Posted on

The Tomorrow Foundation Way: Connecting People for a Shared Purpose

We at the Tomorrow Foundation were quite tickled to hear about the Alberta Capital Airshed’s latest passive air quality installation. It’s in Camrose, Alberta!

“Why,”  you might ask, is the Tomorrow Foundation so pumped up about an air quality monitoring station in Camrose when our work is focused mainly in Edmonton, Alberta? Here’s why. This is a great example of the “Tomorrow Foundation way” and that way is all about connecting people. We bring people together to discover and champion system-wide solutions for a healthy environment and low carbon future.

Pictured above: Gary Redmond (Executive Director of Alberta Capital Airshed) and Dr. Greg King (Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, UofA Augustana). Behind them: a fresh air monitoring installment.

So, here’s the back story:

In June 2020, Tomorrow Foundation launched the Community Science Air Quality Traffic Monitoring Pilot in the Queen Alexandra neighbourhood in Edmonton, Alberta. Our former President, Matthew Dance, had already connected the proposed project with Executive Director of the Alberta Capital Airshed, Gary Redmond. Gary saw the mutual benefit for the Airshed and Tomorrow Foundation and dug right in, even speaking about various air quality monitors at our kick off meeting and later co-presenting at a webinar hosted by Tomorrow Foundation. The Airshed wants to get more air quality monitors out there and Tomorrow Foundation wants to engage community members in understanding what all those monitors are about and getting to policy discussion around air quality in the urban Edmonton context.

Lucky for us, Dr. Greg King (UofA Augustana) heard about this program launch during a radio interview our Executive Director, Julie Kusiek had on CBC RadioActive earlier that evening. Greg connected with us and has been an incredible resource, adding richness to our understanding of air quality. You see, while Tomorrow Foundation is focusing on the potential causes of air quality and how to mitigate that through transportation planning policy, his research is focused on ways to reduce neighbourhood air pollution through urban forests. It’s the flip side of the coin but both are needed. You can check out the webinar Dr. King presented by visiting our YouTube Channel

Through these project meetings and webinars, Greg and Gary have connected around the shared goal of understanding local air quality better. Alberta Capital Airshed covers both Edmonton and all the way out to Camrose, where Greg is located and where his research is focused. However, the Air Shed hasn’t had many monitoring sites set up in that area yet. That is, they didn’t have many monitors set up until Greg and Gary met. 

This warms our hearts at Tomorrow Foundation to see the connections being made through one of our programs are off-shooting into other relationships and air quality explorations. This is the kind of collaborative approach that we at Tomorrow Foundation will be key to addressing our most pressing issue of the day – climate change and environmental issues – in a well researched and systemic way.

Thank you to both Greg and Gary for being a part of Tomorrow Foundation’s journey and we are excited to learn more about what you discover…and shout it out to the world. Who knows what other connections might be made?