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CAN we protect Alberta’s environment and keep its communities healthy as our province growS

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation 2011 Annual Report

Celebrating 20 Years of Environmental and Community Investment!

In a world where environmental issues are many and complex, the cooperative effort of people with diverse views and backgrounds is vital to find workable solutions. The launch of the Alberta Ecotrust is a step towards developing this cooperative spirit in Alberta. In February, 1992, the Pembina Institute founder and Petro-Canada’s Senior Director of Environment, Health and Safety stood shoulder-to-shoulder at a podium and looked out at an audience of friends, colleagues and visiting dignitaries that included then federal Minister of the Environment, Jean Charest. After 18 months of hard work, Rob Macintosh and Michael Robertson cleared their throats, tested the microphones, and launched Alberta Ecotrust.

continue to bring new ideas and people to the table of collaboration.

“In a world where environmental issues are many and complex,” they declared, “the cooperative effort of people with diverse views and backgrounds is vital to find workable solutions. The launch of the Alberta Ecotrust is a step towards developing this cooperative spirit in Alberta.”

We offer our heartfelt appreciation to the many, many people who over the years have contributed their “diverse views and backgrounds” to making Alberta Ecotrust the successful and trusted organization it is today. They have all, as Macintosh and Robertson noted in their act of faith all those years ago, contributed immeasurably “to meaningful and positive environmental action at the community level” and played “key roles in improving our quality of life.”

Twenty years later, their message continues to resonate, and Alberta Ecotrust remains committed to the spirit of cooperate effort. Always true to the founding vision, we

This Anniversary Annual Report celebrates 20 years of environmental and community investment. A timeline traces many of our top milestones across two decades of work, and our program highlights and profiles from 2011 make evident our present achievements and future direction.


Giving public voice to their vision of cooperative action for environmental solutions, Michael Robertson, left, and Rob Macintosh preside over the launch of Alberta Ecotrust on February 13, 1992.

Jean Charest, then federal Minister of the Environment, chats at the foundation’s launch with Dawn Tinling of Huksy Oil. Dawn later succeeded Michael Robertson as Alberta Ecotrust’s Corporate Co-Chair.

Cradling a finely-feathered friend, Rose Bene, Alberta Ecotrust’s first Executive Director, connects with a bit of Alberta’s environment at an early Board retreat.

Investing for longevity: a 1993 Alberta Ecotrust grant funded the launch of the Grassroots Northland Farmer’s Market in Calgary. The market still operates today.

GCOMMUNITY Ecotrust staff and board hike through the Whaleback during a 1993 planning retreat.

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation 2011 Annual Report l 1





Our Mission Alberta Ecotrust builds partnerships throughout Alberta between environmental organizations, corporations and others who support environmental action to: • fund and support effective grassroots environmental projects; • build capacity and sustainability in the voluntary sector; and • promote the environment as the foundation of a healthy community.

To truly make authentic progress in protecting our environment and the health of communities as Alberta grows, all sectors must be respected as strategic partners in crafting environmental solutions. We must act together. This means spending more time in the same place exchanging beliefs and ideas and exploring uncertainties with open minds. It means moving from a culture of competition and conflict to one of collaboration and common ground. It’s not an easy mission, but it’s one we embrace.





A Focus on Mission



Only by working together can we protect environmental and community interests as Alberta grows. We focus on mission. Everything we do ties back to what is important to us: partners engaged in environmental dialogue and decision-making; strong, strategic nonprofits contributing to healthy ecosystems; and recognition that rhetoric doesn’t change behavior. More and more, you will see us breaking down barriers to make new room for solution space – honestly brokering relationships, dialogues and community engagement that brings industry and environmental groups to the table with each other and with those also committed to the same outcomes. Only by working together can we protect environmental and community interests as Alberta grows.

Pat Letizia, Executive Director

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Engaged Partnership

ENGAGED Alberta Ecotrust continues to bring the diverse perspectives of corporations and environmental nonprofits together to authentically address the environmental and community challenges that emerge as the province grows. Working shoulder-to-shoulder, our partners discover new opportunities for engaging each other and their communities.

They understand that the collective roles, purpose and mission of environmental nonprofits are important to society. Empowered with the right resources and industry support, these groups are essential to creating the future we want in the environment we need. Only by working together, can we achieve the collective impacts that protect the environment and build a sustainable and prosperous future.








Alberta Ecotrust has a great vision. To get there, we must collectively engage with each other in a meaningful way based on honesty, trust and respect. Alberta Ecotrust provides a fantastic forum for having these conversations in the context of environmental grant making. Cenovus comes to Ecotrust from the perspective of a progressive and growing Canadian oil and gas company. As an Ecotrust partner for many years, we value the opportunity to listen, talk with and learn from other Ecotrust partners. But we also appreciate that our funding is being wisely deployed to projects that foster sustainable communities using the partner-based decision model Alberta Ecotrust has evolved.

Cindy Chiasson Environmental Law Centre Environment Co-Chair It’s important for us all in the environmental arena to resist the tendency to take positions, be adversarial and look at issues through an “us vs. them” lens. None of us individually has all the answers; we need to focus on common goals and outcomes and to learn from each other and work collaboratively. Alberta Ecotrust gives the Environmental Law Centre – with its 30-year tradition of working with a wide range of collaborators to protect Alberta’s environment through law and policy – the opportunity to explore new approaches with new partners to build and strengthen the capacity of environmental organizations.

Cenovus Energy Corporate Co-Chair

We must focus on common goals and outcomes and Alberta Ecotrust provides an excellent platform to do this. 2011 Alberta Ecotrust Partners Alberta Council for Environmental Education Alliance Pipeline Ltd. Athabasca Watershed Council Bow River Basin Council BP Canada Energy Company Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – Southern Alberta Chapter* CIBC Cenovus Energy ConocoPhillips Canada Cows and Fish Devon Canada Corporation Encana Environmental Law Centre* FT Services Greater Edmonton Alliance Green Calgary* High Prairie Regional Environmental Action Committee Husky Energy Imperial Oil Foundation* Land Stewardship Centre of Canada Miistakis Institute Nature Alberta Nexen Inc.* Peace Parkland Naturalists Pembina Institute* Pembina Pipeline Corporation Penn West Exploration RBC Foundation Red Deer River Naturalists Southern Alberta Group for the Environment Suncor Energy Foundation TAQA NORTH Ltd. TERA Environmental Consultants Total E & P Canada Water Matters Society of Alberta

Working Together for a Better Environment

Paul Godman

* Founding Partners

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Goal: Alberta is the place where all sectors are respected as strategic partners in environmental solutions.








Across the spectrum of collaboration from chats over coffee to multi-stakeholder policy frameworks, the complexity of environmental issues in our communities requires commitment to work together. Yet the reality is that we are sometimes at odds with each other and trust can be difficult. A certain amount of tension can create space for innovation, so that’s where we focus our collaborative leadership. Building trust, face to face; learning to respect each others’ perspectives and finding common ground by learning together and committing to support effective environmental projects and strengthen organizations and networks.




The process was a great opportunity for all the conservation groups to discuss the challenges regarding coexisting with wildlife. Together, we found common goals and ways to collaborate to create a legacy we can all be proud of.

A special Ecotrust collaborative grant program is helping keep wildlife and humans safe in the well-travelled Bow Corridor.

Kim Titchener WildSmart Education Program Director

A Collaborative Legacy for Bow Valley Wildlife

2011 Collaboration Highlights

It’s a lethal combination for humans and wildlife alike: a world-renowned mountain playground, great wildlife habitat, and Canada’s national transportation corridor all squeezed together into one narrow valley bottom.

• Partner to Grantee Volunteer Days: As part of an ongoing effort to connect corporate employees and environmental nonprofits, Alberta Ecotrust paired 25 Devon Canada employees with the Friends of Kananaskis for a day of environmental appreciation and hands-on trail building.

In 2011, guided by Alberta Ecotrust’s collaborative leadership approach and the remaining Kananaskis Legacy Funds, five Bow Corridor organizations began designing and implementing a coordinated suite of projects that advance the cause of keeping humans and wildlife species separated and safe from conflict. The initiative focused on collective impact and was a new venture for the Foundation. According to Executive Director Pat Letizia, “We encouraged the groups in the region to develop a common goal and coordinate their work to achieve it. They narrowed the field to those groups best suited to the priority goal and really rose to the occasion!” True to the federal Legacy goals, the participating organizations – WildSmart, the Karelian Bear Shepherding Institute of Canada (working with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development), The Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, and the Miistakis Institute for the Rockies – determined the overarching objective of “maintaining and improving wildlife connectively and movement in the Bow Corridor.” This wrap-up of the Kananaskis Legacy project has helped bring valley nonprofits together in a new and productive way. As Wendy Francis, Y2Y’s Conservation Director, says, “We now have a comprehensive overview of what we want to do and each organization is playing its part of make sure that our collective goals are achieved.”

2011 Collaboration Highlights

Collaboration Spotlight

• Trans Mountain Legacy Fund: Advancing the Foundation’s evolving role as a bridge between business interests and environmental protection, Alberta Ecotrust administers Kinder Morgan Canada’s Trans Mountain Legacy Fund. This fund is allocated by an independent Steering Committee that supports Ecological Integrity Projects in Jasper National Park and Mount Robson Provincial Park. • EcoPlace: Remember the Ecohome? We think it might be time to build another – for us this time! Our vision is of a cutting-edge green building for community collaboration – an environmental or sustainability ‘hub’ in Calgary where cooperation and innovation shape the conversations and infuse community action. Stay tuned!

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Goal: Alberta environmental nonprofits have the competency and resiliency to both deliver effective programs and be respected as strategic partners in environmental solutions.

Collectively, the roles, purpose and missions of environmental nonprofits are vital to society’s long-term environmental sustainability. Today’s fast changing and complex world presents persistent challenges for these groups as they try to resource projects and operations, and work to continually improve their capacity to connect with others to learn, share and collaborate. Environmental nonprofits need more than money. Our insight and expertise as a grantmaker and capacity builder adds value to the dollars we provide. We focus on shared learning and leadership from working with nonprofits on funding applications and project design, to a multistakeholder review that includes handson support with project management, evaluation and reporting for great results.





Strengthening Nonprofits

Grants Awarded in 2011 2011 was a banner year for Alberta Ecotrust grantmaking. In total, $638,403 was awarded through our various granting streams. $387,350 was awarded to 31 Major Project, Community, and Youth Environmental Stewardship grants. An additional $179,400 was awarded through the Kananaskis Legacy Grants Program; $63,250 was awarded for two strategic grants to Waterlution and the Alberta Environmental Network; and $8,403 supported smaller projects through micro-grants from our Community Resource Fund (CRF).

Since our inception in 2007 the Keepers of the Athabasca have been very fortunate to have received generous support from Ecotrust. Keepers greatly appreciate that support and thank you for your kind help. Ecotrust occupies a vital niche in helping uncompromising grassroots groups like ours and Keepers working on the ground in our communities are grateful! Harvey Scott Keepers of the Athabasca



Taking a well-deserved break, members of the 2011 Grant Review Committee stretch their legs during their annual fall gathering. The committee, comprising environmental nonprofit and corporate representatives, meets twice a year and reviews between 90 and 100 Major Project and Community Grant applications.

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2011Grants Awarded

Major Grant Project Spotlight

Ultimately, we want to ensure the safe and long term persistence of large carnivores on the southwest Alberta landscape while preserving ranchers’ traditional way of life. Danah Duke Miistakis Institute

Cowboys and Carnivores Tony Bruder, a third generation rancher who runs a small Simmental operation with his family near Twin Butte, Alberta, is a man who likes to face his challenges head on. “My 91-year old father has lived his entire life on this land,” he reported last fall, “and he never saw a grizzly until 1994. Since that first sighting, the number has increased dramatically. That’s a problem.” Caught in the act: The image of a marauding grizzly on a grain bin raid is captured by a remote camera.

For rancher Tony Bruder, co-existing with carnivores is a challenging balance of economics, human safety and conservation.

Since the mid-1990s, changing societal norms and new laws have provided better protection for large carnivores, resulting in more animals moving further afield. That requires new thinking and new practices from the people who share their expanding range. Like many of his neighbours, Tony enjoys spotting a grizzly, wolf or cougar, but he also has to deal with the damage “the bad ones” wreak on his grain bins, feedstock and livestock, to say nothing of his nerves when they venture close to his home and family. The result is a “tricky balance of economics, human safety and carnivore conservation.” To help find that balance, Tony chairs the Drywood Yarrow Conservation Partnership (DYCP), which has partnered with the Miistakis Institute on an innovative community-based research program called The Cowboys and Carnivores

Monitoring Program. Encouraging ranchers and land managers to work together to better understand carnivore movement through the landscape, the program contributes directly to solutions that reduce carnivore conflicts. The program helps landowners monitor what’s happening on their land by providing an online mapping tool that allows them to pinpoint sightings of carnivores and share them with other participants; a carnivore hair collection component that lets the ranchers identify both the species and the individual carnivores using their land; and remote cameras that monitor the effectiveness of implemented solutions such as electric fencing and building bear proof grain bins. The program is getting results. “To be good stewards we need to protect our land,” Tony reports, “and that means protecting all of the species that use it. Cowboys and Carnivores is helping us do that.” In 2011, Alberta Ecotrust awarded its second Major Project grant to the Miistakis Institute in support of the program. To learn more about Cowboys and Carnivores, watch the Alberta Ecotrust Foundation Digital Project Profile video at:


Environmental Assessment Model Legislation: $30,000

Engaging Rural Alberta in Clean Energy Opportunities: $30,000

Environmental Law Centre

Pembina Foundation for Environmental Research and Education Helping rural landowners understand the commercial, technical, and regulatory issues associated with converting Alberta’s untapped wind energy by presenting findings from the Pembina Foundation’s Landowners’ Guide to Wind Energy in Alberta to communities where wind development is most viable. Project Steward: Leona Gibb, TERA Environmental Consultants

Cumulative Effects Study for the Ghost Watershed – Phase 2: $30,000 Ghost Watershed Alliance Society Building on Phase 1 of the Ghost River Cumulative Effects Study and its conclusion that motorized recreation, forestry, and the associated transportation network are having a negative cumulative impact on the watershed, Phase 2 assesses the value of alternative land use management strategies and presents the findings to the public, stakeholders and decisionmakers to promote more sustainable management. Project Steward: Adam Driedzic, Environmental Law Centre

Mapping of Grizzly Bear Denning Habitat to Aid Recovery and Conservation: $25,000

Creating one federal and one provincial “model” legislation as an example of the changes Albertans may work for to strengthen their environmental assessment policies. The legislation will address issues of concern such as climate change, water, species at risk, and federal participation in energy regulation. Project Steward: Scott MacDougall, Suncor Energy

Foothills Research Institute

Planting Grassroots – Mobilizing and Engaging Albertans in Land-use Planning: $18,000

Protecting Southern Alberta’s Headwaters through Regional Planning: $22,600

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Southern AB

Using existing data sets and new field data from known grizzly bear den sites, the Foothills Research Institute is creating a science-based map that can be used to predict – and protect – the location of den sites in the new provincial grizzly bear conservation zones. Project Steward: Chuck Priestly, Nature Alberta

Strengthening Nonprofits

Major Project Grants

Environmental Law Centre

Using a variety of public outreach activities, CPAWS is engaging and empowering Albertans to participate in public consultations on the province’s Land Use Framework South Saskatchewan Regional Plan. Project Steward: Laura Jeffreys, Greater Edmonton Alliance

Focusing on the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan, the ELC is researching legal options for protecting Alberta’s portion of the Crown of the Continent ecoregion and presenting the results to planning process participants. Project Steward: Klaus Jericho, Southern Alberta Group for the Environment

Cowboys and Carnivores: A Landowner Carnivore Monitoring Program: $30,000

Working toward Environmental Health through Urban Agriculture: $30,000

Miistakis Institute

Greater Edmonton Alliance

Providing monitoring tools to southern Albertan landowners to better understand the movement of carnivores across their lands so they can develop appropriate solutions. Project Steward: Tony Jackson, Cenovus Energy

Engaging Capital Region citizens and industry leaders in developing a vision for urban agriculture, creating a dialogue about the vision with City Councilors, and developing policy tools to enable urban agriculture. Project Steward: Brian Ilnicki, Land Stewardship Centre of Canada

Grants Alberta Ecotrust Foundation 2011 Annual Report l 11

2011Grants Awarded Dollars allocated by funding priority1992 - 2011

Air & Climate

Major Project Grants (con’t)

Community Grants

Navigate 2010 – a Youth Water Literacy Summit: $20,000

Photovoice 2:0: Stewardship at Shutter Speed: $5,000

Inside Education Society of Alberta

Battle River Watershed Alliance

Providing funding for student and teacher teams from 20 Alberta High Schools to learn about water planning, develop a Water Literacy Plan, and take it back to their school for implementation. Project Steward: Gareth Thomson, Alberta Council for Environmental Education

Using photography to explore the experiences and stories of the people who live, work and play in the Battle River Watershed as a means of encouraging them to take action to conserve it. Project Steward: Melanie Ducharme: BP Canada Energy Company

Water Wilderness & Wildlife

A South Saskatchewan River Basin Communication Strategy: $30,000 Water Conservation Trust of Canada

Dollars allocated by grant stream1992 - 2011

General Grant

Multi Year Grant

Major Project

YES Grant

Community Grant

Strategic Grant

Developing a communications program to inform people in the South Saskatchewan River Basin about the possibilities of transferring and returning unused water allocations as a new river reclamation tool. Project Stewards: Mark Bennett, Bow River Basin Council; Joe Obad, Water Matters

Calgary Urban Harvest Project: $5,000 Calgary Permaculture Guild Highlighting the benefits of local food production through a local shared fruit harvesting program. Project Steward: Norine Ambrose, Cows and Fish

Educational and Promotional Facility: $3,500 Edson and District Recycling Expanding the Edson & District Recycling Society’s facilities to allow continuing development of its educational programs among students, youth groups, gardeners, seniors and the general public. Project Steward: Jayme Nelson, Alberta Ecotrust



Strengthening Nonprofits

Community Grant Spotlight

For a group of concerned citizens in Viking, simply talking about a more sustainable future had, by itself, no future. “They were interested in doing something,” explains Janne Hicklin, a Calgary energy-efficiency consultant whom the group hired to help turn specific pieces of their ambition into action. “They wanted to see Viking not only become more sustainable, they wanted it to become a model for other rural communities. Their commitment is inspiring.” To introduce sustainability to the community in a way that directly demonstrates the advantages at a household level, the Rural Outreach and Agricultural Renaissance Society, or ROARS, partnered with the Town, who contracted Janne to develop the Viking Energysmart House Calls Project. The concept, says Janne, is a local adaptation of a social marketing approach that has been tried by several other communities. In the Viking project, residents can book an Energysmart House Call for a half-hour visit from a team of two trained “House Callers,” students from the local high school. During each visit, the House Callers discuss energy and water efficiency (and cost-saving!) opportunities, install a wall-plug gasket, a compact fluorescent bulb and a fiveminute shower timer, and leave behind a package of information on additional energy and water-saving products available at local hardware stores. “It’s a great way to introduce sustainability into a community,” reports Janne. “The program has the Town Council not just

talking about but acting on sustainability; we’re anticipating that up to half of the Viking households will request House Calls; and we’ve got an enthusiastic core of students who have developed confidence in their knowledge and their ability to communicate about energy and water saving opportunities.”

ROARing Towards a Sustainable Future

They wanted to see Viking not only become more sustainable, they wanted it to become a model for other rural communities. Their commitment is inspiring.

Considering options for a more sustainable future, Viking Mayor Marlene Grandinetti hosts the first Energysmart House Call from student trainees.

Commitment Alberta Ecotrust Foundation 2011 Annual Report l 13

2011Grants Awarded Community Grants (con’t) Volunteer Wildlife Ambassadors: Good Neighbours with Nature: $7,500 Friends of Kananaskis Country Cooperating Association Using trained volunteers and offering community education to address the precarious balance of living and recreating in active wildlife corridors while supporting a healthy, viable ecosystem. Project Steward: Gareth Thomson, Alberta Council for Environmental Education

Ignite Change Now! Youth Leadership Program – Our World, Our Water: $7,500 John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights Training for 100 Alberta youth to be effective community leaders and then partnering them with agencies in their home communities to explore water issues, deliver public awareness sessions and undertake water-related community action projects. Project Steward: Cindy Christopher, Imperial Oil

Launching the Nordegg Bearsmart Program: $6,500 Nordegg Community Association Working with Nordegg residents to raise awareness of living with bears as well as distributing bearproof garbage bins and working with Clearwater County to ensure that Nordegg develops as a model Bearsmart community. Project Steward: Carol Engstrom, Husky Energy

Toward Collaborative Sustainable Land Management: A Survey of Prairie Stakeholders: $4,840 Alberta Fish & Game Association Bringing 300 ranchers and farmers together with other prairie stakeholders and experts to identify common goals and develop new sustainable land management practices. Project Steward: Norine Ambrose, Cows and Fish

Living & Recreating Smart with Wildlife: Workshop Series: $7,500 Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley Offering workshops designed to give new Bow Valley ESL immigrants the skills and knowledge they need to live and recreate safely in critical wildlife habitat. Project Steward: Danah Duke, Miistakis Institute

Princess Prudence and the Fairest in the Land: $7,500 Evergreen Theatre Society Exploring consumerism and its environmental impacts through a touring theatre production for Alberta schools. Project Steward: Carol Engstom, Husky Energy

Creekfest 2012: $7,500 Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Hosting a festival featuring information booths, speakers, musicians and performers to communicate the need to protect Alberta’s watersheds. Project Steward: Anne-Marie Syslak, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Southern AB

Energysmart House Calls Project: $7,500

Protection for the Castle Special Place: $7,500

Rural Outreach and Agricultural Renaissance Society

Castle-Crown Wilderness Coalition

Canvassing homes in Viking, Alberta to provide information and products that will conserve water and energy as part of a campaign to make Viking a Rural Sustainability Demonstration Town. Project Steward: Chris Severson-Baker, Pembina Institute

Continuing a long-standing public outreach campaign for legislated protection of the Castle Crown area in southwestern Alberta. Project Steward: Adam Driedzic, Environmental Law Centre


Cycling Education for Secondary Schools and Community Leagues: $5,000 Chris C. (Edmonton) Providing basic bike mechanic skills and commuter safety workshops to high school students and community members to encourage commuter cycling confidence and support throughout Edmonton.

The Resonating Bodies Educational Installation and the Bumblebee Rescue and Foster Parent Program: $5,000 Eliese W. (Calgary) Educating members of the public about bees and other native pollinators through a display at the Calgary Zoo and further engaging them with a foster parent program that provides loving homes and habitat to urban bees.

The Ecowalker: $5,000 George L. (Calgary) Designing and prototyping a low-cost, high-efficiency portable energy generator using kinetic energy to power small electronic appliances like mp3 players and cell phones.

Growing Community – One Seed at a Time: $5,000 Jordan S. (Black Diamond/Turner Valley)

Ashlynn C. (Edmonton)

Partnering with local land owners to support food production that uses environmental restorative and regenerative land practices, while encouraging stewardship and understanding around local food resilience.

Assessing the state of the Girl Guide Sandy Beach camping site with the goal of rebuilding hiking trails, restoring ecologically sensitive areas, and creating field identification kits to educate campers about native species.

People Powered Parties: $5,000

Strategic Grants

Lucas C. (Edmonton) Linking high school Environmental Clubs with their equivalents in junior high schools to empower Calgary youth to collaborate on a number of large-scale, city-wide projects designed to promote sustainable behaviour.

Ground Level Youth Centre Community Garden and Composing Site: $5,000 Skyla (Peace River) Demonstrating the potential for local food production through a multifaceted project that will give community members easy access to quality gardening and teach them sustainable organic gardening practices.

A Gift from Our Past to Our Future: Tawatinaw Watershed Historical Documentary: $5,000

Campus Community Garden: $4,870

Kyle A. (Colinton)

Bringing community members together with University of Alberta - Augustana students to share learning and provide a local source of food for the Camrose food bank, the campus cafeteria, and the greater community.

Capturing the history of the Tawatinaw River watershed and how it has changed with settlement in order to understand how residents can lower their footprint and restore the ecosystem.

TRAILS (Together Revitalizing an Important Living Sanctuary): $4,950

Strengthening Nonprofits

Young Environmental Stewardship (YES) Grants

Alberta ENGO Directory and Deployment Listing: $30,000 Alberta Environmental Network Developing a provincial database of environmental non-profits and the work they are currently undertaking. Project Steward: Stuart Peters, Alberta Ecotrust

Waterlution Calgary Hub: $35,000 Waterlution Providing a program to train, support and inspire Calgary youth leaders working/interested in water management to create water related change and connect them to the Canada Waterlution network. Project Steward: Stuart Peters, Alberta Ecotrust

Tamara Z (Camrose)

More details on all projects may be found at results/current

STEWARDS Alberta Ecotrust Foundation 2011 Annual Report l 15

A Helping Hand for More Effective Nonprofits Alberta Ecotrust provides much more than project funding to environmental nonprofits. We conduct webinars, provide one-on-one coaching and mentoring, participate and present in a variety of workshops and conferences, and make small Community Resource Fund donations to worthy programs that can benefit from a bit of extra support. We also host at least one major gathering of our own each year, usually our signature Maximizing Effectiveness events or a River Rally, which are designed to increase nonprofit knowledge, skills and tools and provide opportunities for networking and shared learning.

Strengthening Nonprofit Highlights

Showing support for Calgary’s Eco-Living Fair, former Alderman Bob Hawkesworth chats with a volounteer.

• Watershed Policy and Advisory Council (WPAC) Summit: Pat Letizia traveled to the Water for Life WPAC Summit in Slave Lake in October with some intrepid watershed folks to share information about our Watershed Protectors Program and learn more about the work of Watershed Policy and Advisory Councils across Alberta. What an inspiring bunch of people Albertans have going to bat for water and landuse planning in Alberta. Big kudos to the collaborative leadership of our multi-stakeholder watershed groups across the province!

• Community Resource Fund: From time to time we provide support to nonprofit groups trying to engage their communities, or seeking opportunities for professional development that improves their capacity and their programs. In 2011 our CRF micro grants supported a diversity of organizations and events including the Crown of the Continent Annual Roundtable, the EcoLiving Fair in Calgary, the Calgary Public Library Foundation’s Unconference for Social Innovation, the Ghost Watershed Alliance, the Central Athabasca Stewardship Society, the Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society, the Edmonton Area Land Trust, The Recycling Council of Alberta, the Alberta Environmental Network, and Sustainable Calgary. CRF sponsors include Encana, Imperial Oil and CIBC.


Strengthening Nonprofits

Learning as they paddle, water stewards take to the North Saskatchewan to open River Rally 2011.

Strengthening Nonprofit Spotlight

This year’s River Rally was a phenomenal event at an unbelievably affordable price. I can’t say enough about the positive experiences I had. Thank you! River Rally 2011 Participant

River Rally 2011 is a part of the Alberta Ecotrust Watershed Protectors Program, sponsored by Suncor with additional support from RBC Foundation through the RBC Blue Water Project. The program supports the good work of the water community including those activities related to Water for Life. The goal is to help build skills and networks that elevate Alberta’s water stewards’ potential for success and to build a fellowship around water at the community level.

A River Gathering to be Remembered Combining old friends, new knowledge and a great cause is a powerful formula for feeling good about yourself and your work. Throw in some glorious fall weather and a mellow float trip down the North Saskatchewan and you’ve got River Rally 2011! Hosted by Alberta Ecotrust with help from the Alberta Stewardship Network and sponsored by Encana, EPCOR and Capital Power, the 2011 Rally brought together nearly 90 participants, including environmental stewards, business people, scientists, First Nations members, municipal officials, and provincial managers to celebrate the work, build the networks, and enhance the skills and knowledge of Alberta’s dedicated watershed protectors. After an opening afternoon tour of EPCOR’s Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant and a “raft-and-learn” float along the North Saskatchewan River that focused on urban river impacts, participants spent the next day-and-ahalf attending workshops dedicated to communicating and fundraising for success, engaging and working with others in their communities, and accessing and leveraging tools and resources for watershed protection. Two innovative workshops on First Nations Perspectives and Engaging First Nations were particularly well attended, in part because many ENGOs are uncertain about how to approach First Nations and involve them in their work.

River Rally presenter Danika Littlechild advises workshop participants on involving First Nations in their watershed work: “Above all, do come and talk to us. But be sensitive to the reality that First Nations communities already have a lot on their plates, so take some time to get to know us, and please don’t make any big requests until you do.”

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Goal: Environmental nonprofits in Alberta demonstrate leadership on issues and solutions that encourage and result in behaviour changes with positive environmental impacts and increased philanthropic investments.


Shifting Perspectives



In today’s world, identifying oneself as an environmentalist is fraught with challenges. Yet most of us embody or hold many environmental values and want to live in a province where we protect important ecosystems as we build a healthy economy and a society where all people thrive. If all sectors must play a role in environmental protection, it is especially important to support those nonprofit voices that aim to speak for the benefit of all citizens.



Perspectives and Perceptions: Putting Alberta’s ENGO Community on the Map How many environmental groups are working in Alberta? Where are they? What issues are they working on? What approaches are they using? How can we contact them? To answer those questions, and to strengthen networking within Alberta’s environmental community, Alberta Ecotrust is working with the Alberta Environmental Network (AEN) on an Alberta ENGO Mapping Project and updated Alberta Environmental Directory. Alberta Ecotrust Executive Director Pat Letizia and AEN co-manager Myles Kitagawa agree it is high time the province had a comprehensive Alberta ENGO database. Current challenges in identifying the location, size and issue focus of groups working on a broad range of environmental issues, they say, results in lost opportunities for working with each other and other sectors. While AEN will use the information to enhance its networking role by engaging ENGOs on issues ranging from formal policy discussions to multi-stakeholder consultations, Alberta Ecotrust plans additional research on ENGO organizational and collaborative capacity as well as environmental funding in Alberta. The results will be shared broadly, ultimately strengthening nonprofits and networks. The combination of the directory, database and additional research, says Letizia, “will help us shift some perspectives about the environmental community in Alberta and encourage environmental philanthropy from all sources. We hope Albertans will see what these diverse groups bring to the table and the contribution they’re making to the province.” Look for preliminary results in the summer of 2012.

Everyone needs to more fully appreciate the diversity of Alberta’s environmental movement. The mapping project will give us a more comprehensive understanding of the diversity of the network, and the opportunity to use it more effectively.

Myles Kitagawa, AEN

? ? ? ? ? Shifting Perspectives Highlights • Alberta Nonprofit/Voluntary Sector Initiative: Executive Director Pat Letizia was appointed to the Alberta Nonprofit/ Voluntary Sector Initiative (ANVSI) Collaboration Committee. A partnership between the Government of Alberta and the Nonprofit/Voluntary Sector, ANVSI is a high level forum in which senior government officials and voluntary sector leaders meet to share ideas on improving services, training, funding and administrative mechanisms for the sector, as well as inform social policy development all the way from the front lines to the Legislature. The common goal is to build vibrant and sustainable communities. Pat is the first leader to bring both an environmental and funding perspective to the Committee. • Workshop on Community Collaboration: Whatever we may have thought about collaboration took a twist in November after spending an afternoon with Tonya Surman, Executive Director of the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto and co-founder of the Constellation Model – a collaboration framework that serves partnerships, coalitions and multi-stakeholder groups. Co-hosting the workshop with the City of Calgary’s Office of Sustainability, Alberta Ecotrust invited 40 participants to learn how to harness what looks like self-interested competitiveness into something focused on real solutions. Surman challenged our most basic assumptions about collaboration while opening new possibilities for shared engagement.

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation 2011 Annual Report l 19


Shifting Perspectives Spotlight


2011 Donors and Supporters Thank you to our generous individual, small business, corporate, foundation and government donors and supporters. You are leaders in environmental philanthropy and we could not achieve what we do without you.

Corporate Donations


Visionary Partners

Sonde Resources Spectra Energy

Alliance Pipeline Ltd. BP Canada Energy Company Cenovus Energy Inc. CIBC ConocoPhillips Canada Devon Canada Corporation Encana FT Services Husky Energy Imperial Oil Foundation Nexen Inc. Pembina Pipeline Corporation PennWest Exploration RBC Foundation Suncor Energy Foundation TAQA NORTH Ltd. TERA Environmental Consultants Total E & P Canada


Friends: Corporate, Foundations & Associations Accenture Canada Active Citizens Television (ACTV) Border Paving Ltd. Clay Graphic Design Inc. (in kind) Clearstone Engineering Ltd. Government of Alberta’s Community Spirit Program Impression Design (in kind) Mighty Media Communications Victoria Park BRZ West Island College Society of Alberta Ziff Energy Group Anonymous (1)

Corporate Matching Programs Cenovus Employee Foundation Encana Cares Foundation Halliburton Canada Schlumberger Canada Ltd.

Versalt Inc. (In kind)

1993: Intrigued by Ecotrust’s “cooperative spirit,” Premier Peter Lougheed becomes our Honorary Patron.


Launches to the public at a press conference on February 13th with the federal Environment Minister as a guest speaker. Awards $197,679 in grants to 16 community projects in its first year of operations.


Since 1992, Alberta Ecotrust has passed many milestones and acquired numerous acknowledgements, awards and other honours. This timeline highlights a few of our favourites.


celebratin Wins the Financial Post Environment Award for Business Partnerships.

Braun Soule Family Ken Brown The Bryce Children (7 of Couva, TnT) Family Fund at The Calgary Foundation Gordon Bentham Cindy Chiasson Nancy Dalton & Gordon Harris Patricia Etris Dr. Raquel Feroe Brian Freeston and Barbara Burggraf Lori Gammell Bonnie Glines Paul Godman Darryl Hass Heather Hendrie Margot Hervieux John & Kim Jones Glenda Kowlessar Joan Lawrence Pat Letizia Joel Lipkind Murray & Val Lueke Robert Lutz Mary-Lynn Machan-Laing Garry Mann Glenn & Angie Murdoch

Gordon & Karen Paul Sharesh Reza Bart Robinson Oliver Roenitz Alan Roessel Rod Ruff Wanda Spooner Nishi Thusoo United Way of Calgary and Area, Donor Choice Margaret Pointen-Willms Lisa Wise In honour of Elaine Wong Lois Wozney Anonymous (2)

Green Legacies Leaving a bequest to Alberta Ecotrust is a simple but powerful way of ensuring our work carries on for future generations. We thank the following individuals who have remembered Alberta Ecotrust in their will. John and Kim Jones Jill Kirker and Chris Lough Jim and Valerie Pissot

Special Project Funders & Program Collaborators Community Resource Fund


Individual Friends

Encana Corporation Imperial Oil Foundation CIBC

River Rally 2011 Encana Corporation EPCOR Capital Power Corporation

Watershed Protectors Suncor Energy Foundation RBC Foundation through the RBC Blue Water Project

Young Environmental Stewardship Grant Program TransAlta Government of Alberta ConocoPhillips Canada

Alberta ENGO Directory The Calgary Foundation

Taking Stock The Calgary Foundation

Establishes the Kananaskis Environmental Legacy Fund in a new collaboration with the federal government to support the creation of wildlife crossings in Canmore and Dead Man Flats as a G8 Legacy.


Wins both the Alberta Emerald Award for Environmental Excellence and Imagine Calgary’s “New Spirit of Community” award from the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy and the Globe and Mail.



ng 20 years Publishes Maximizing Effectiveness, a landmark study with input from thought leaders in industry, government and nonprofits that captures Alberta environmental priorities and the organizational capacity of Alberta’s environmental organizations.

Board, Staff and Committees

2011 Alberta Ecotrust Staff

Alberta Ecotrust Board of Directors Paul Godman Cenovus Energy Corporate Co-Chair Cindy Chiasson Environmental Law Centre Environmental Co-Chair Birgit Becker Community Member Treasurer Patricia Etris Encana Corporation Grant Review Committee Corporate Co-Chair

Left to right: Bonnie Glines, Administrative Assistant; Bart Robinson, Communications Manager; Stuart Peters, Strategic Programs Director; Pat Letizia, Executive Director; Jayme Nelson, Program Coordinator; Wanda Spooner, Partner Development Manager

Danah Duke Miistakis Institute Grant Review Committee Environmental Co-Chair

Alberta Ecotrust Committees

Holly Gibney Community Member Communications Committee Chair

Communications Committee Holly Gibney, Chair Pat Letizia Bart Robinson

Fund Development Committee

Nadine Barber Devon Canada Corporation Fund Development Committee Chair

Finance Committee

Nadine Barber, Chair Pat Letizia Garry Mann Wanda Spooner Erica Thomas Lois Wozney

Pat Letizia Executive Director Carole Stark Water Matters Secretary

Birgit Becker, Chair Danah Duke Bonnie Glines Pat Letizia Stuart Peters Wanda Spooner

board staff 2007


2005 Builds the Alberta Ecotrust Ecohome and opens it as an educational demonstration of ways to use conventional construction to reduce the environmental footprint of new homes.

With other foundations, co-hosts Picture-a-Province, a forum for donors and funders to learn about wildlife habitat issues along the eastern slopes of the Rockies and promote the need for increased philanthropy to support key on-ground work.

Collaborates with Alberta Environment to launch the Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) Grant Program that funds 57 youth-led programs with $242,700 over five years with additional support from TransAlta.

Grant Review Committee Adam Driedzic, Environmental Law Centre Amit Saxena, Devon Canada Corporation Angela Bowditch, Peace Parkland Naturalists Anne-Marie Feoli-Marson, Royal Bank Canada Anne-Marie Syslak, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Southern Alberta Chapter Bob Kruchten, Red Deer River Naturalists Brian Ilnicki, Land Stewardship Centre of Canada Carol Engstrom, Husky Energy Chuck Priestley, Nature Alberta Chris Severson-Baker, Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development Cindy Christopher, Imperial Oil Limited Connie Simmons, Athabasca Watershed Council Danah Duke, Miistakis Institute for the Rockies David McConnell, High Prairie Regional Environmental Action Committee

Doug Badger, High Prairie Regional Environmental Action Committee Emma Lynch, Nexen Inc. Erica Thomas, Total E & P Canada Gareth Thomson, Alberta Council for Environmental Education Jason Smith, TERA Environmental Consultants Jeff Reading, Alberta Council for Environmental Education Joanne Germaine, TAQA NORTH Ltd. Joe Obad, Water Matters Kathryn Milne, Nexen Inc. Klaus Jericho, Southern Alberta Group for the Environment Lars de Pauw, Penn West Exploration Laura Jeffreys, Greater Edmonton Alliance Leona Gibb, TERA Environmental Consultants Leroy McKinnon, TAQA NORTH Ltd. Margaret Cardinal, High Prairie Regional Environmental Action Committee Mark Bennett, Bow River Basin Council Melanie Ducharme, BP Canada Energy Company Michael Ireton, Green Calgary Neil Symington, Suncor Energy Inc.

Norine Ambrose, Cows and Fish Patricia Etris, Encana Peter Zimmerman, ConocoPhillips Canada Phil Nepszy, Pembina Pipeline Corporation Rafat Farooqi, FT Services

Board, Staff and Committees

Alberta Ecotrust Committees

Rob Gray, Alliance Pipeline Ltd. Roxanne Pettipas, ConocoPhillips Canada Sangeen Chahal, CIBC Scott MacDougall, Suncor Energy Inc. Sean Christopher, Total E & P Canada Tony Jackson, Cenovus Energy

Youth Environmental Stewardship Grant Committee Bethany Beale Christy Boulter Dan Slavik Diane Sandbrand Heather Hendrie Kate Murray Laura Franceschini Liz Gandy Yuk-Sing Cheng

committees Reaches a new partner milestone with a combined 38 Environmental and Corporate Partners.



2008 Launches Watershed Protectors in partnership with Petro-Canada (and then Suncor), to provide watershed stewards with new knowledge, skills and networking to support Alberta watershed protection.



Celebrates 20 years of environmental investment

2011 Summary of Financial Statements Recognizing that the cost of developing and delivering charitable programs are the real cost of developing and delivering those programs, Alberta Ecotrust employs a fullcost allocation method. This includes the cost of program development and delivery, program support, supplies and services, and occupancy costs. We have four program areas that we budget and deliver outcomes for: Environmental Grants,

Community Capacity, Community Collaboration and Strategic Environmental Communications. We take financial stewardship seriously and follow a comprehensive set of financial management and accounting policies. Our financial statements are reviewed regularly by the Board of Directors and we are pleased to appoint Thomson Penner & Lo LLP to conduct an annual audit.

Statement of Operations Revenue

Total $1,066,177 Foundations and Grants $108,538 Sponsorships $31,433 Event Revenue $25,687 Investment Income $12,470 Gifts in Kind $4,973 Fees for Serivce Other Income

$64,517 $8,658

Donations $809,901


Total $1,199,068 Grants, Including Program Delivery $721,581* Strategic Environment Communications $110,284 Community Capacity $178,450 Community Collaboration $113,353 Financial Management $75,400

* Note: Externally restricted Kananaskis fund revenues were recognized in prior years and $161,400 was expended in 2011.

Financial Statements

Statement of Financial Position Assets

Total $2,835,286


$2,019,670 $2,000,000 $1,750,000 $1,500,000 $1,250,000 $1,000,000 $750,000





$10,960 Cash


Restricted Cash

Marketable Securities

Restricted Short Term Investments





Accounts Receivable

Goods and Services Receivable

Property and Equipment


Fund Balances

Total $2,835,286 $2,022,292


















Total $362,262


Accounts Grant Deferred Payable and Commitments Contributions Accrued Related to Liabilities Operations



$9,665 Funds Held in Trust

Property and Equipment

$59,804 Externally Restricted Funds

$15,260 Internally Restricted Funds

Unrestricted Funds

Financial information approved on behalf of the Board,

Birgit Becket, Treasurer

Paul Godman, Corporate Co-chair

Alberta Ecotrust’s full 2011 audited financial statements can be found online at:

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation 2011 Annual Report l 25

Live Green Give Green

We want to expose the need for charitable contributions to environmental causes and encourage more interest among a larger population to donate.

For Kim and John Jones of Springbank, “Ecotrust was our first choice” for an estate bequest: “We want to expose the need for charitable contributions to environmental causes and encourage more interest among a larger population to donate.”

Giving Green with the Jones’s


When Kim and John Jones began planning their estate in the early 1990s, they knew they wanted to “donate” a significant portion of it to preserving something they valued for the future. Both Kim, a retired executive assistant from the oil and gas industry, and John, a native Calgarian who continues to work as a data architect for WestJet, believe environmental issues are locally and internationally important, and are concerned about the general lack of urgency by so many individuals and governments. For John in particular, “the road to sustainability” is the only path forward. Introduced to Ecotrust through a friend who was the first individual donor to Alberta Ecotrust, they immediately liked its mandate and philosophy. “We wanted to contribute,” says Kim, “and a ‘green legacy’ seemed like a fine way to do it. We fully support Ecotrust’s commitment to sustainability and think our funding will be purposeful and appreciated to that end. We hope it will also help protect the magnificent environment of this province which should never be taken for granted!”

TOGETHER To find out how to create your own “green legacy” visit www.albertaecotrust/ support.

This Annual Report is printed on Roland Enviro 100 Paper, which is certified EcoLogo and contains FSC certified 100% post-consumer fibres. It is processed chlorine free and manufactured using biogas energy. Per ton, compared to its virgin paper equivalent, it saves 17 trees, 38,600 litres of water, 1076 kilograms of air emissions, and 490 kilograms of solid waste. Photography: Alberta Ecotrust, Kurt Archer, Kelly Cooley, Janne Hicklin, John Jones, Madhu Madhavan, John E. Marriott (, Bart Robinson, and Apu Sharma. Graphic Design: Impression Design, Canmore, Alberta

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation 1020 – 105 12th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta CANADA T2G 1A1 Phone: 403.209.2245 l 1.800.465.2147 Fax: 403.209.2086 Email: Registered Charity Number: 13502 9825 RC0001

Alberta Ecotrust 2011 Annual Report  

2011 Annual Report from Alberta Ecotrust Foundation