CEAC in the News

The Cochrane Environmental Action Committee has been busy lately — check out our news and activities here:






Discussing the urban rural interface of Cochrane

The urban rural interface is a dynamic  change-driven location, teeming with life. It can also be a place of ecological and social conflict if not properly managed through buffers, education and promotion of good will and trust among those with competing interests.
The Fireside urban rural interface will be discussed by landowners and Cochrane Environmental Action Committee who are co-hosting the event “Wetlands In the Theatre” at the Cochrane RancheHouse on Thurs. Feb. 20, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
As Cochrane continues to sprawl into ranch lands, landscape patterns are visible from space.  The “interface” where rural and urban landscapes meet hums with special dynamics. Cochrane’s land-use planners must give special attention to these dynamics to achieve sustainability objectives set out in the Cochrane Sustainability Plan.
Often, the urban rural interface embeds small country residential acreages. The Google Map shows the Fireside development, Phase 1 and the car dealership developments straddling Highway 22 as you drive into Cochrane from the south.  Both developments are urban in nature, introducing roads, buildings, and public utilities into landscapes that, since the early 1900s, have been used for cattle grazing and production of crops to sustain the cattle.  What is visible from space is how wetlands have been highly impacted by agricultural use, and are now being filled in on the landscape as residential and commercial land-uses encroach into the ranch lands.  It also shows how acreage owners in the interface have typically embraced living with these ponds
Cochrane’s wetland complexes are unique knob and kettle formations left behind when the glaciers receded 10,000 years ago.  When these wetlands are gone, they will likely never be replaced by nature.  They are inextricably connected to each other and have been since glaciation.  At the urban rural interface, the hummocky terrain is not flat as one might think.  It is highly complex, with quickly changing elevations.  Water runs off the “knobs” and collects in the “kettles” we call wetlands and sloughs. Water usually pools when soils in the area are heavily water-logged.  Wetlands function as water storage areas, slowly releasing water through evapotranspiration and seepage into the nearby riparian lands.  When the lands are developed for urban uses, wetlands are filled in and the riparian lands disappear.  The rolling knob and kettles are flattened and the soils compacted to clay.  Water that used to be absorbed by the vegetated landscape, runs off to adjacent lands-it has nowhere else to go.
The problems associated with introducing high density urban development into such a complex landscape are both ecological and social.  How do Cochrane’s land-use planners create appropriate buffers between cattle ranches  that have sustained the Cochrane community for decades, while introducing thousands of new residents who may look out their windows and think ranch lands are their new playground?  Cattle and people do not necessarily mix and people who move into the interface need to be aware of the dangers that they face if they trespass into cattle country.
Wetlands in Theatre offers informative discussion on urban rural interface dynamics and all interested in people are welcome to attend.

A growing partnership

By Noel Edey, of the Cochrane Times                                                                                posted Thursday, May 30, 2013

Organizers of a joint tree planting in the Bow Meadows neighbourhood last Saturday see this as a potential start to a growing partnership.

The Carbon Farmer, Town of Cochrane and Branches and Banks worked together to have 2,320 trees planted in an environmental reserve by Jumping Pond Creek. Two veteran tree planters were brought to Cochrane by the Carbon Farmer to set 1,600 spruce and 720 poplar balsams seedlings.
Tim Giese, chair of the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee (CEAC), said it could be the first of a new partnership that will foster more tree planting in the Cochrane area. Discussions for the joint venture have been ongoing since February for potentially larger projects. Last week the pieces fell together for the initial planting and he praised both the town and Carbon Farmer for helping make it possible.
“We worked with the town on the proposal and they were receptive to it and just this week it all pulled together,” said Giese. “This could be the start of a long-term relationship.”
Branches and Banks Environmental Foundation, a nonprofit society affiliated with the CAEC, is no stranger to rejuvenating the forests of Cochrane. Since 1996, over 3,200 volunteers have planted nearly 35,000 native trees in Cochrane as part of its annual spring tree plant and waterway cleanup.
This Saturday, June 1, Branches and Banks will be doing their 18th annual tree planting, adding 500 more trees through the open space at the junction of Jumping Pound Creek and the Bow River. There will also be a waterway cleanup on the Big Hill Creek.
The Saturday event starts at 9 a.m. and interested people are invited to join in for this annual affair. Those wanting to know more can phone 403 851-0561 and leave a message or visit the website Cochrane-environment.org.
The day prior, grade 4 students of the Glenbow Elementary School will also participate in the project. They will be wrapping trees near the Big Hill Creek near the Glenbow trail system to protect them from beavers. Other students from the school will be planting berry-bearing trees.
The Carbon Farmer works on the three ‘P’ principle—people, plant and profit, explained company marketing manager Ron Sly, who was on site for the planting. They partner with landowners to address major environmental issues, including habitat loss and climate change. They also do large plantings for corporations seeking carbon credits. Those are normally larger, in the tens of thousands. Each of the carbon credits sold amounts to the equivalent of one tonne of greenhouse gas emission.
This particular project was about building relationships, said Sly. There could be bigger ones in the works.
For ‘retired’ tree planters Abram Baker and Stan Getty, the rainfall experienced  prior to the planting made for ideal conditions.
“They’re loving life right now,” said Sly, “The rain loosened up the soil and there’s a Tim Horton’s nearby, and that’s unusual. We usually plant in more remote locations.”
Brad and Rebecca Rabiey founded Carbon Farmer on a family tree farm in 2007. By the end of this year they will have planted 630,000 trees, equating to the reduction of about 126,000 tonnes of carbon and about 750 acres of new or restored forest habitat for wildlife. The company recently received funding from Bruce Croxon and Arlene Dickinson after an appearance on Dragon’s Den. The company is also a finalist for a 2013 Emerald Award in the small business category.
There’s no shortage of areas to plant in the community, said Ron Luft, of the Cochrane’s Park and Facilities dept. and he welcomes the partnership.
“There are spots all over town,” said Luft. “We’re always happy to have trees.”

Play aims to teach Cochranites about effects of consumption

By: Kathyrn McMackin of The Eagle            Posted: Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013

Princess Prudence is on her way to Cochrane, to teach children and their families about the idea of consumption and fair trade.

Princess Prudence and the Fairest in the Land, a story presented by Evergreen Theatre, will run May 4, at 1:30 p.m. in the Cochrane RancheHouse.

Hosted by the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee (CEAC), Rocky View County and the Town of Cochrane, the story aims to inspire young Cochranites to think about the stuff we buy.

“The play explores the idea of consumption and reusing items,” said Jacqueline Russell, playwright and artistic producer with Calgary’s Evergreen Theatre.

Princess Prudence and the Fairest in the Land tells the tale of Prudence, who has an interest in fairness and justice.

When evil — in the form of consumption — takes over the land, Prudence finds herself on a quest to understand how things are made and where they come from, among other complex topics.

“The play is really meant to be a jumping-off point for the audience,” explained Russell. “We want to spark curiosity in these young minds.”

The play, which boasts a busy cast of two, is suitable for all children, but is geared towards kindergarten ages to Grade 6.

There is enough musicality and fun to keep the young crowd interested, while touching on subjects older children and adults may find applicable.

“The people at Evergreen Theatre know how to connect to families and to kids,” said Tim Giese, chair of CEAC. “The kids are who we are trying to reach, because it’s easier to get them started on these positive habits…. But there is nothing saying the parents, older siblings and grandparents won’t take something away from the play.”

Admission to Princess Prudence and the Fairest in the Land is free with a donation to the Cochrane Activettes food bank.

Cochranites weigh in on provincial water conversation

By: The Eagle    |  Posted: Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013

On April 9, dozens of Cochrane and area residents took over the community meeting room at Cochrane Toyota. The group had one thing on their minds: water.

Hosted by Cochrane Environmental Action Committee (CEAC) and facilitated by Alberta WaterSMART, the informal event had participants discussing the topic in terms of water management, healthy lakes, drinking water and wastewater systems, and hydraulic fracturing and water.

“Now is the time for us to have a broad conversation with Albertans about issues that may not be an immediate risk today, though some reflect current pressures, but reflect areas where proactive responses are required to ensure we continue to enjoy the quality of life we benefit from today for the next 50 years,” said Renee Hackney, public affairs officer with Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD).

The ideas shared at these community sessions, along with those sent through email and online workbook submissions, will be presented in a report set to be released this summer. The concept is that the themes found through the water conversation initiative will give the provincial government a better understanding of how to manage the expectations and needs of residents.

The conversation has been brought to 20 communities across Alberta, said Hackney, with more than 1,000 residents taking part in the discussions. She added that online feedback was collected from another 1,000 residents.

“Public input is essential for building a system that meets the values of Albertans,” she said. “We wanted to hear all sides of the water conversation…. We don’t want to jump to solutions or new policy until Albertans have told us what their priorities are. No decisions were made and no decisions will be made until the conversation with Albertans is complete.”

A draft of the summary notes for the Cochrane leg of the tour has already been released to participants.

“Cochrane citizens represent diverse stakeholder interests with respect to water use — from environmental governance networks, to oil and gas,” said Judy Stewart, spokesperson for CEAC, via email.

She added that it’s this diversity that leaves Cochrane residents with “great advice for government about the future of water in this province for drinking, for the aquatic environment and for the economy.”

The themes brought up by Cochrane and area residents for the water management portion of the discussion included water allocation systems and transfers, protecting water, landowner stewardship, sustaining water storage, and groundwater data collection and monitoring.

Water management also brought up issues relating to hydraulic fracturing, touching on the idea of using less water in the fracking process, as well as increasing transparency and education surrounding the drilling activity.

The healthy lakes conversation explored ideas such as monitoring the water quality and quantity of Cochrane Lake, the effect of recreation on our lakes, regulating and managing lakes, as well as creating a more comprehensive resource for groundwater data.

The drinking water and wastewater systems discussion touched on the concepts of managing these systems from a local, private and regional standpoint. Currently, Cochrane has an independent drinking water system but a regional system for wastewater. Concerns and questions about greywater coding, consumption, funding and drinking water quality were brought up throughout the night.

Lastly, the concerns and ideas about hydraulic fracturing and water included greater transparency on the use of chemicals for fracking purposes, as well as on the environmental impact of the drilling practice. This conversation mentioned ideas about regulation and enforcement, and educating residents on the fracking process.

“These four topics were identified as priority areas through input from community-based groups, municipal governments and many stakeholders over the last few years,” said Hackney. “… These priorities have been identified as they are areas that could have an impact on the economic, environmental and social interests of Albertans into the future.”

Once the thoughts and feedback from Alberta residents is collected, it will be compiled and referred upon by the government for future planning and management decisions, said Hackney.

The report reflecting the discussions, as well as potential outcomes will be released to Albertans later this year.

To check out the summaries from the 20 water conversations, visit waterconversation.alberta.ca.

Cochrane reduces power consumption by 6.5%


Tim Giese, left, chair of the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee, and Michael Hawkes enjoyed Earth Hour, last Saturday evening, star gazing at the Mitford Pond. The international event involves millions of people and businesses worldwide, who observed the event by turning off their interior and exterior lights for one hour on Mar. 23 between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.

Photo by Noel Edey – Cochrane Times/

Cochrane reduced its power consumption by 6.5 per cent during the Mar. 23 Earth Hour event, placing it ninth out of 42 communities tracked by FortisAlberta.
Kate Bowering, Fortis communications advisory, explained this enough of energy to power 1,634 average houses in Cochrane for a one hour time period.  For Cochrane, it’s an improvement from last year’s 4.4 per cent reduction.
Fortis has been tracking the impact of the event on the communities they serve for the last three years.
Earth Hour event itself continues to grow in magnitude. Organized by World Wide Fund for Nature, the event was originally held in Sydney Australia in 200. A reported 2.2 million residents participated by turning off all non-essential lights. The idea caught on and became an international event in its second year. Currently over 500 countries participate, including 7,000 major cities.
Here in Cochrane the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee did a social media blitz to promote the annual event and welcomed people to come to Mitford Park to do some star gazing during the hour.
Fortis said there are other ways people can reduce their energy use daily and offer these tips.
• Wash clothes in cold or warm water, never hot.
• Avoid using heat-dry, rinse-hold and pre-rinse functions on your dishwasher
• Keep your freezer full.
• Don’t keep your old, inefficient refrigerator running in your basement, you only use it for the occasional beverage anyway.
• Use a microwave or a toaster oven to cook or warm leftovers. You’ll save up to 30 per cent energy required for a conventional oven.
• Use a cooling fan instead of air conditioning and make sure it blows downward.
• To save on heating, break out the caulking. Air leakage represents 24 to 40 per cent of heat loss. Weather stripping and sealants till stop drafts and save money.
• Use a power bar for your electronics and turn it off when you’re not using the TV, stereo, computer or gaming system. One switch controls them all.
• For more energy efficiency tips, please visit www.fortisalberta.com.



Meeting will offer insight into wetland reclamation project

By: Judy Stewart   Wednesday, Feb 06, 2013      Cochrane Eagle

Sustainability is ours to share.

At the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee annual general meeting, scheduled for Feb. 12 at 7 p.m., those in attendance will have a chance to hear from Paul Cabaj of Spark Energy.

Spark Energy is an energy cooperative whereby you can buy energy, invest in the future of green energy alternatives, and receive dividends for the money you spend on energy as everyday expenses.

He will answer questions and tell us how easy it is for us to become members of the co-op and start saving money and creating genuine wealth.

Also at the meeting, members and visitors alike will be treated to the first public presentation of the film the wetland subcommittee have made to tell the story of reclaiming Robinson wetland for this and future generations. The film includes the music of Emily West and Lucas Chaisson, and interviews with many local citizens who presented their stories for the film.

Through pictures, storyline, video and interviews we tell the story of how the Robinson wetland has been retained in this community as an important landscape feature that builds community. It is a story of resilience and community sustainability.

Partners involved in the subcommittee’s work to date include Cochrane Toyota, the owner of the land where the wetland is situated, Cochrane High School, Town of Cochrane, Canada World Youth, CEAC and Branches and Banks.

The partnership has helped everyone learn more about wetlands and why they are important to retain even in highway commercial developments. A recent newspaper article showed Cochrane Toyota manager Alex Baum hip deep in the wetland removing the old barb wire fence and fence posts with help from his staff. A pile of debris was removed that many people thought was a beaver lodge.

The debris had been piled in the wetland during road construction when River Heights Drive was opened to allow access to the Bow Valley High School back in 1999.

This December, Alex invited the public to skate and play hockey on the wetland.

Stephanie Bennett and Joan Williams-Mann led their Cochrane High School sustainability committee in two major tree plants and clean-ups of the wetland riparian areas. The students learned about wetlands and replaced indigenous species that were being inundated with rising waters.

Canada World Youth participants attended two separate weed pulls to remove invasives like thistle, yellow sow thistle, and other less common but problematic species. The Town of Cochrane has supported the work throughout.

CEAC and Branches and Banks people, like Suzanne Lorinczi, Elaine Cathcart, Joe Turnham, Dave Beattie, Sue Hall and Sharon McDonald and her wonderful family oversaw the educational activities, coordinated events and contributed many hours to ensure the wetland stays as healthy as possible while promoting the spread of indigenous plants in the riparian area that was impacted during development.

The project work is far from over and tree plants will continue on an annual basis with the permission and support of Cochrane Toyota. Hope to see you on Feb. 12th as you view your community in action and partnership.


Market reopens for 2012

By Daniel Austin  (Cochrane Times)                          June 13, 2012

If there’s one surefire way of telling that summer’s right around the corner in Cochrane, it’s the re-opening of the Cochrane Farmers’ Market.

With dozens of vendors offering locally sourced food options and a wide variety of artisans displaying and selling their work, the market has become a weekly stop for many Cochrane shoppers.  And based on the number of both vendors and shoppers who came out to the market’s opening day June 2, this year has the potential to be bigger and better than ever before.

“What a great start we had,” said Valerie McCracken of the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee, the group that organizes the market.

“There were more vendors than we’ve ever had for an opening day and lots of customers. The vendors were really happy with the customer turnout.”   McCracken said the market focuses on the philosophies of the Alberta Make It Bake It Grow It initiative, which stresses the importance of providing direct contact between producers and consumers. McCracken believes it’s a philosophy which has started to resonate more and more with customers in Cochrane.

“I think people are really starting to think more about buying locally and how that has such a positive impact for the local economy, as well as how the food’s not travelling for thousands of miles,” she said.  In addition to the wide selection of vendors at the market this year, McCracken also spoke excitedly about the Ranche Day celebrations over the August long weekend. On Aug. 4, the market will be open for extended hours (from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and will be spilling out onto the grass at the Cochrane Ranche Historic Site.

But the success of the market has also caused some planning headaches for organizers. McCracken attributes some of the market’s popularity to its idyllic location at the Ranche site, but increased customer attendance and interest from vendors has meant that the market may soon be looking for a new home.

“It’s a really great thing (the popularity of the market) but it’s a little bittersweet because we know our days at the Ranche are probably coming to and end,” McCracken said. “Hopefully we can find another space that can create that same atmosphere, but it’s going to be a hard act to follow.”

The Cochrane Farmers market runs every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cochrane Ranche Historic Site.



Carpooling Service Connects Drivers and Riders

(April 27, 2012) 

A website that links potential partners for carpooling is being touted as one of the potential solutions to transportation and air quality issues resulting from increasing commuter traffic to and from the region.

A free carpool matching service available at http://www.carpool.ca (Carpool.ca) is expanding rapidly. In May, Carpool.ca is setting its sights on signing up more commuters outside of Calgary who travel in to the city to work. In particular, they are targeting the rapidly growing Town of Cochrane as a hotbed of potential carpoolers.

The project is a joint effort being coordinated by the Calgary Region Airshed Zone (CRAZ) with support from the City of Calgary, Carpool.ca, the Town of Cochrane and the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee (CEAC).  CRAZ is trying to increase awareness and acceptance of preferable commuting behaviours in order to reduce the increase vehicle occupancy rates.  Their goal is to reduce the amount of ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM) in the air, which would improve air quality.

“Commuters looking to carpool can easily find matches that are traveling within Cochrane or to communities outside of Cochrane, including Calgary,” says Tim Giese, spokesperson for CEAC.    The www.carpool.ca program is funded by the City of Calgary; however, the program is not just for people who live in Calgary.  In fact, approximately 20 per cent of commuter participants are from outlying communities such as Cochrane and Okotoks.

Carpool.ca assists both drivers and riders to find carpool partners.  Signing up is easy – simply visit www.carpool.ca and complete the secure on-line registration to receive a list of potential carpool partners.  All participant information is strictly confidential and users make no commitment by signing up.

“It’s important to note that carpooling doesn’t require a large commitment,” says Anne Marie Thornton, of Carpool.ca.  “Our desire to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions tends to be secondary to our need for convenience.  Carpooling once or twice a week is a great start and manageable for most commuters.

As part of this CRAZ project, CEAC will be working with Carpool.ca to raise awareness of carpool options for residents over the next few weeks.  The campaign will include a booth at the Cochrane Trade Show on May 5 & 6, promotional materials, and public display items.  These will include banners displayed at various locations and chalk stenciled signs for walkways and sidewalks.

Carpooling has many environmental, community and personal benefits.  It reduces the number of cars on the road, which in turn means fewer emissions polluting our air. Carpooling also eases traffic congestion and lessens the demand for new roads and parking lots.  In addition, sharing the cost of fuel, insurance and vehicle maintenance can save drivers a significant amount of money each year.  In fact, according to the Canadian Automobile Association the annual cost of owning a mid-size vehicle that travels 12,000 km annually is $8,581.05, or $.71/km. These figures do not include parking fees.

The www.carpool.ca program is also available in Edmonton, Lethbridge, Fort McMurray and other smaller Alberta communities.  As more people register, carpooling becomes an even more visible and viable transportation alternative.  The www.carpool.ca site also provides useful information about commuting costs, carpooling etiquette and various resources to assist carpoolers. Carpool.ca is Canada’s fastest growing on-line carpool matching program with 10,000+ registrants nation-wide.


Permaculture comes to Cochrane

(April 21, 2012)

Your home garden always needs lots of water, and whenever you’re away, you find yourself always having to make sure someone’s available to keep watering it for you. Plus, you would like to use rainwater as much as you can because you because that makes sense to you, but you’re wondering what methods are available.

You have access to land and would like to turn it into a lush, healthy nutrient-dense garden, but you don’t quite know how to start. Perhaps you’re hearing stories of other gardens working well, and not-so-well, so you’re hoping to get a good grounding on what is important to know at the beginning stages.

You have a site that has a lot of problems, like excessive wind, no water (or too much water), pests, or is awkward and seemingly unusable; perhaps excessively shady, is tiny, or covered with concrete. This leaves you with a question like” What can I do with this space?” You really want to know what opportunities are available.

If any of the following points or situations resonate with you, the workshop presented by the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee and Big Sky Permaculture is for you.  Permaculture is a relatively new and very exciting field that develops systems based on nature’s design.  We mimic natural eco-systems and create sustainable environments that are functional, low maintenance and ever lasting.

There will be a one-day Introduction to Permaculture workshop on April 27 at Glenbow School, followed by a Permablitz of a new section of the Cochrane Community Garden.  All this for $65 (includes the Friday workshop and invitation to the Saturday Permablitz and lunches for both days)

For more information contact CEAC at 403-851-0562


Revised Weed Manual Available From CEAC

(January 11, 2012)

Despite the unseasonably warm weather, summer probably still feels a long way away for most Cochranites. But with the release of their new weed control manual, the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee (CEAC) is hoping residents will have time to get well-versed about the invasive species that may be growing around town in a couple of months.

Read the full article in the Cochrane Times.


Weed Pull This Saturday

(July 19, 2011)

On July 23, the Cochrane Settlement Community and the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee will be partnering for their fourth annual July weed pull event in Caroline Godfrey Environmental Reserve in the east end of Cochrane. And the weed pull, which started out as a Canada World Youth and CEAC project, has reached the point where the people who are going back year after year are able to clearly see what a difference they’re making.

“It’s remarkable,” said Judy Stewart. “There were whole fields that used to be purple with thistles where now you can hardly find them. You really have to look. They don’t have that robust system anymore because of four years of pulling weeds.”

Check out the full story in the Cochrane Times.


Residents Band Together To Weed

(July 19, 2011)

For the fourth year now, Cochrane residents will gather to get rid of pesky weeds without the use of toxic chemicals.

The Cochrane Environmental Action Committee (CEAC) has partnered with the Cochrane Settlement Community Association to hold a weed pulling event July 23 at the Caroline Godfrey Environmental Reserve in Cochrane’s East End.

“The purpose of the weed pull is to continue to manage the invasive species that try to make their homes among the native plants, wildflowers and shrubs in the reserve,” said organizer Judy Stewart in a release.

The full story appears in the Cochrane Eagle.


Get ready to turn off the lights as Earth Hour approaches

(March 23, 2011)

Starting last year the Town of Cochrane began retro-fitting street lights to concentrate a beam of light downward, illuminating the street rather than the skies above.

Town communication co-ordinator Laurie Drukier explained in an e-mail that the retro-fitted lights are also more energy efficient, have less light pollution, increase street-level visibility and make astronomical observations easier — something that will come in handy for the fifth annual Earth Hour set to take place March 26 at 8:30 p.m.

Earth Hour has taken place once a year since 2007 when 2.2 million people and more than 2,000 businesses in Australia turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change.

You can read the full article in the Cochrane Eagle here.


Two Decades of Change: CEAC’s Volunteer Base Running Low
(August 2010)

The Cochrane Environmental Action Committee (CEAC) and its members are a testament to the power a small group of dedicated citizens can wield.

As 2009 draws to a close, so to does the 20th anniversary of CEAC. Twenty years of enacting environmental change in Cochrane by working with citizens, businesses and government to find a solution that is amicable to all.

Tim Giese, CEAC’s long-standing president, said CEAC members made a conscious decision from the beginning, way back in 1989, to remain apolitical and inclusive to those of different political stripes. Over time, this fostered respect in the community and allowed CEAC to accomplish many if its members’ goals.

“We don’t want to be adversarial. There are times where you should take a stance and say, look, this is an issue and we want to push this as far as we can, but we need to find a compromise,” Giese said.

Read the full article in the Cochrane Times here.


Cochrane Farmers’ Market providing something for all
(July 2010)

An increase in vendors at the Cochrane Farmers’ Market this season has squeezed its location at the Cochrane Ranche Historic Site to near capacity.

“It’s been just a real growing year for us,” said market organizer Valerie McCracken.

“We’re having challenges, but they are all good challenges in terms of allowing the growth of the community to be accommodated.”

Despite the rainy summer weather, come Saturday morning the conditions have been dry at the market attracting between 45 and 50 vendors per week compared to a few years ago when 25 to 30 vendors was the maximum.

The full article appears in the Cochrane Times here.


Town Left Out In The Dark
(July 2010)

The Town of Cochrane needs to go dark for one hour, argued a concerned environmentalist.

Nicholas David, from the Cochrane Environmental Action Committee (CEAC) approached council Feb. 22 to ask council to participate in Earth Hour on March 27 by turning off all street lights and lights in municipal buildings for one hour during Earth Hour starting at 8:30 p.m.

David said Cochrane has many examples of light which is wasted by shining into the sky at night, which not only uses electricity and the carbon fuels used to generate it, but pollutes the sky and changes the internal biorhythms of plants, animals and even humans.

“Street lights constitute the major source of light pollution in Cochrane,” David said, using an example of a street light across from his home which shines directly into his bedroom window.

You can read the full Cochrane Times article here.