The Little Red by Tim Lasiuta
From time immemorial, the creek has flowed.
Its life blood, the swiftly flowing stream that has ebbed and surged has both moved and has been moved through the gently hilled landscape.
Around it, the land has been home to natives and immigrants for at least 12,000 years and possibly as long as 20,000 years. Migrating bands of natives had called this area home, using the rich resources of animal life and water supply to feed their people. Summer camps, winter camps and elk/buffalo pounds all lie beneath what we now call Red Deer.
“…If Shakespeare were here, he might write sonnets…”
Cree legends speak of the Great Spirit and what we now call the Medicine Hills noting events we deem to be 12,000 years ago.
With the arrival of immigrant settlers and the exploration of Central Alberta by Thompson and others, the dwindling supply of buffalo and the breaking of traditional land into settler lots the wandering creek still brought life but now became a symbol of a burgeoning settlement.
Mankind has traditionally settled near water, and the hamlet and later town, and city of Red Deer did the same. What was once viewed as a source of life was now a feature to be seen as an anchor to the wild beauty of the area. Like the elders of the native tribes before him, Kerry Wood fought for the natural areas in his beloved community and his hand is obvious for those who look.
We, as present citizens of the city of Red Deer, cannot ignore the legacy that the ‘keepers of the land’ left behind.
Pre-contact natives looked on this land as far as the eye could see and deemed it a blessing from the Great Spirit. Great chiefs looked on this land as their charge, and considered it a responsibility to protect the land.
Farmers look on their land as their responsibility to keep and protect for future generations.
Modern day urban and real estate planners look on priceless natural areas as part of urban development with an eye to profit than to protection.
Once upon a summer day, I wandered through the Bower area and I discovered a treasure.
Turning a corner into the east side of the green area by Bower Mall, the beauty of the wandering creek overwhelmed me. The summer day sun just magnified the greatness of the area. Birds sang songs to each other and the silence that encompassed the aerial arias was magnificent. The sheer experience of the time was priceless.
All around me the might trees swayed in a slight breeze and the warm air flowed around me. Looking north, south and east the hand of our Creator was obvious. True beauty cannot be bought, engineered, nor constructed by human hands.
Such is the heart of the jewel that is Red Deers natural areas.
This area, as seen in the photos cannot be replaced by a bridge, walkway, or overpass. In fact, the beauty of the area will be lost forever.
It is not hard to imagine that centuries ago young braves and their families set camp beside the creek and enjoyed life. If you could listen to the past, you might hear sounds of campfire conversations, drum circles, singing and laughing.
More importantly, they, like modern citizens today, and myself on this day, knew this was a special place that perhaps was sacred for some and just a place of rest for others.
If Samuel Taylor Coleridge were here, he might compose Xanadu.
If Shakespeare were here, he might write sonnets.
If the Sons of the Pioneers were here with instruments, they might compose a haunting song like “Blue Prairie,” or “The Touch of Gods Hand.”
An artist might paint a moving memory.
Young lovers from all eras might declare their everlasting love to each other.
Yet, we, as a city, are considering its desecration.
Today, it is a reminder that we cannot and should not consider turning this priceless area into a traffic zone.
We should never, ever forget that our responsibilities to shepherding and managing the land must consider environment over people every time.
Take a moment, look at these pictures and ponder…..Bridge or beauty….
Tim Lasiuta is a local writer with interests in history preservation, from environmental to pre-contact native archaeology, faith and telling stories that matter in Central Alberta. His work has appeared in Canadian Cowboy Country, True West Magazine, Mad Magazine, Alberta Venture, in published anthologies and Comic Buyers Guide.
You can contact Tim at [email protected].
Read more stories on Todayville.com.
Blackfalds Town Council approves Arena and Library Expansion – Video and photo galleries included
From the Town of Blackfalds
The Town of Blackfalds is moving forward with the Arena and Library Expansion
The Town of Blackfalds is excited to announce that the Arena and Library Expansion project will be proceeding and shovels will be in the ground in June of 2020 with a completion date targeted for Spring of 2021.
At their May 26 regular meeting, Council voted 4 to 3 to approve the final and guaranteed maximum price of the $24.6M capital budget which includes $18 M for the arena (which includes a $1 M contribution by the Junior A team) and $6.6 M for the Library.
Over the last year, the Town participated in various engagement opportunities including public open houses and meetings with stakeholders, school boards, and other organizations. The consultations prompted changes and additions to be incorporated into the design to improve the functionality of the facility which also resulted in increased costs.
Town of Blackfalds Mayor Richard Poole is proud of the work that Administration and its contractors ACI Architects, Eagle Builders and Delnor Construction undertook in the last 2 months to review those areas where costs could be reduced to come up with a target value design, “I support this project for a number of reasons,” asserts Mayor Poole. “First of all, this will be an excellent value for our community when it is built. It will be second to none and I believe it will be a project our community will be proud of, and, as Councillor Taylor stated, it will ‘enhance business opportunities within our community.’ The Abbey Centre continues to receive praise and compliments from community members throughout Alberta and I am confident Blackfalds will duplicate that success with this facility.”
Mayor Poole added, “I am also excited about the opportunities that the AJHL will bring to the community. The new Library is going to be one of the largest in central Alberta and, for a community under 20,000, this will be an attraction that we will not only be extremely proud of, but given the provisions of the facility, will allow for progressive programming even in a post-COVID era. In addition, by awarding the construction contract to Eagle Builders, we are providing jobs for many central Alberta families. I am thrilled to be working with such great partners like Eagle Builders, Delnor and ACI with whom we have had a great relationship in the past.”
The guaranteed maximum price ensures that the Town will not pay any more than the $24.6M and therefore, if the cost of the project does go up, the risk will be to Delnor and Eagle Builders, and not the municipality. CAO Thompson echoed some of Council’s words, “We want to provide a high quality facility to our community similar to our past successful projects, and not have to cut corners.”
A gallery of final design concepts can be viewed on the Multi-Plex Arena web page at blackfalds.com/tourism-recreation/multi-plex-ice-arena.
A small ground breaking ceremony will take place on Friday June 19 and will celebrated by invitation only to ensure physical and social distancing.
If any organizations are interested in sponsorship, please see the sponsorship brochure at http://blackfalds.com/tourism-recreation/multi-plex-ice-arena.
Renee at Primary Care Network has some tips on managing anxiety
Renee, one of our PCN Mental Health Counselors describes some tips to manage anxiety and practice the 2-1 breathing technique which is helpful in activating your calming (parasympathetic) nervous system.
Click here to listen to this feature on Sound Cloud.
Click here to visit the Red Deer Primary Care website.
NEW MUSIC RELEASE DAY!
Changing of the Tides – How One Alberta Company Is Driving Hydrokinetic Power
Downtown Wednesday Market returns tomorrow!
3 Questions for Curtis Labelle – Singer/Songwriter, Renowned Pianist and Vibrant Performer
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