Locals Rob and Loretta Schaufele win Emerald Award
Herald contributor photo
Rob and Loretta Schaufele accepting their award in Edmonton on Thursday, June 6th.
Pass Herald Reporter
June was an exciting month for a pair of Crowsnest Pass locals, as that was the month they took home the community group award in Alberta’s Environmentalist Emerald Awards.
In front of an audience of around 600 people, Bellevue locals Rob and Loretta Schaufele represented Crowsnest Pass when they accepted their first ever Emerald Award for the efforts done for Road Watch at a gala in Edmonton on June 6th.
Road Watch website called Road Watch in the Pass, a science project that has been in existence in the Pass since 2004.
The purpose of Road Watch is to get drivers on the highway to report dead and injured wildlife on the highways, with information like the type of animal and its location.
Wildlife sightings on railways are also encouraged, in addition to highway sightings.
Rob’s wife, Loretta, is a coordinator of the website and often went on random drives for animal sightings and highway tests.
Loretta is a counsellor, who educates the public about road ecology through meetings and social media.
Road Watch has currently has around 500 wildlife sightings since it was started nine years ago.
“Winning an Emerald Award was really special for us,” said Rob Schaufele. “We were extremely proud to represent the Pass and to represent where we are from.”
In addition to accepting the award, the Schaufeles’ also had the pleasure of meeting Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel, who presented them the award.
“We hope that by receiving the award, we bring some awareness about our cause to the Pass and the rest of the province,” said Schaufele.
The Pass especially has a large amount of wildlife that are killed on the highway and many local people don’t realize how high the numbers are.”
Rob said it was a real treat meeting the other finalists at the awards, people, who like the Schaufeles’, are making huge strides in the province for environmental efforts.
“Our focus for Road Watch right now is on community outreach,” said Schaufele. This means keeping the citizens involved. We want people to stay involved and advocate for something to be done and for change to be made.”
Join Rob and Loretta on Thursday, July 11th for a Science Café to learn about road ecology at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. The evening will feature a short documentary about highways and wildlife issues, which was featured in the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2013.
For more information about Road Watch, visit www.rockies.ca/roadwatch.