Calgary, AB… How times have changed. Two years ago 4501, 17 Avenue SE was the home of the Vagabond Trailer court – crammed with a series of trailers and temporary structures (see photos). This Sunday the site is playing host to a premier Earth Day event, Down to Earth, that provides a glimpse of the sustainable future of International Avenue.
In many ways the beautiful new Loblaw’s building is the next step in the rejuvenation of the community. In the new International Avenue, future buildings will be moved up to the street, pushing parking behind and making a new environment where pedestrians and transit have top priority. This is the changing face of International Avenue, a future, which is being carefully, crafted using a SE17 Land Use and Urban Design Concept, that includes the promotion of sustainable building design and innovative practices.
Sustainability has always been a part of the International Avenue BRZ’s vision, which makes the Avenue a natural location for REAP’s Down to Earth event. In 1998 the BRZ was responsible for planting over 300 trees along 17th Ave SE. All the BRZ’s events feature compostable plates, cups and cutlery. Solar power is being used to power pedestrian lighting and the area boasts many re-use and recycle shops.
The Greater Forest Lawn community also features several community gardens including one at the Forest Lawn library and another in Albert Park who will benefit from fruit trees being donated by local food truck, The Naaco Truck. Alison Karim-McSwiney, Executive Director of International Avenue BRZ says “We are thrilled to partner on this event with REAP and their sponsors and celebrate a community making real change for a better earth.”
Down to Earth Day will help Calgarians discover practical, green solutions for their home and community. The even will feature many interactive exhibits about local food, money, home and garden, renewable energy, and sustainable transportation. A special “Kids’ Zone” will inspire and educate younger guests, featuring non-toxic and sustainably sourced toys, making crafts from recycled materials, getting their faces painted, and more. Evergreen Theatre’s Big Green Puppet Bus will be performing a musical revue about water conservation, entitled Splish Splash.
Down to Earth Day is presented in partnership with International Avenue Business Revitalization Zone, and sponsored by First Calgary Financial, Carlisle Group, Calgary Co-op and Bullfrog Power. The event will be bullfrog-powered with 100% green energy.