Advisory Committee

  • David Crowe, HBSc Biology/Mathematics, Consultant, Writer, Researcher
  • Dr. Robert C. Dickson, MD
  • Barb Kinnie, MEd, Past Chair of the Sierra Club of Canada, Chinook Group
  • Steve Repic, Grounds Coordinator, Rockyview School Division
  • Dr. David Swann, MLA for Calgary Mountain View
  • Dr. Joyce M. Woods, RN, BN, BA (Spec), MEd, PhD, Nursing Professor, Private Business Owner
  • Ken Wright, BSc Botany, Co-owner of Bow Point Nursery

Following are brief biographies or quotes from our Advisory Committee:

David Crowe, HBSc Biology/Mathematics, Consultant, Writer, Researcher

David is the CFO of the Alberta Greens, Founder and President of the Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society, Treasurer of Rethinking AIDS and member of the advisory board of as well as a writer on health and critiques of modern medicine for Alive magazine and other media.
Click here for his story.

Dr. Robert C. Dickson, MD

"The unnecessary use of synthetic pesticides is a serious and far reaching concern for the health of virtually every segment of our society, but most critically for our children. The chemical soup that we have legitimized since the age of chemical evangelism in the 1950's and ‘60's is now showing up in the increased cancers and chronic diseases that permeate our land."

"It is well past time that we take progressive and profound actions to reverse these hazardous practices, and to make our environments safer and more people friendly. Calgary and Alberta have been less than progressive in the past with such issues. It is time to get on board with the growing movement nationally and internationally to be much more conscious and meticulous about what is accumulating in our precious environment and in our sensitive bodies."

Barbara Kinnie, MEd,  is co-founder of the Sierra Club of Canada’s Chinook Group and is past Chair of the Group. She also initiated and leads the Pesticide Free Yards Campaign in Calgary.

Steve Repic, Grounds Coordinator, Rockyview School Division. Journeyman Landscape Gardener.  

"The decision to eliminate pesticides cannot be viewed in isolation. Sustainable lawn care is a big picture solution. A holistic approach is required because everything is inter-connected."
•     Aerating and top dressing with organic matter improves the soil’s water retention capacity and reduces compaction.
•     Over-seeding improves turf vigor
•     Mowing high helps turf grass survive drought.
•     Choosing the right plant for the location (native plants fit the bill here) according to sun and water requirements ensures survival.
•     Mulching retains moisture and reduces weeding.

"Following a few simple steps with the big picture in mind eliminates the need for pesticides; achieves water conservation; attracts birds, butterflies and pollinators to your natural corridors; and reduces maintenance times and costs."

"The most difficult area to grow plants in Canada is the Chinook Zone [which Calgary is in]. The most difficult site to keep green in the Chinook Zone are school grounds. In 2002 “Communities in Bloom” declared Rockyview School Division Grounds to be the best maintained in Canada. The Rockyview School Division practices organic lawn care and has for over a decade. The best part about using organic methods is that the benefits are cumulative."

Click here
for more on Steve’s work on the Rockyview School Grounds.

Dr. David Swann, MLA for Calgary Mountain View

“There is growing evidence of health risk from the variety of chemicals in our environment. Why would we risk cancer and birth defects to eliminate dandelions?”

Dr. Joyce M. Woods, RN, BN, BA (Spec), MEd, PhD, Nursing Professor, Private Business Owner

“I have a strong background and interest in the impact of toxic chemicals on our health and the relationship to disease with its unnecessary use.”

Ken Wright, BSc Botany, Co-owner of Bow Point Nursery, Springbank

Ken Wright has his BSc in Botany from Montana State University. He and his wife Pam started Bow Point Nursery at it's present site in 1988. He propagates and grows native woody plants of Southern Alberta from selected and source identified seed. He spends a great amount of time dedicated to the research of growing and establishing environmentally sustainable landscapes through the business, workshops, and presentations to a variety of groups.

"The perception of IPM should be changed - from Integrated Pest Management to Integrated Plant Management - manage the plants so they are healthy (start with quality seed sources) compost, compost tea and they won't require environmental subsistence."

"Native plants have done very well in our climate for the last 9,900 years. Only in the last 100 years, with our management practices, have the native plants suffered. With the introduction of environmentally marginal plants - including grasses - we have created a welfare system for the plants and the parks. Those who say we live in an area which has to have pesticides are probably just resistant to change. It is constant work to educate and refocus people on sustainable landscapes."

Click here for Ken’s work with Bow Point Nursery.