Olds College to provide training for rural planners

Olds College will be an Alberta training ground for rural planners starting in September.

Olds College will be an Alberta training ground for rural planners starting in September.

Right now, students with an education in rural planning come from out of province because Alberta has neither a planning technician program nor an undergraduate planning degree.

The new two-year rural land use planning major at Olds College will also help address Alberta’s shortage of land-use planning technicians and development officers.

“Every municipality we talk to says we have difficulty getting people to come to the rural area, to stay in the rural area and have people that actually understand the rural landscape,” said Murray McKnight, instructor with the School of Agriculture, Land and Environment at Olds College.

“Designing where stop lights go in downtown Calgary is quite different than making comments on intensive livestock operations and where they might go.”

People trained in rural land use know how to gather and research environmental data to assess how residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural developments interact with rural landscapes and ecosystems.

McKnight said up until now, land use planning has been much more focused on urban planning and a need for planners with a rural perspective actually exists across the country.

The Alberta Association of Canadian Institute of Planners anticipates a shortage of planners trained in rural issues since about 50 per cent of members are age 50 or older.

Olds College, which is very directed towards rural programs, is well suited to providing the education planners and technicians require, McKnight said.

It will give students an opportunity to get a stable job, make a good living and be based in a rural municipality, he said.

The college was approached four years ago by directors of planning with rural municipalities to develop the program.

Up to 20 students will be accepted into the program. Applications are currently being accepted.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Central Alberta born jaguar dies

Mia was the first jaguar in the world to receive stem cell treatment

Two men facing kidnapping charges in connection with abduction

48-year-old woman was allegedly abducted in Red Deer on Oct. 17

Prosecutor illness delays dangerous driving trial

Red Deer man facing dangerous driving charges in connection with 2016 d0uble-fatal collision

More say in Catholic education proposed

Voting for both public and Catholic trustees

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Local Sports: Rudy Soffo valuable to Kings on the court

When Rudy Soffo first saw the RDC basketball Kings roster he was… Continue reading

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Most Read