Pincher Creek - Supporting UV Awareness
Pincher Creek Wellness Committee had a goal to create supportive community environments for UV protection. This is a story of how they implemented their action plan and related activities.
The committee decided they wanted to improve the physical environment by creating a rental program for community groups to use shade tents. They are available for rent for the cost of a deposit.
The group then moved onto adding sunscreen dispensers at key community gathering places. Pincher Creek has a multipurpose facility that houses a library, swimming pool, community services department, hockey rink and gym. In 2018 a new spring spray park opened. This area was identified as a key location for a portable sunscreen stand. The group also identified many upcoming outdoor summer events such as their huge rodeo, where they could provide a portable sunscreen stand and the shade tents
Finding the right dispenser turned out to be somewhat challenging. Sunscreen stands are already in high use in the US but are limited in Canada. The team spent a lot of time working with Health Canada to get approval for having the stations. Finding the best vendor that could supply to Canada also became a barrier. For example, one stand was designed for indoor use only and would not hold up in unpredictable Alberta weather.
The stands were placed outside the multipurpose building and at the local rodeo event and were used often by the public.
PCWC is now moving forward with creating sustainability through sponsorship support from local businesses and an active partnership with the town recreation department. The committee plans to purchase up to 4 stations to be installed across the town.