The Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley is a charitable organization committed to helping ensure the ecological integrity of the local ecosystem through education, research and outreach. The Institute helps individuals, groups and businesses take steps to make sustainable changes. It provides workshops, shares information and develops practical solutions that are realistic and make a positive impact in our communities and in the environment.
In its 20 year history, the Biosphere Institute has promoted sustainable communities and environmental stewardship with its outreach programs engaging youth, residents and visitors, and local businesses. Its Sustainable Action programs reach thousands of Canmore, Banff and Exshaw residents and visitors with tips, presentations and workshops on how to live, work and recreate more sustainably in the Bow Valley. Through its Small Steps program residents take photographs of themselves engaged in sustainable actions and share them to inspire change within the community.
The Biosphere Institute’s Idle-Free Canmore and Idle-Free Banff programs helped establish signage throughout the communities and place “Idle-Free” licence plates on official Town vehicles. Working with local students, the Biosphere Institute developed education programs including youth-made movie shorts to encourage active transportation and to help reduce idling throughout the communities. This type of youth engagement is especially important to telling the story of the local environment and community. The Biosphere Institute works with school groups to create films about these and other issues that matter in the community including climate change, waste reduction, and water conservation. Sharing these stories is an immersive learning opportunity for the students and builds a network of sharable knowledge.
The Biosphere Institute also restores aquatic habitat in the Bow Valley and Kananaskis Country, and with the help of many volunteers has removed over 4,500 kg of invasive plants and garbage from local water ways. The Institute also teaches kids and adults about wildlife and wildlife safety. Hands-on programs help students understand and appreciate the wildlife in the Bow Valley. The Biosphere Institute’s WildSmart program is all about avoiding human-wildlife conflict, both for residents in the Bow Valley and the huge number of outdoor recreational visitors.
Getting involved is as easy as taking a Sustainable Small Step! If you live, work or visit in the Bow Valley, we want to know what you’re doing to become more sustainable. Take part in our workshops, check out our short films, and remember to Care for Our Mountain Air!
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Written by John Cherkas – Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley

Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley is a member of CRAZ.

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