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CPAWS Calgary/Banff chapter’s education program wins 2008 Alberta Emerald Award

The CPAWS Calgary/Banff Chapter’s Environmental and Action Education Program is extremely honoured to have won a 2008 Alberta Emerald Award. The Emerald Awards recognize environmental excellence, celebrating outstanding achievements by Albertans committed to protecting, preserving, enhancing and sustaining our environment.  Each year, the Alberta Emerald Foundation receives over 100 nominations in a number of categories. An independent panel of judges reviews these and selects finalists and award recipients. CPAWS Calgary/Banff was nominated by local teacher, Robert Pierce, in the Education: other organization category. The 2008 Emerald Awards took place at the Citadel’s Shoctor Theatre in Edmonton on Tuesday, June 3.

The CPAWS Education Team is proud to be the recipient of the award this year. “It’s a tribute to all the great environmental education and conservation work that we do and that is going on in Alberta. It is exciting to be considered part of such a talented community. We would like to extend our thanks to our executive director David Poulton, our board, our many funders over the years, our great staff and peers, but especially to the teachers and students who have made our programs such a success.” says Anne-Marie Syslak, Acting Director of Education for the Calgary/Banff chapter.

Since 1997, CPAWS Calgary/Banff Chapter has been meeting the demand for progressive environmental and science education programming throughout southern Alberta. It has developed and delivered approximately 2,500 programs to over 65,000 students. Current “Through the journey with CPAWS I saw growth in the awareness of issues and concerns dealing with species and the environment. This awareness then developed into action by some of our students.” says Pierce, who has brought CPAWS programs into his classroom for the past three years.

Kim Jaxa-Debicki, School Programs Coordinator and Anne-Marie Syslak, Acting Director of Education programs deliver the Alberta Learning Curriculum with a unique spin on conservation and stewardship. CPAWS offers in-school presentations, guided hikes and teacher training programs using engaging themes such as grizzly bear ecology (secondary) and endangered species (elementary). CPAWS is excited to be launching a new water conservation program to their educational repertoire in the fall of 2008.

CPAWS also encourages students to conserve the environment. Unique to CPAWS, the Community Environmental Action Challenge encourages students to undertake stewardship
projects that build leadership and civic engagement skills among youth. Nearly 60 per cent of classes initiate action projects. The CPAWS Education Team is a leader locally and among the 13 CPAWS chapters across the country for providing environmental and action education programs.

For more information about the CPAWS Education Program or the chapter’s conservation work, visit . For information about the Alberta Emerald Foundation, visit To see video clips from the awards ceremony, 80604/?hub=EdmontonHome"> click here.

Anne-Marie Syslak -
Kim Jaxa-Debicki -
David Poulton -