President’s Message – August 2021

August 1, 2021

Hello Edgemont Residents. In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge that we live, work and play on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.

This August’s Newsletter was written during a record-breaking heat wave, amid a tentative re-opening from COVID-19 restrictions and, more poignantly, over a somber and fittingly reflective Canada Day. I acknowledge that this article is simply a local Community update, on local Edgemont events, but that is precisely the point of reflecting, here, on the most recent revelations of Canadian history. Nations shape their character from a shared history and yet they must equally continue to move forward as Nations. Progressive societies, at their best, gravitate toward inclusivity and justice for every citizen. Hopefully, reinforced by History, Science, Truth and Honesty, each of us can find it within our best selves to acknowledge that we need to move meaningfully forward towards inclusiveness and reconciliation; and that each of us has our place in the evolution toward an ever more just and fair community. We are all leaders in some aspect of our lives, and as leaders each of us must seek to model behaviours that inspire others.

As we re-open after COVID-19, diligent work by Director Elaine Scobie has scored the ECA one of the first Casino fundraising dates this 11 and 12 of August! Casinos are a major source of ECA revenues and the repair of the Community Centre envelope is just one of the pressing items requiring funds. We need many volunteers to fill the various positions. This is the best kind of volunteering, finite dates and times and we feed you as well! Please let the ECA know that you’d like to lend a hand by emailing casino@edgemont.ab.ca

We have now had two very successful outdoor gatherings around the YYC Food Trucks. Long-time volunteer and newly minted Programs Committee Chair, Barb Elms, instigated this event on the last Thursday of each month, June to September. Dinner Times are generally 4 to 7 PM. To date, there have always been more than 5 trucks to experience and the event has drawn rave reviews. Also, part of the profit from the YYC Food Trucks event comes as a financial contribution directly to the ECA! Bring a camp chair or blanket and spread out along the ridge to enjoy dinner with a Rocky Mountain backdrop!

Additionally, the ECA Programs Committee has enlisted the Gunn Blues Band for a Free Music Night at the ECC; August 20th, a Friday, at 7pm. Some parking will be available in the ECC parking lot and the event will be to the rear of the facility on the South and West side, partly for the grassy area and partly because that’s where the power outlets are. Bring a blanket or chair and do something most folks haven’t done for 16 Months – listen to live music! In order to ensure room for everyone, please visit the ECA website at Edgemont.ab.ca/events/free-concert-at-the-ecc/ to reserve your free ticket(s).

As you can see, the new ECA Board Directors have hit the ground running. It is pleasure to be able to highlight their efforts here, but please check the website for immediate changes and updates. While you are there, virtually, take out an ECA Membership! The membership funds enhance the ability of the ECA to organize and fund community-building events, like the Music Night.

There was some discussion in previous newsletters about an Urban Forestry program to plant new trees (180,000 Calgary wide!) on the East and South West sides of Edgemont. These plans appear to have been changed. The focus of new tree planting in Edgemont has shifted to the medians of roadways and some CBE properties. Edgepark Boulevard received the bulk of the trees, with a smattering on Edgebrook Boulevard. We have been informed that these are the extent of the plantings we will have for the next 2 years. The tree count is verified in the Fall, but Edgemont has 7,792 trees (Est Value $21.5 Million) according to the Urban Forestry website. More information on new plantings will be provided as ECA is made aware.

For those of you who are sensitive, please gloss over these next paragraphs where the president offers his litany of complaints.

We have an issue with someone using Edgemont signs and ELM planters for the self-expression known as ‘tagging’. Graffiti, as a crime, is enforced under Calgary’s Community Standards Bylaw section 19 and carries fines of up to $5000 and 2 years in jail. Apart from being a crime, when graffiti is on a piece of ECA property, such as the newest Edgemont sign at John Laurie / Edgemont Blvd, it is also a lot of person hours for an ECA volunteer to photograph, report, scrub, paint-strip, and overpaint the tag. It goes on in minutes yet takes hours to remove! And remove we must for, regardless of any artistic merit, graffiti is not allowed to remain where it can be viewed by the public. The workload of our treasured Volunteers can be much more usefully employed!

Hopefully, my last month’s note about landscape anarchy was not viewed as an opportunity! Staff at the ECC have had to review the neutral community status of the flowers and the planters at the Center. Forceful evacuation of resident plants will be viewed as an act of herbaceous piracy! It is beginning to sound like many a parent’s lament – “This is why we can’t have nice things!”. Please leave the plants and the planters for everyone’s enjoyment.

While we are moaning about fair play, the Community Cleanup is one day a year. Every time the ECC garbage & recycling bins are emptied carries a hefty charge and has an impact on the ECA budget. The garbage bins are for the use of the ECC and the renters and user groups and is not a community waste disposal!

End of rant.

New ECA Director Kathleen Stewart has brought up a free App called “Picture This” to help identify plants, shrubs and trees that you may come across on your walks in the community. There are free versions for Android and Apple and it is fun to identify plants on your walks. You will be amazed how many different plants grow in our lovely community!