Edmonton’s Heritage Festival goes green

Edmonton’s annual Heritage Festival is reducing its carbon footprint.

An estimated 350,000 people are expected to make their way to William Hawrelak Park over the August long weekend to take in the tastes, sights and sounds of the 100 countries featured in the festival’s cultural pavilions.

But with all of the festival delights comes a lot of waste.

Aside from a few plastic straws used to drink bubble tea in the China Pavilion, all of the cutlery and plates used at this year’s event are made from corn and are completely compostable, said Jim Gibbon, the festival’s executive director.

These forks are 100 per cent compostable. (Gabriel Brown/CBC)

“The board wants to be net-zero over the next few years, and we’re trying,” Gibbon said. “And I think that compostable is really important, too, because that stuff you can literally bury it in the ground [and] in a few months from now, plants will grow out of it.”

Gibbon noted the compostable cutlery and plates cost about 40 per cent more than plastic, but the investment is worth the cost.

The most notable sustainable initiative for the 2018 festival is an array of 44 solar panels, which power the newcomer tent in the southeast corner of the park, which features Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal.

“We’re changing the way we take in electricity,” Gibbon said.

The Heritage Festival has a new feature this year — an array of solar panels. (Sheena Rossiter/CBC)

The solar panels were donated to the festival for weekend use by Edmonton-based company Great Canadian Solar, said company president Clifton Lofthaug.

“We’re going to hope next year to power even more. We’re just kind of letting them get comfortable with the technology here this year,” Lofthaug said.

“Even in the cloudy conditions now, we’re producing more energy than what they’re using here.”

Setting up solar panels at the event has helped educate Edmontonians about renewable energy, Lofthaug said 

“We try to get rid of some of the misinformation that’s out there,” he said. “Alberta is a great sunny province. It’s one of the best solar resources in Canada, so we should be tapping into that more and more. 

Clifton Lofthaug is the president of Great Canadian Solar. The company donated solar panels to the Heritage Festival for weekend use. (Gabriel Brown/CBC)

The use of solar energy has been welcomed by the people occupying the newcomer tent.

“We think it’s a very good initiative and idea. So far, it’s worked,” said Kofi Hagan, representing Ghana at the festival.

The festival’s next green goal is to eliminate the use of paper tickets by going electronic in the coming years, Gibbon said.

Heritage Festival runs until Monday evening. Parking isn’t available on site, and visitors are advised to visit takeETS.com for Park and Ride locations throughout the city.

Festival organizers hope to expand their sustainable initiatives in future years. (Sheena Rossiter/CBC)

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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.


Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

Originally posted 2018-08-05 00:26:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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