The Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley wins the Green Communities Canada 2011 Innovation Award

The Natural Step Canada would like to congratulate our friends at the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley in Canmore for their recent award:

The Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley (BIBV) just won the Green Communities Canada (GCC) 2011 Innovation Award for designing and implementing a suite of programs that demonstrate cutting edge approaches, incorporate the principles of social marketing, and result in high and diverse community engagement. The programs include Sustainable Action Canmore - a sustainability initiative that reached over 50% of Canmore's population: Mountain Air, a program that engaged Bow Valley youth in creating videos about local air quality and how to maintain it; WildSmart, a multi-stakeholder cooperative managed by the Biosphere Institute that runs education and outreach programs to reduce human-wildlife encounters; and the EcoTeam program, which uses social marketing principles to help individual households develop and implement sustainability plans.

Executive director Melanie Watt reports that winning the award is "very exciting for us, in part because the competition was so strong and in part because we are such a small [four-person] office. We've been recognized at the local and provincial level," she says, "but this is our first national award. We've been very fortunate to have a lot of long-term funders, a wonderful board and a strong cast of volunteers, and an award like this provides great validation for all their efforts."

The Natural Step worked with The BIBV to launch The Natural Step to a Sustainable Canmore in 2005. You can read about our involvement and view the case study here.