Skip to main content

Sustainability in Banff and Lake Louise

Many of our strengths as a community come from the fact that the townsite was built to support the visitor to Banff National Park. The variety of services, abundant work availability, population diversity, and a focus on protecting the environment are all qualities present in our community because of our unique position of being located in Canada’s first national park.

Preservations vs. Playground – How Banff Finds a Balance

Banff National Park was declared a park for the people when it was first established in 1885. However, humans share the park with wildlife and a delicate ecosystem – one that needs to be preserved if we are going to enjoy it for years to come. Park managers must find a way to balance the visitor experience with conservation and preservation efforts.

Talk to representatives at Parks Canada and the Association for Mountain Parks Protection & Enjoyment. Read the Banff National Park Management Plan and the Long-Range Plan for Lake Louise Ski Resort.

Initiatives to Reduce Waste

In addition to wildlife-proof garbage bins, you’ll find compost and recycle bins throughout the Town of Banff. Follow the pictures on the side of the bin to learn what goes into each receptacle. And don’t forget to pack out your garbage when you’re hiking.

Make sure to bring your reusable water bottle to test out one of five water bottle filling stations. The drinking water in Banff is refreshing and delicious.

Responsible Wildlife Viewing in Banff National Park

With 6641 sq. kilometres of protected wilderness, Banff National Park is a haven for wildlife. While the likelihood of an encounter with an animal is unpredictable, when it does happen – and the animal is viewed from a safe distance – it can be a magical experience. Watching a herd of elk in a field, a mountain goat scaling a cliff or a grizzly bear fishing in a creek is something unique to the natural world and the “big backyard” of Banff National Park.

Respect and keep a safe distance away from wildlife to protect both yourself and the animal. Never feed, entice, or disturb a wild animal. Parks Canada have provided ten tips to respect wildlife and keep both you and wildlife safe.

  • Join a wildlife viewing tour with a local operator (ask us for a recommendation)
  • Take the Bow Valley Parkway from Banff to Lake Louise instead of the TransCanada to increase your chances of viewing wildlife near the road
  • For the birders out there, spectacular locations for birdwatching near the Town of Banff include Vermilion Lakes and the Marsh Loop
  • Go for a backcountry hike for the opportunity to see wildlife away from human settlements

Encouraging Visitors to Get Around by Foot or Bicycle

The Banff townsite is very walkable. If you’re visiting for the day, consider parking your vehicle at the Fenlands parking lot or the Banff Train Station public parking lot (available May - October) and walking the 10-15 minutes into town. Not only will you benefit from a longer parking time limit, but the walk along the river into town also provides extra opportunities to soak in the glorious mountain views.

Lots of Banff locals use bicycles to get around town and you’ll notice bike racks everywhere once you start looking for them. There’s even a Bike Fix-It station in Central Park if you need to pump up your tires or make a minor repair. Bring your own bicycle or rent one from Snowtips-Bactrax, or Ultimate Sports.

Learn More About Sustainability Initiatives in Banff and Lake Louise

Click here to view mobile version