which fosters an understanding of natural ecosystems. We must also protect nature’s water filter system that we rely on for the Town’s water supply.

The social benefits include recreation, relaxation and the fostering of an understanding of the importance of the natural world to our well-being. 

Okotoks has a finite amount of quality natural areas and man-made activities encroaching into these habitats can be a detriment.  As residents, we are so fortunate to live along the Sheep River Valley and it is a privilege to be able to access and protect these natural areas so that they are here for future generations.   

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