Fredericton, NB – Okotoks, AB has received national recognition for its Natural Asset Inventory from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA). The Town was presented with the 2021 CAMA Environment Award, in the 20,001 to 100,000 population category, during a Virtual Awards of Excellence Ceremony held today.
“CAMA is pleased to recognize Okotoks for its Natural Asset Inventory,” said Jake Rudolph, outgoing president of CAMA and Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Nanaimo, BC. “This project will assist the Town with its natural resource management.”
In 2020, driven by a commitment to protect the region’s natural assets, a cross-functional project was initiated to compile an inventory of these assets within the town boundaries. The Town collaborated with Fiera Biological Consultants to develop the first integrated inventory and valuation of Natural and Semi-Natural Assets in Alberta.
This provided a baseline inventory and valuation of the ecosystem services provided by natural assets in the community, which will be incorporated into planning and future development. Incorporating natural assets into its asset inventory will enable the Town to determine the true value of undeveloped land, which includes the natural services it provides prior to development.
“This will enable the municipality to complete more holistic assessments of undeveloped land, and provide information the Town needs to make responsible, future-focused decisions for growth,” said Okotoks Mayor Bill Robertson.
This ground-breaking data will be used to develop a strategy for natural resource management that will help reduce Okotoks’ ecological footprint, enhance environmental protection, support public health and safety, and improve operating costs and efficiencies that align with Okotoks’ community values.
The data will help the Town identify, prioritize, and preserve natural assets in areas slated for development and allow for the measurement of the carbon sequestration as a key factor in meeting the Town’s target of achieving Carbon neutrality by 2050.
The results of the inventory have been shared with numerous municipalities throughout Alberta, as well as some from out of province.
“There were 35 submissions from across the country entered in this year’s CAMA Awards of Excellence program,” said Marc Melanson, Chair for the 2021 CAMA Awards Jury, CAMA representative for New Brunswick and City Manager for the City of Dieppe, NB. “The scope of projects, from municipalities both large and small, was impressive and I extend my congratulation to the winners, as well as those who took the time to enter a submission.”
To find out more about Okotoks’ award, as well as the other 2021 CAMA Awards of Excellence winners, visit www.camacam.ca/awards and look for the award recipients link.
About the Environment Award
The Environment Award recognizes the commitment of a municipality to environmentally sustainable governance, to protecting the environment and to combating climate change. Awards are granted to programs, projects or services that have made a significant and positive impact on the environment.
To learn more and to see the map of natural assets on public lands in Okotoks, click the button below.
The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) is a national, non-profit association open to all Chief Administrative Officers / City Managers and any person employed in a senior management position that reports directly to a CAO. With a membership of over 650 senior municipal employees, from all parts of Canada, CAMA collectively represents more than 80% of the nation’s population. www.camacam.ca