Protected Area – Style Guide

The majority of the content on the SAPAA site concerns protected areas. While the general style guide provides direction for all pages (including protected areas), the following is specific content; it is divided into the following 6 sections:

  1. Overview and Land Descriptions.
  2. Areas of Interest to SAPAA.
  3. Description and Details for an Area.
  4. Content Suggestions
  5. Using a Map Block.
  6. File Management.

(Registered members login here) To log in, you must have a account and be invited to contribute to the site. To be invited, email:

Overview and Land Descriptions

These pages set the context for the uninitiated as to how public lands are owned and managed in Alberta. The intended audience is a motivated but uninitiated reader. Key messages of these pages include:

  • What are the types of protected areas in Alberta.
  • Who are the respective ‘owners’ of these lands.
  • Which types are of particular interest to SAPAA.

Specific areas are not included in these pages; the President owns this content.

Areas of Interest to SAPAA

This is a list of specific areas of interest to SAPAA. Each item is hyperlinked to the ‘Descriptions and Details’ pages and overview definitions are provided in the ‘Overview’ section.

The list may be static or dynamic. If the latter, filtering and sorting will be allowed along pre-defined categories such as region, size, ownership, etc.

Description and Details for an Area

Each area of interest to SAPAA will have a dedicated page. If a Steward is named for the area, this individual(s) will be encouraged to contribute and maintain the page’s content. Typical page elements are as follows:

  1. Title: Unique name of the area.
  2. Brief Narrative: A ‘hook’ or overview of the area typically under 200 words (and ideally, about 100 words).
  3. Image: a representative image for the area ideally showcasing one of its features (e.g. a stream, hill, particular type of flora/fauna, etc.).
  4. Map: Location of the area via an interactive map (see detailed instructions below).
  5. History and Natural Details: key historical notes about the area (its protection, former or nearby owners, etc.) and significant natural details.
  6. References and Further Reading: links to government sources about the area, local government information (e.g. county, municipal), societies interested in the area’s preservation and links of general interest to the public or Steward for the area.
    1. Date all links and references, e.g.: [website] accessed 2099-12-31; [book] bibliography reference with page number; [email, interview] ‘interview with Bob Suruncle, designated government steward’.
  7. Statistics: FRANK to Enter.
  8. Comments: comments are allowed on the page. Respondents to a comment may be a SAPAA board member, the designated Steward, other Stewards, SAPAA member or a member of the public. AKISMET is used to filter spam comments.

Content Suggestions

The following guidelines are used when creating content for an area:

  1. Content should be enduring.
    1. Content that is time sensitive (e.g. come out for hike on February 30, 2007), should not be included.
    2. While content will change and need to be updated, anything written should ideally be relevant for at least 1-2 years (notwithstanding significant external events).
  2. Non-government of Alberta content should be referenced (see the above ‘References and Further Reading’ for examples).
  3. Historical accounts of local Stewards are encouraged with permission of the individual and/or family.
    1. Bob Suruncle was the government appointed Steward from 1980 to 2020. He visited the site everyday until his passing on November 11, 2020.
    2. Mae West is the current Citizen-Steward, taking over from her neighbour Bob Suruncle in 2020. Leave a comment below if you wish to drop Ms. West a note.

Google Map Block

Chris maintains the official protected areas map. A custom HTML block is created using the following steps:

  1. Navigate to and zoom into the protected area.
    1. Zoom levels will vary depending but most will use 12-15; this value can be found at the end of the URL (e.g. &z=15).
  2. Capture the iframe information by clicking on the ’embed on my site’ option from the ellipses (three vertical dots); pasting into a text editor makes the next step easier.
  3. Capture the mid point value by extracting the latitude and longitude coordinates from the maps URL (e.g. &ll=53.22087872853241%2C-114.52119020301335).
  4. Paste the mid-point and zoom values into the above iframe code, the end result will look something like this:
    1. <iframe src=”https:
    2. //″ width=”640″ height=”480″
    3. </iframe>
    4. Note, the above excludes the iframe statement so it can be pasted in without rendering a custom HTML statement.
    5. WordPress will convert the text into a statement like this:
    6. Bold added for emphasis.
    7. Be sure to include the ampersands and intervening codes such as “%2C”.
  5. Create a Custom HTML block and paste the above iframe code into it, test the map generation in multiple browsers.
  6. The preferred aspect ration is 640×480.

Alternative Map Block

Google is the preferred mapping software although MapBox maps can also be generated via the following steps.

  • Enter an address to create a new marker.
  • Map Box will attempt to find the nearest location it has on file for these values, depending upon how close the nearest road is, they may not exactly correspond to the location of the area.
  • Markers can be deleted via the block settings panel (on the right).

File Management for an Area

If a page has not been created for an area then the legacy file from the previous website is used. The File format and metadata are as follows:


  • [AREA]: the name of the area being referenced.
    • If two or more words, spaces are removed; thus Alsike Bat Lake becomes “AlsikeBatLake”.
    • If the area type is included in the name (e.g. Alsike Bat Lake Natural Area), it is dropped.
  • [AREA-TYPE]: the abbreviated designation for the area
    • Uses the current legal designation.
    • Historical designations (if changed) are included in a separate column for reference.
    • NA = Natural Area
    • ER = Ecological Reserve
    • PP = Provincial Park
    • RL = Rangeland
    • WA = Wilderness Area
  • [DOCUMENT-TYPE]: type of file
    • Info: Information file
    • Map: Map only of an area
    • News: Newsletter or story of an area
    • Other: Other type of document
  • Caption: Natural language description of the file.
    • Key Attributes [FILE TYPE] [AREA] [LOCATION]:
      • [FILE TYPE]: Information Page, Map, etc.
      • [AREA]: Name of the area
      • [LOCATION]: Approximate location relative to a major landmark such as a city
    • Example: “Information page about the Alsike Bat Natura Area located SW of Edmonton
  • Description: Not required