Q&A with Nick Boivin and Riley Nooy, Owners, NaR Environmental Ltd

Riley Nooy, left, and Nick Boivin with their skid steer mulcher

How long has NaR Environmental Ltd been established?
We have been in business for close to two years now, and we’ve been really busy – thanks to our customers who believe in supporting local and giving back to the community. We have had a really good first year.

Please tell us about the business.
NaR Environmental offers vegetation control services and management solutions for industrial, landscape, forestry and agricultural customers across the Peace Country. We offer:

  • Spraying: Herbicide application to control noxious and unwanted weeds around leases, gas plants, rights of way and fence lines.
  • Mowing of ditches to control unwanted weeds.
  • Flare Blackening: Tillage around flare stacks for fire prevention and safety.
  • Mulching: Skid steer mulcher used for cleanup of deadfall, unwanted trees and clearing of new development and fence lines.
  • Skid Steer Services: All general services such as snow removal and dirt work.

Please tell us a little bit about you.
Nick: I have a power engineering certificate and have a full-time job with an oil and gas company for five years now. In total, I have eight years of oil-and-gas experience and 11 years in agriculture. I have a Certified Pesticide Applicator certificate for Industrial, Landscape, Agriculture, Forestry and Seed Protectant in Alberta and British Columbia.

Riley: After I graduated from Spirit River Regional Academy, I went to Olds College and completed a two-year Agricultural Management diploma. Then I came back and worked for municipal governments. I did that for four years. I have 10 years of agriculture experience, and I have a Certified Pesticide Applicator certificate for Industrial, Landscape and Agriculture in Alberta and British Columbia.

How did you end up as business partners?
Nick: Riley and I have been friends for about eight years. When I started contemplating starting a business, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it all by myself. I needed help to get into it. So, I started talking to my friends about it. Then one day Riley phoned me. We talked about it, and a week later, we bought our first piece of spray equipment and set up our company. As those who have done it would often say: “There’s never a better time to start a business. You just have to go ahead and do it.” Riley runs the company full time while I still keep a full-time employment. We both still actively farm as well.

Riley: I knew what Nick wanted to do, and he also understood my mindset when I talked to him about the gaps and holes I’ve noticed within the custom-spraying market. The rest just happened very quickly.

So, what made you guys decide to take a plunge and start a business?
Nick: In the course of my job, I’ve seen the lack of attention shown by some of the out-of-town contractors who were coming onsite to perform services such as spraying and mowing. I have always been a business-savvy person; so, I started talking about how I wanted to do it. I just thought I could do a better job and do it for cheaper. I also thought it’s a real benefit to our customers to have the job done by a local person instead of someone from out of the area who, more often than not, doesn’t really care about our local community as much as locals do.

Riley: After I came back from two years at Olds College, I was fortunate to land some pretty good jobs working for the local municipalities. I had lots of mentors and was able to grow and learn very quickly. After four years, I could start to see where there’s gaps and holes in the market with getting custom sprayers. We were trying to get custom spraying done, and we’d be waiting for three-four weeks. By then, the weeds are too late to spray. So, I was starting to notice these gaps, and that’s when I started talking to Nick.

How has it been so far?
So, we set up our company and started talking to every potential customer about how we can get our foot in the door. We were fortunate to spray close to 400 or so leases last summer. Everyone was really happy with it. So, it was a great first year for us. To keep us busy in the winter, we purchased a skid steer with a mulcher. Again, we pitched our service to every potential customer: municipal governments, oil and gas companies, friends as well as other people. Then we got snow buckets to sort of diversify and keep that unit busy all winter long.

NaR environmental has a wide variety of equipment that can be adapted to a client’s specific needs. We are always open to serving our clients with a cost-effective solution in a timely manner. We rely on following an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) plan for our customers, which ensures a proactive approach to vegetation management and assists in a long-term solution. This long-term solution will create better relationships with landowners and government regulators.

How has the level of competition in your line of business, and how are you differentiating yourself from the competition?
We have some tough competition. But, in our opinion, we have proven ourselves that we can do the job and do it better. People look at us as two young individuals, but the two of us actually combine for an extensive work experience in vegetation management, oil and gas, and agriculture. We’re also locals, and that means we can provide the level of customer care and attention that out-of-town service providers may be unable to. Our level of care and attention is such that once we do a big spraying or mowing job, we go back and follow up on it – sometimes a couple of times even, if we can – to make sure we’re satisfied with what we’ve done.

Please talk about your safety program as well your safety protocols.
NaR Environmental has a complete safety program that complies with ISNetworld, ComplyWorks, Avetta and Secore certification. We also supply PPE to our staff, and they are aware of any policies/procedures that pertain to their safety, and the safety of others around them.

What’s the long-term goal?
We look forward to building and maintaining relationships with both our employees and customers for long-term vegetation management solutions. Every one of our customers has really been happy with our level of service, so we will keep doing that. We will continue to grow our company. One of the ways we plan to do that is to do our best to earn the trust of some of the biggest companies operating in our area. They tend to prefer using locals, and we’re the guys from the community.


  • Location: 7220 Highway 680, Blueberry Mountain
  • Phones: (780) 864-8248 | (403) 896-5679
  • E-mail: nar.enviro@outlook.com