With the increase in wildfires during summer months, uncertainty regarding air quality looms large for both organizers and attendees at community events and outdoor festivals. Leveraging the expertise of the Alberta Capital Airshed (ACA) to provide credible air quality data and resources during these events can be incredibly beneficial.
Here’s how ACA is helping EFMF navigate air quality uncertainty:
1 – Air Quality Monitoring
ACA provides the data from our continuous monitoring stations to generate the Air Quality Health Indicator (AQHI) for Edmonton. The current and forecasted AQHI values are available on the ACA website, along with many resources and answers to FAQs regarding how to apply the AQHI value to personal decision making.
ACA also set up microsensors strategically throughout the event venue. These sensors continuously measure levels of Particulate Matter (PM2.5), the predominant pollutant used to calculate AQHI values during wildfire smoke events.
2 – Event Specific Air Quality Updates
Understanding air quality monitoring and data analysis can be tricky. In consultation with EFMF organizing staff, ACA produced a daily “Air Quality Situation Report” providing current and forecasted AQHI levels and background information relevant to the region and for individual stations situated around Metro Edmonton; wildfire smoke forecasts modelled over a 36-hour period; AQI (USA rating system) pollution level ratings; and site microsensor monitoring details.
ACA’s Executive Director was also on call to help EFMF organizers understand and apply the air quality information to their operations.
3 – Onsite ACA Staff Engagement
Over 70 EFMF volunteer hours were scheduled by ACA staff onsite throughout the festival to answer questions and promote air quality awareness and resources. Co-branded ACA/EFMF ‘AQHI’ stickers were made to promote awareness, including the ACA website address for more resources.
4 – Access to Tools and Resources
- Integrated EFMF PurpleAir microsensor data displays
- Easily accessible AQHI FAQs
- Quick links to other wildfire and air quality resources
By providing accurate and credible air quality information, ACA plays a crucial role in ensuring the health and safety of both event organizers and attendees during community events and outdoor festivals, especially in regions prone to wildfires and poor air quality. Such collaborations empower individuals to make informed decisions about their well-being while raising awareness about the importance of air quality and the effects on human health and the environment.
Can you think of a creative collaboration opportunity to meet your community needs while expanding awareness of air quality and health considerations? Contact us!