UFV installed hundreds of solar panels
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Monday, March 21, 2022
Good Morning Reader!
It’s officially spring; cue the start of camping season! Starting today at 7am you can book a campsite on the new BC Parks website. The province gave the website a makeover after people complained about the user experience. In past years it crashed on launch days after it failed to manage the large volume of people flocking to secure a campsite. But we’ll find out in a matter of minutes now how this new website will hold. May the odds be ever in your favour. (That’s from Hunger Games.) —Joti Grewal, reporter

Today’s weather: 🌧 9 C
UFV installed hundreds of solar panels on one of its largest buildings. 📸 UFV
A solar-powered return on investment

It started as a plan for the University of the Fraser Valley to cut its greenhouse gas emissions.

Now, just a couple years after conception, hundreds of solar panels on one of UFV’s largest buildings look set to save the university considerable money, and pay for itself much sooner than first thought. In the process, the project hints at a worldwide shift in the affordability and economics of solar energy.

Read Tyler’s story about how the solar panels are reaching an economic tipping point, with the financial benefits becoming increasingly clear.

Missed Friday’s story? Find it here: Olympic champion grows rowing club in stride
Need to Know
⚠️ Abbotsford Police have warned the public about an man with a criminal history for sexual offences against children; he was released from prison on Friday [Abbotsford Police]

🏆 Canada’s second oldest amateur sporting cup is returning to its hometown of Mission after more than a decade [Mission City]

🚑 A cyclist was struck and killed in Abbotsford [CTV]

🚛 A commercial truck failed to clear its load and struck an Abbotsford overpass on Highway 1 sending pieces of concrete into a nearby vehicle [Global]

Celebrate our birthday!

The Fraser Valley Current is turning one year old this month, and to celebrate we want to invite you to join us for our very first panel! The virtual discussion will take place on March 31 at 7:30pm and dive into how the valley is changing, and where it could go in the future.

Register now to make sure you get your ticket. Plus, you'll be entered to win a great door prize courtesy of Lepp Farm Market.

To celebrate our first birthday, we are giving away a tremendous prize package to Fraser River Lodge! By subscribing to this newsletter, you're already in the draw. Check out the details here, and forward the newsletter to friends to give them a chance to subscribe.

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A new urban forest strategy has estimated the economic value of the carbon stored in Abbotsford trees at $119 million. 📸 Sajid Khan 1980/Shutterstock
The Agenda
Abbotsford’s trees tuck away about $4 million worth of carbon each year, according to a new report. The city has adopted a new urban forest strategy that aims to stop the gradual reduction of tree coverage across the community. The strategy tried to put a dollar value on the city’s 11,000 inventoried trees and countless un-inventoried specimens. Doing so, experts say, can be useful in treating trees and other parts of nature as assets to be protected and maintained. The strategy pegged the economic value of the carbon stored in the city’s trees at $119 million. It also pegged the value of pollution (ozone and other contaminants) removed from the air at $438,000 each year, and avoided runoff at $409,000. Between 1994, the city’s canopy declined by nearly 20%, with most of the losses occurring on agricultural land in the city’s western half and on Sumas Mountain. The strategy also reported that the tallest tree in Abbotsford’s downtown area is a 60-metre-tall monster found in Ravine Park.

The City of Mission has budgeted $2.5 million to upgrade its computer programs and software, but more time and money might be needed to complete the project. The city says upgrading the software will increase efficiency and speed up the public’s experience for processes like development applications and taxes. Implementing new financing software is expected to require significant time from staff. And with three to four different vendors needed, staff say the “financial requirements” are not fully known. Council told at a recent meeting that costs are being tracked closely and “remain within certain thresholds.” If the projects costs begin to exceed those thresholds, the city would be immediately informed, business analyst Robert Thomasson said.

Together With Lepp’s Daily Market
Come by Lepp’s Daily Market to eat good, every day
After decades of farming, and almost 15 years at the Farm Market on the Matsqui Flats, Lepp’s welcomes you to check out their newest food-fanatical experience in the heart of downtown Abbotsford: Lepp's Daily Market.  

Located on West Railway St. just steps from Essendene Ave., Lepp’s Daily Market is where you’ll find Abbotsford’s freshest bread. Alongside their baked-daily sourdough, you'll find a selection of staple pan loaves and other delicious baked goods all made with Anita’s organic grains.

Their fully stocked deli counter serves what they promise to be Abbotsford’s best sandwiches alongside specialty coffees brewed exclusively using Smoking Gun Coffee. The unique grocery offering stocks the freshest produce, local favourites, and quality meats from their in-house smokeshop, helping you answer “what’s for dinner” in style.

Show your most recent Fraser Valley Current to get $5 off your first visit to Lepp’s Daily Market!

COVID latest
Effective April 1, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to provide a pre-entry COVID test result to enter Canada by air, land, or water, the government announced last week. Travellers may still be subject to random testing.

Fraser Health
  • New cases: 52 on Friday / 53 average (down 15% from last week)
  • No active outbreaks in hospitals or long-term care
  • Test positivity: 4.6% (down from last week)
  • New cases: 199 on Friday / 229 average (down 26% from last week)
  • 290 hospitalizations (down 21% from last week) / 46 in ICU (level from last week)
  • 6 new deaths / 34 last 7 days / 2,966 total
Around Town
🎭 Fraser Valley Stage presents Nunsense; a story about the misadventures of five nuns trying to manage a musical fundraiser. The first of 10 performances begin March 24 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre.

🎷 Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival is hosting a workshop for youth and emerging artist on March 27 from 1 to 5pm. Register online.

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