Erin, of the City of Calgary, came to my place on Wednesday and dropped off some supplies, as well as officially registered me as crew leader for my volunteer position at Frank’s Flats. I will be receiving support now, from the city, where the maintenance of this park land is concerned. Since the city crew came out, I’ve been able to keep the park in good shape, one bag full of litter every single day. It will never be pristine, given the public’s casual disregard for the environment, but at the very least, I am able to keep most of the garbage from making its way to the pond. One area I am unable to maintain edges on the slope from the sports fields and Bishop O’Byrne high school. There are huge ant’s nests in that section and I’m sporting bites again after trying to pick litter in that area. I told Erin that I’m unable to go in there, even with my rubber boots on.
“To those of you who play football and soccer on the fields and those of you who are spectators: you need to learn that there is a consequence for the world when you pitch your plastic slurpee cups and straws and your Tim Horton’s latte cups down onto the ground. What do you suppose is happening with those? Do you even think? This has been a week of Lucky Beer at the pond. Tin cans have been pitched the entire perimeter. But don’t fret guys…I’ve got your backs! I wish that you might observe the animal and bird life that makes its home in this very same environment. I wish you could see the number of different species that depend on this particular wetlands area. When you look into my eyes as you walk past me, do not look at me as though I am a marginalized person. Know that I am educated. Know that I am a steward. Know that my mission is NOT hopeless, but hopeful.
To those parents who have tail gate parties on the south end of South Fish Creek Recreational Center, while your kids are playing games and practicing inside, please walk the twenty meters to the garbage dispenser to ditch your chip bags, your Tim Horton’s coffee cups and your beer cans.
To those dog owners who run to your car with your dog when I ask if you will pick up your own dog poop, why not walk down the hill instead, to pick up?
If you wish to join me in this mission, please take a small container when you go for your walk and stoop down to pick up the plastics and packaging that you find along the way, even if it is just a small bit, it will make a difference. Find a place in your own neighbourhood and become a steward of that place. Make it your own.”