Thursday, July 20, 2017

The goats are back!

For the next week, a herd of approximately 200 goats will be dining on weeds in Confluence (West Nose Creek) Park as phase two of The City’s targeted grazing program begins.

Phase one was undertaken in 2016, and we’re excited about the results. So far we’ve learned that goats can be used in an active park without disrupting park visitors’ enjoyment of the park, whether on foot, on bicycle, or with a leashed dog. Preliminary signs also indicate that the goats have done an excellent job targeting a significant volume and variety of invasive weeds such as Canada thistle, hound’s tongue, and hawkweed.

Phase two of this pilot program sees the goats return to Confluence Park so we can analyze the long-term success of using targeted grazing as a weed management tool. We will be focusing on how effective the goats are at controlling certain weeds, and how well they can do that without impacting the native vegetation we want to keep in the area. The goats will be visiting the park a week at a time, for three different weeks throughout the summer.

If you see the goats grazing while you’re in the park, please keep your distance and obey the shepherd at all times. Remember to keep your dog on-leash as Confluence Park is an on-leash park (there is a fenced off-leash area near the parking lot). These goats are working and when people interact with them it disrupts their work and can cause them distress.

If you are interested in learning about this pilot project please visit us online at calgary.ca/goats.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

13 deserving Calgarians receive recognition at the 2016 Calgary Awards

On June 28, The City of Calgary presented 13 awards to recipients at the 2016 Calgary Awards. Mayor Nenshi and members of City Council were in attendance to recognize the many deserving recipients at the ceremony.

The Calgary Awards showcase The City’s priorities of community, the environment, accessibility, and arts and culture.

Highlights from this year’s awards include the Community Advocate Award presented to Cheri Macaulay, and The Citizen of Year award to Dr. Lucy Miller for her outstanding contributions to the community. The Signature Award, recognizing an individual who has brought significant recognition to the city, was awarded to Robert Brawn.

Citizen of the Year Award : Mayor Nenshi, Dr. Lucy Miller
Each year, individuals, corporations, community groups and organizations are nominated in five major award categories. It is one of the largest citizen recognition programs in the city.

“It was such an honour to present this year’s Calgary Awards to some of the very best people and organizations in this great city. The leadership and commitment to community shown by the recipients is an inspiration for me and many, many people,” said Mayor Nenshi following the ceremony. “They make Calgary better every day, and I'm proud to call them fellow citizens.”

Grant MacEwan Lifetime Achievement Award:
Mayor Nenshi, Dr. Babins- Wagner and Grant MacEwan’s
granddaughters Lynwyn Foran-Aebli and Fiona Foran
The City thanks the following sponsors for their continued support of The Calgary Awards: Oil City Press, The University of Calgary, Husky Energy and Shaw TV.

All Calgarians are encouraged to look to their neighbours, colleagues, community leaders and local organizations and businesses for those who could qualify as recipients of the Calgary Awards.

Nominations for the 2017 Calgary Awards will launch in January 2018. Visit calgary.ca/calgaryawards for more information.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

2017 Calgary Stampede & Parade - getting around and staying safe

It's that time of year when many Calgarians step out of their suits and into their boots, spontaneously yell "yahoo" and consume more deep fried food in one sitting than the rest of the year combined. As the Calgary Stampede approaches, we're here to help you get there and stay safe.

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Chubachi

STAMPEDE WEEK


Biking & walking
From Friday July 7 to Sunday, July 16, cycling will be restricted on Stephen Avenue from 10:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. If you are riding your bike, please dismount and walk it during this time.

24 Hour CTrain Service
‘Round the clock service begins Thursday, July 6, evening and ends late in the evening on Sunday, July 16.
CTrain Schedule during Stampede:
  • Every 5 - 8 min. - 6:00 a.m. to 12:45 a.m.
  • Every 30 min. - 12:45 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.
Discounted Transit Day Passes
The transit day passes are available starting June 1 at our Customer Service Centres, 7-Eleven, Mac’s and Safeway stores. Adult day passes are $6.50, (reg. $10.00) and Youth day passes are $4.50 (reg. $7.00).

During the 10 days of Stampede, day passes will also be available through ticket vending machines located at CTrain stations. To validate the pass, scratch the day you are travelling prior to boarding a CTrain or bus. The pass will be valid until 4 a.m. the following day.


Road closures
There will be a number of road closures to accommodate events all over the city during the Calgary Stampede (July 7-16).

STAMPEDE PARADE DAY


Parade day road & parkade closures, bus detours
Road and parking impacts on parade day will include several parking lot closures. Spectators travelling to the Stampede Parade are encouraged to walk, bike or use transit to get into the downtown core.

Find a comprehensive list of bus detours and info on how to take transit to the parade on Calgary Transit's website.

Road closures and bus route detours become effective at 7:30 a.m. and end around 2 p.m.

Viewing the parade
We've reserved and will monitor eight accessible Stampede Parade viewing zones along the parade route for people with mobility challenges (canes, walkers, wheelchairs, scooters) and their friends/families.

Space is limited, so get there early! Look for barricades and signs. If space remains in the viewing areas after 8 a.m., they will be opened up to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

THE CITY IN ACTION


Street sweeper critters have been a Stampede tradition for nearly 15 years, bringing joy to parade goers and youth at the Children's Hospital that are unable to travel to the Stampede parade - the most rewarding event of the year, according to street sweeper operators.

City staff collaborate across many departments to ensure the event flows smoothly and safely:
  • Parking and traffic control will be coordinated by the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA), Roads, Calgary Police Service (CPS) and Community Standards.
  • Calgary Emergency Management Agency will open the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and activate the Municipal Emergency Plan during the Stampede Parade to monitor and assist as required. 
  • CPS have collocated their Tactical Operations Centre in the EOC. This will help to ensure the facilitation of a collaborative, coordinated and multi stakeholder response.
  • Fire, Bylaw and CPS officers will be onsite and in communication for the duration of the Parade for immediate response.

Other Useful Info

Friday, June 30, 2017

The City to extend area closure in NW Calgary to continue monitoring coyotes

The City has extended the green space closure in Panorama Hills / Hidden Valley (adjacent to Country Hills Golf Course) as well as the regional pathway in Panorama Hills (close to Stoney Trail) to reduce the risk of further confrontation between people and the protective coyote parents living in the area. The closure will be in effect until July 10.


During the extended closure, City staff will continue to monitor the adult coyotes and their pups, and use different techniques with the pack to reinforce human avoidance.

To date, the area closure has been successful in eliminating conflicts and allowing the pack to return to normal coyote behaviour. In fact, the closure has relieved pressure on the parents to protect their coyote pups resulting in the family feeling confident enough to move the pups away from the pathway, where the den site was originally located.

Through investigation, it is believed that the conflicts between citizens and the coyotes due to den protection given the close proximity to the pathway. The protective behaviour was a result of the parents perceiving a threat to their coyote pups from off-leash dogs. There have also been reports of people in the area feeding the coyotes, which resulted in the coyotes learning to associate humans with food handouts.

The City would like to remind citizens to keep dogs on leash in all public spaces, unless otherwise marked. Calgary has the most off-leash areas off all North American cities, boasting over 150 off-leash areas. Specific areas have been designated as off-leash to respect the environment and protect citizens and their pets.

The City is working with a number of experts from the University of Calgary, University of Alberta, Alberta Fish and Wildlife and Coyote Watch Canada to address the concerns over aggressive coyote behaviour. On June 26, a training session, hosted by Coyote Watch Canada, was held with City staff to equip them with techniques and knowledge on dealing and co-existing with urban coyotes. The City will continue to work with Alberta Fish and Wildlife to ensure a coordinated approach on responding to public inquiries.

Coyotes, just like other wildlife, are a vital part of a functional and healthy ecosystem in Calgary. The City is committed to keeping citizens informed about wildlife in our city, and equipping them with knowledge about co-existing with our urban wildlife.

Next spring, the City will be looking to host some workshops for citizens on how to co-exist with wildlife. Calgary.ca, along with The City Facebook page, will continue to be updated with information and status reports.

The public are asked to please continue reporting concerns regarding coyotes to The City through 311, and in an emergency situation where there is immediate danger, call 911. Please include the address or description of the location of the concern or sighting so City staff can visit the area to assess the situation.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

HandiBus Foundation donates eight buses to Calgary Transit Access

There’s nothing like the smell of a new vehicle and Calgary Transit Access customers will experience that first hand when eight new buses hit the road this week.

Thanks to the generous donations that Calgary HandiBus Foundation received in 2016, eight buses that provide specialized transportation for persons with disabilities were donated to Calgary Transit Access.

Donors were recognized for their contributions on June 21 at Calgary Transit Access. Maren Mueller was there to see the bus that she donated in memory of her husband Herbert. “My husband wanted to donate a bus because he used the service often. I’m overjoyed to see it, and I wish it a long lifetime of safe journeys,” she said.

Maren Mueller (centre), bus donors, Calgary HandiBus Foundation board members, and
Calgary HandiBus Foundation staff in front of 8 brand new buses
Calgary Transit Director Doug Morgan was at the event to thank the donors. “We spend a lot of time talking about big transportation projects like the Green Line, but the service that Calgary Transit Access provides is the really important, day-to-day stuff that we do,” said Doug. “Calgary Transit Access is a lifeline to Calgarians who are unable to take regular public transit – we get them to their appointments, special events and school, and it makes a huge difference in their lives.”

The HandiBus Foundation uses donations from citizens to purchase the highly specialized buses, which cost $90,000 each and last approximately 8 to 9 years. Calgary Transit Access provides transportation services to 15,000 Calgarians with disabilities who are unable to use public transit.