Community stakeholders have begun investigating how to make Red Deer more environmentally friendly over the next five to 25 years.
Work is underway on developing the City of Red Deer’s first comprehensive Environmental Master Plan, a document that will identify short-term (within five years), medium (five to 20 years) and long-term (25 years) priorities.
On Monday, the city’s Environmental Advisory Committee gave input towards shaping a long-term vision for the environment, as well as identifying short, medium and long-term priorities for action.
The project consultant, Halsall and Associates of Calgary, began meeting with focus groups on Tuesday to find out what the city must do to become a national leader in environmental sustainability. Stakeholders include members of the cultural, environmental and business communities.
Lauren Maris, project manager and environmental program specialist with the City of Red Deer, said stakeholder and public consultation is critical so that the plan resonates with all.
Public input will begin in May with online comments. Workshops will follow in June. Dates have yet to be finalized.
The city will build its plan with the help of previous environmental reports, Maris added.
“The reason it’s so important is we want some recommendations around the services that the city provides to the public — with the focus on our community’s impact to air, water, land and resources.”
Maris said the plan will include specific targets so the city can measure its progress.
“Then we can know how we are doing and report that back to the community.”
City council approved $200,000 in the 2010 operating budget for the planning document.
Maris expects the report will be finished by December.