Our Story: Alberta Ecotrust 2014 Year in Review

Over the last two weeks we profiled many of the projects we have invested in across Alberta in our 12 Grants of Christmas series. For the final story in our series, we wanted to reflect about the year we have had. We know the challenges and pressures on our natural environment are numerous and complex. More than ever, we believe a collaborative approach is critical to meeting these challenges.

We find ourselves energized by the work we are doing. Last year our, all of us at Alberta Ecotrust agreed we needed a ‘strategic pivot’. We took a long look at what worked and what had to go. For the first time, we agreed to take a position on three priority issues: water, land use, and climate change. We also updated our vision to ‘healthy ecosystems for all Albertans’, updated our mission, built a new interactive website, and confirmed our role as a strategic convener and facilitator.

In the spring to we began to investigate two new processes: collective impact and change labs. We see so many groups doing the same work in the same regions and think this work can, and should be, more strategic. With feedback from our environmental partners, we tried a new ‘collective action’ approach to our grant program. We believe it was a huge success. The ingenuity and collaboration in the projects proposed by ENGOs in Alberta truly inspired us. We know the work ENGOs do is critical to our collective prosperity, and we remain as committed as ever to helping them achieve their mandates to protect our environment.

We also undertook a remarkable project called Mapping What Matters. In total, 167 different environmental nonprofits participated in the project. We are confident and excited that what we have learned in this project can catalyze environmental networks across Alberta. The combination of social network mapping with a capacity assessment gives us an incredible look at the environmental sector in Alberta, and enables us to be relevant in our programming. We believe it is important to strengthen both individual organizations as well as the sector. There is a huge opportunity for ENGOs in Alberta to use the information from Mapping What Matters to strengthen relationships with each other and start co-creating the future together.

We encourage all of you to have a look at our brand new report at https://albertaecotrust.com/mapping-what-matters-report.

Getting back to our roots, Alberta Ecotrust has put new energy into leading collaboration. It’s so satisfying after 23 years to know we’re not only making a difference but continue to be relied upon as a key broker for collaborative solutions. We are extremely grateful for the support from all our partners and donors. We could not do this important work without your continued backing.

We look forward to carrying this energy into the new year and continuing to push forward in our vision and mission. Happy holidays from all of us at Alberta Ecotrust!

12 Grants of Christmas

This is the final story in our 12 Grants of Christmas series. In the days leading up to Christmas we have featured some of the best projects and stories from our grantees in the last year. Thank you for following this series and learning more about the incredible environmental work being done across Alberta. Other stories:

1. Making a Statement in Fort Chip

2. Living With Coyotes

3. Calgary Can: Recognizing People for their Environmental & Economic Contributions

4. Answering Hard Questions in Our Grasslands

5. Learning From the Ground Up

6. Help Protect Big Island-Woodbend

7. Meeting Alberta’s Climate Goals with Energy Efficiency

8. Using Science to Figure Out What is Special

9. Connecting Citizens to Science in the Oldman

10. Taking Collaboration to the Next Level: Putting Beavers to Work

11. Co-existing with Grizzly Bears in Southwest Alberta

12. Our Story: Alberta Ecotrust 2014 Year in Review

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