It will take more than blowing snow and freezing temperatures to keep Canada's oil and gas industry from embracing spring. From May 3rd to May 31st, 2011, nearly 600 students from 10 schools across western Canada will participate in Energy in Action. This unique program of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) has been delivering the message of energy literacy and environmental stewardship since 2004. Energy in Action strengthens relationships between oil and gas companies and the communities where they operate. It also promotes collaboration amongst industry, schools, local businesses, governments and environmental organizations.
CAPP will bring Energy in Action 2011 to Cold Lake on May 31st, reaching over 75 children. The grade three students at Cold Lake Elementary School will enjoy a morning session of games and activities presented by Inside Education and then spend the afternoon building birdhouses, planting trees, shrubs, flowers, fruit bushes and vegetables to create an outdoor classroom that will feature a greenhouse.
"Acting as the team lead for the program this year has been a very gratifying experience," says Courtney Blackmore, environmental advisor for Imperial Oil Cold Lake Operations. "The Energy in Action program represents a great opportunity for industry to interface with members of the community to provide local children with a beautiful outdoor classroom. It is our hope that by working hand in hand with the children to create the project they will gain an enhanced appreciation of the environment and the positive and powerful effects of environmental stewardship."
The program will continue to roll out the entire month of May at schools in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. The students will begin their day learning about the petroleum industry, responsible resource development, renewable energy and the importance of preserving our natural environment. Then they will put their new knowledge to work by rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty with environmental activities, such as building unique outdoor classrooms, learning about local bird habitats, building bird houses and growing fruits, vegetables and flowers in their school yards.
"It is important for industry to help teach the next generation about the importance of our natural world and the relationship between the environment and the energy systems that also sustain our quality of life," says Tom Huffaker, CAPP's Vice President, Policy and Environment. "Energy in Action demonstrates CAPP's commitment to sustainable resource development and teaches the students that we all have a role to play in taking care of our environment."
Since 2004, 59 companies and close to 2,000 company volunteers have participated in EIA events in 55 different communities and 75 schools across Canada. Collectively, they have planted almost 6,400 trees and shrubs, and taught nearly 6,000 students, teachers and community residents about the petroleum industry and the benefits of careful resource development.
CAPP represents companies, large and small, that explore for, develop and produce natural gas and crude oil throughout Canada. CAPP's member companies produce about 90 per cent of Canada's natural gas and crude oil. CAPP's associate members provide a wide range of services that support the upstream crude oil and natural gas industry. Together CAPP's members and associate members are an important part of a $110-billion-a-year national industry that provides essential energy products.