The Town of Okotoks, Alberta has approved at Environmental Master Plan (EMP) at the regular Town Council meeting of Monday, October 22nd.
“This important document reflects our commitment to environmental excellence and will help guide Okotoks toward being the leader in environmental protection and preservation in Alberta,” said Mayor Bill Robertson. “This plan will help administration, and all councils going forward, to lead by example and demonstrate innovation through its own operations, planning, and policymaking to ensure we remain on the leading edge of environmental initiatives.”
The plan outlines goals, such as prioritizing and protecting local ecosystems, such as the Sheep River watershed. Goal 5 of the EMP will focus on reducing water demand and consumption and improving water quality in the watershed.
In alignment with the Town’s Public Participation Strategy, it undertook a robust engagement process over 12 months to help develop and finalize the plan.
“Many stakeholders and community residents were involved in helping shape the development of the Environmental Master Plan,” said Dawn Smith, the town’s Environmental and Sustainability coordinator.
The EMP is a 30-year plan organized into seven major action areas, including:
- Ecosystems and Agriculture
- Land Use and Urban Design
- Energy, Emissions and Air Quality
- Waste Systems
- Water Systems
- Climate Adaptation and Resilience
- Fostering a Green Economy
“This plan is already starting to drive planning and actions within the Town,” said Smith. “Some early examples include the xeriscaping rebate program, the future local transit plan, and the development of the Climate Change Action Plan.”