Town of High River – Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan  

This project was funded through the Climate Resilience Capacity Building Program

Town of High River

2023Completion Year

$109,828Project Cost

$80,000MCCAC Funding

6 Climate HazardsAssessed

57 Climate Resilience ActionsPlanned

 DownloadAdaptation Plan


The Town of High River, in partnership with Urban Systems and a community Task Force of residents and leaders, developed a Climate Change Adaptation and Action Plan (CCAAP).  

The project was funded in part by $80,000 in grant proceeds, provided by the Government of Alberta through the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre’s Climate Resilience Capacity Building Program.   


The Town of High River is a community of just under 15,000 people located about 40 km south of Calgary. 

The project was completed to create a plan that could be owned by all municipal divisions and the community as a whole, to address various shared climate change threats and concerns.  

This project was shaped by in-depth community and stakeholder engagement. Work included Task Force meetings, two open houses, several classroom workshops, and consultation with all municipal divisions.  

The Task Force consisted of a group of community members, a member of council, and staff members, who met regularly with the consultants and the project team to guide the direction of the project and to provide feedback.  

This collaborative approach was an effective strategy for promoting community awareness and interest in the project, building capacity among residents, generating productive conversations, and building ownership over the final deliverables.  

The development of the Plan was informed by the seven Town themes, which helped to identify climate impacts and adaptation actions that are connected to the Town’s vision and values, including small town feel; vibrant parks, trails and recreation; health & well-being; strong economy; interconnected community; environmental stewardship; and infrastructure and level of service. 

The Task Force generated impact statements considering 7 climate hazards in relation to the 7 Town themes. Vulnerability and risk assessments were completed on these impact statements to understand the priority climate risks in the community, and to focus adaptation actions on the highest vulnerabilities and risks.  


Adaptation measures for very high, high, and medium rated risks associated with drought, high water events, wildfire and extreme heat were generated by the project team and reviewed and refined by the Task Force. 

The CCAAP provides a prioritized list of 57 adaptation measures. The plan includes both hazard specific adaptation measures for drought, high water events, wildfire, and extreme heat, as well as foundational measures designed to support multiple Town themes and build overall resilience.  

Each adaptation measure is assigned to a primary and supporting municipal division, such as Emergency Management, Parks, or Communications. Adaptation measures are also categorized as short, medium, or long term actions.  


Through this project, the Town learned that community members and in particular youth are highly engaged and concerned about the Town’s response to climate change impacts. 

This project equipped the Town with an understanding of the breadth of actions within the Town’s control to reduce climate risks. 

The CCAAP will serve as a plan to guide the Town towards a path of greater resilience in the face of climate change. 

Climate change is of utmost importance to the Town. A concern we heard from community members, particularly youth, was that this plan would just sit on a shelf. So, we developed a plan that is action-based and assigned to specific divisions with manageable timelines.

Craig Snodgrass, Mayor  


Read more about the Climate Resilience Capacity Building Program