Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley
The Biosphere Institute is a local charity that helps to make the Bow Valley more sustainable. We promote sustainable communities and environmental stewardship by engaging youth, residents, visitors, and local businesses through education, outreach programs and our community resource center.
Our public Biosphere Resource Centre is the base for our award-winning programs, and includes wildlife and sustainable community displays and resources. It provides information on local and regional ecosystem issues and houses a public library of regional reports, maps and a bibliographic ecosystem database of 7,600 records. Equipment is also available for public loan and includes aquatic restoration equipment (hip waders, garbage retrievers, boots, etc.).
Join our Sustainable Action Canmore/Banff Program, to receive sustainability tips (twice a month) to make your home, work and recreation more sustainable. Learn about local sustainability workshops, events and more! We run fun, informative workshops such as Green Cleaning and Worm Composting, Make Your Own Rain Barrel, Solar Panels for your Home, E-Biking, Winterize your Home, and When your Home is Alone. Our Sustainable Action Canmore booklet helps those new to town learn how to live more sustainable in Canmore.
With our Small Steps Program, residents take and then share their actions for sustainability with others in the community. It is a great way to catch some inspiration or do some inspiring yourself. Whether it is changing a light bulb or a big solar panel installation, sharing individual acts of sustainability is our way of promoting change.
The WildSmart Community Program is a proactive conservation strategy that encourages efforts by communities to reduce negative human-wildlife interactions. WildSmart’s goal is to develop a coordinated approach to education/outreach programs and help support direct management activities that aid in increasing public safety and enjoyment while contributing to sustainable wildlife populations.
WildSmart activities include wildlife awareness and bear spray talks, children and youth programs, a WildSmart speaker series, Bear Day, volunteer programming, and an extensive social media communication presence with tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and a weekly online bear report.
Our Youth Movie-Making Program provides students with the opportunity to teach other youth and the general public about the environment. The Biosphere Institute engages teams or classes of local youth in workshops to help write, direct, and act in their own movie shorts.
As part of our Aquatic Habitat Restoration Programs, the Biosphere Institute has helped remove over 4,800 kg of invasive weeds, garbage, fishing line and hooks from the shoreline of local ponds and lakes with the help of 500 volunteers. Take part and volunteer to join the effort.
The Biosphere Institute creates the bi-annual Canmore Community Monitoring Report, detailing demographic, social, economic, and environmental trends and conditions in the community. It is designed to assist community decision making, identify risk areas that threaten the community’s health and present a snapshot of the community’s progress towards its vision.