Alberta Open Farm Days a moooving experience

Cooke LivestockOn August 23 and 24, thousands of people participated in Alberta Open Farm Days across the province. Many shared their experiences with photos on Twitter and Facebook. Here are some highlights, for those who missed it and for those who want to relive the fun.

The fun started Saturday with 17 fabulous farm-to-table culinary events, and continued on Sunday at 61 open houses at farms and ranches across the province.



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When it was Cookin’ Hot

Ryan O'Byrne:

A blast from the past out at Cooking Lake! I wonder how much the taxi cost in 1916 to take Edmontonians out to their cabins…That would probably be almost an hour’s drive!

Originally posted on RETROactive::

Cooking Lake with its cool breeze was the place to be in the halcyon summers to the end of World War I. The wealthiest Edmontonians spent summers in one of the rustic cabins, swimming, sailing and canoeing or lounging at the docks. Others had to make do with day trips and special picnic outings to the beaches on its south shore.

A group of prominent Edmontonians formed the Koney Island Sporting Co. Ltd. in 1894 to develop a small island located in a bay on the west side of the lake. It was an exclusive resort, complete with a log clubhouse nestled among the spruce trees. Members built cabins and erected docks. The serene lake waters were ideal for boating and one of the first club projects was a sailboat: the Mudhen. She was clinker-built using hand sawn lumber.

Koney Island Club member showing off their floatilla: The gaff-rigged sloop Mudhen, along with a row boat and two canoes, one with a small sail as was popular at the time. (Courtesy of the Provincial Archives of Alberta, B.6542.) Koney Island Club member showing off their floatilla: The gaff-rigged…

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Opportunities await for tourism investors

Tourism booksHere’s some good news if you’re looking to get into Alberta’s tourist attraction market: The Alberta government is releasing three booklets that highlight tourism investment opportunities in Alberta’s Mighty Peace, Northwest and Southwest regions. The booklets are designed to encourage businesses and private sector developers to develop and invest in 32 tourism attractions over the next three years.

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Meet the Trail Crew

Trail crew July 2014

Katherine Cousineau and Laurie Chase work on rebuilding the Ribbon Creek trail.

As I’m driving in from Kananaskis Village to a section of the Ribbon Creek trail with four members of the Bow Valley Trail Crew, earnest chat fills the cab of the truck. Talk of pizza and ice cream, the enduring pleasures of the loaded poutine at Canmore’s La Belle Patate, segueing into descriptions of various aches and ailments, the typical outcome of two solid months at work on the trails. “All we talk about is food and pain,” they tell me. Continue reading

10 Reasons to Start Family Camping NOW


Guest blogger Holly LaRochelle is an Alberta Parks enthusiast that blogs at The Inspired Home. Her family endeavors to complete their outdoor adventure bucket list this summer, and teach the next generation – her children (3 and 1 year olds) – outdoor appreciation. You can find more of her outdoor family adventures here.

Oddly shaped tents. The comforting soft sleeping bag. The smell of campfire. Gooey s’mores. As a kid, you would probably chalk it all up to a great adventure outdoors.

As a parent, everything seems to take on a different slant – toddlers trying to crawl through the tent wall. A soft sleeping bag becomes a suffocation hazard. Campfires need to be guarded from small hands. S’more sticks seem lethal as they start waving in the air.

This camping season, it’s time to focus on the rewards instead of just the risks. Here is the top 10 reasons on why you should get family camping NOW: Continue reading

More than a plan; It’s a playbook

Sport Plan blogImagine if you took 12 people, put them on a field against another 12 people, gave them a ball and said “Win the game!” Without defining “win” or the game, you’re going to end up with 24 very different paths towards “victory.” As the coach of this team, you’re going to need a plan. Continue reading

The South Saskatchewan Regional Plan is finished. Here’s how the final version reflects your feedback.

Originally posted on Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development:

SSRP bannerThe SSRPhas been a long time in the making. Over three phases of consultation we heard from 7,500 Albertans and received 2,000 online workbooks and written submissions.

The views and ideas we heard were diverse to say the least (you can check out all the summaries of the consultation sessions here). But there were also some concerns and ideas that we heard in almost every community we visited. We’ve made changes based on those comments.

Today, we’re happy to announce that the SSRP has been finalized. Here are some of the changes we’ve made to reflect your feedback: SSRP sign Taber 2013

  • More land for the Castle Wildland Provincial Park (now 54,588 hectares) and Pekisko Heritage Rangeland (34,356 hectares)
  • A formal commitment to work with our stakeholders to explore conservation opportunities in the Twin River and Onefour Heritage Rangeland Natural Areas of the grasslands
  • Improved connectivity for wildlife habitats, both within…

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