stromeThe Hamlet of Strome is registered in Fortis Alberta’s EARTH HOUR CHALLENGE this year.

As part of this energy-saving initiative, residents are being asked to unplug and power down on Saturday, March 25 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

To help entice citizens to cut power consumption for at least 60 minutes, Fortis is awarding grants to the three Alberta municipalities that record the highest energy savings per capita in comparison to the same time the previous week — $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second and $1,500 for third.

These grants are designed to enable municipalities to create or enhance energy efficiencies in their communities.

In Strome’s case, any funds won through the Earth Hour Challenge have been pledged to go towards providing residents with evergreen seedlings to be planted into native tree stands on their properties.

This pledge was made for a few reasons. Residents have long complained that the north side of the hamlet is sorely in need of more trees. Add to that a fierce wind storm last June that felled a number of trees throughout Strome. And more recently, numerous trees in the hamlet were removed after a certified arborist identified them as decaying or having other defects. Flagstaff County’s long-term mitigation strategy includes replacing these trees.

To that end, winning a FortisAlberta grant earmarked for tree replacement would be a great start!

The more participants, the better the chances of winning. All you have to do is simply cut your power consumption during Earth Hour on Saturday, March 25 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.!

Earth Hour is an international event that takes place annually in March with the aim of urging people and businesses to switch off all unnecessary lights, appliances and electronic devices to help conserve power and raise awareness of environmental issues.