The Alberta Emerald Foundation started its flagship awards 30 years ago to honour environmental achievements by Albertans. Like the environment it helps protect, the foundation’s evolved since then.
Today, it’s a year-round operation that helps showcase, educate and empower the next generation of environmental enthusiasts. The Emerald Youth Grants program gets students to pitch ideas for environmental projects at their schools. The foundation spreads about $25,000 to winners across the province.
Recognizing the Emerald Awards can’t cover all the good Albertans do, The “Sharing Stories” and “Tell Your Story” programs collect tutorials, webinars and documentaries done by other organizations and people, and amplifies them through the foundation’s more prominent platforms. The What On EARTH Can We Do? podcast turns the work of Emerald Award recipients into understandable — and actionable — content for listeners to implement in their own lives.
The non-profit’s growth not only benefits award and grant recipients, it’s a source of joy for any environmentally conscious person looking for good news. It’s certainly helped the foundation’s executive director, Gregory Caswell. “It’s easy to focus on the doom and gloom and confusion, but I actually have this privileged position where I have access to the examples of those who are proving otherwise.”
Alberta’s move back to Step 1 did not include the closure of schools.
Meanwhile, Ontario shut its schools as COVID numbers increase.