cayley, m.D. Foothills
In 2004, Cayley – once home to the largest stockyards west of Chicago – suffered two blows to their small community south of Calgary. Their sixth, and last, grain elevator was demolished. Then they lost funding to bus High River students to attend Cayley School.
Undeterred, residents chose environmental stewardship as a route to put the village back on the map. The school is at the centre of this movement, undertaking a wide variety of nature conservation initiatives and launching an Alberta Solar Showcase project.
With the generous support of the MD of Foothills, the school installed a one-kilowatt solar system. The solar array is designed like an awning over the windows of a south-facing music room to help reduce an overheating problem. It’s working – the array keeps the room cooler, and produces electricity at the same time. Once the solar system was up, the school installed a 1.8-kilowatt horizontal-axis wind turbine to provide even more renewable energy.
As Principal Bill Holmes reminds the students: “You will never be greater than the vision that guides you, so you have to think big!”
Solar Team: Goose Creek Renewable Energy (Blackie), Conergy