Spotlight on Alberta

Jan 15, 2018 by

Alberta, Canada, is a western Canadian province. At a population of slightly over 4 million people, it’s Canada’s fourth most populous province, and it has the nation’s third highest GDP. While a lot of Americans may only recognize Alberta as a territory on a RISK game board, this province, which borders Montana, is a lively, essential part of Canadian and North American life.

Dinos!

One element that makes Alberta especially unique is that dinosaur fossils have been found all over the province–it’s had some of the largest number and greatest variety of Late Cretaceous fossils found. Dinosaur Provincial Park, for instance, is a UNESCO World Heritage site where 58 species of dinosaur have been found. The Park has an educational visitors’ center with exhibits, videos, and a gift shop! In addition to dinosaurs, these sites have preserved other animals, such as freshwater vertebrates and ancient invertebrates.

Life in Alberta

Residents of Alberta have, on average, higher incomes that other Canadian citizens. Alberta requires no provincial health-care premiums, nor does it have a provincial sales tax. Alberta also has a high number of citizens who volunteer. So residents who need to take care of needs such as removal of acne scars in a city like Edmonton have resources within reach. Alberta has a thriving higher-education sector, with 15 state-funded universities and a wide array of private schools as well.

The largest city in Alberta is Calgary and the second-largest city is Edmonton, the capital. Both cities have a major international arts presence. The Edmonton International Fringe Festival is the largest theatre festival in the world after the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Calgary hosts the Honen International Piano Competition.

Alberta is pretty rural overall, and its major economic assets reflect that. Alberta’s major industries are fuel production and forestry. It is the world’s second-largest exporter of natural gas. It’s Canada’s largest crude and synthetic oil producer as well. Agriculture is a big part as well, with wheat and canola as the province’s major agricultural products. Alberta is Canada’s primary beekeeping province, which also plays a role in canola production.

The great outdoors

Alberta flora is both prairie and forest that accompany a topography of prairie and the Rocky Mountains. Springtime in the prairie regions is sunny and beautiful and features lovely flowers like crocuses, buttercups, golden bean, wild rose, and sunflowers. The parkland areas include deciduous trees like willows, aspens, and poplars. On the north side of the North Saskatchewan River, though, you’ll find evergreens, like pines, spruces, and tamarack, mixed in with deciduous trees. The fauna of Alberta is highlighted by the needed sales of products like high pressure water pumps to protect against fires! All the same, it’s beautiful landscape and the residents love it. Alberta’s provincial animal is the bighorn sheep, although it’s also pretty famous for its bison. Other animals include moose, elk, and deer, lots of rodents, snakes, and migratory birds. Interestingly, Alberta is one of the few places in the world that is free of Norwegian rats.

Alberta does have all four seasons, so even though the winters get very cold, the rest of the year balances it out–with 18 hours of daylight in the summers! The weather allows for a yearly balance of swimming, hiking, tobogganing, and picnicking.

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