Changing the Landscape: One Bag At a Time

Frank's FlatsIt’s official.  The City of Calgary has determined that Frank’s Flats, this year, is city parkland and I now have their support with the crud that mounts up at the location due to the user groups that are just a little irresponsible!  Yeah!  Justin Brown assured me that I would have help with the spring clean-up and he followed through, sending out a team that scoured the slopes, much quicker than I could possibly do ONE BAG AT A TIME.  So, now it is for me to maintain the park and hopefully solicit some support from other like-minded individuals in the area.

Nature is at its finest in this area, even when it is filthy.  The ground squirrels pull the plastics into their nests, not comprehending that this is human waste; but they adapt to the function of such plastics and paper.  Even on the nesting platform being used by Osprey, there is a huge piece of plastic that bats in the wind.  I am amused watching the activity on this platform and watched the grand predator try for over an hour to chase a Canadian goose off of the platform.  When I left the park that evening, the goose was continuing to fight for the nest in the sky, neck outstretched at each nose dive from the beautiful falcon.  This went well into the next day, but finally two days later, the goose had succumbed to the stubborn bird.  Please see fantastic images capturing this event on the Birds Calgary blog.  Now it is fun to watch the male bringing home the catch of the day routinely.

As sun was setting one evening, I watched six white swans fly overhead.  The muskrats are back and ducks of every variety are nesting.  A coyote who was guarding a spot under  the evergreens has finally disappeared, likely pressured out by all of the human presence and back onto the wilderness corridor on the other side of the fence.

Frank’s Flats is a beautiful spot for nature lovers to watch wildlife at its best.  I want this place to be safe and solicit the continued support of the City of Calgary, Bishop O’Byrne high school, South Fish Creek Recreational Center, Shawnessy Library and the various retail stores (Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Tim Hortons, Wendy’s, Jugo Juice) in the stewardship of this land.

I encourage my readers to take some responsibility for stewardship of your own surroundings.  Teach your children by being a living example of how to care for other species.


Notes From Margie Gillis

Drum Major: My Son's Band Performance

Hi Everyone!   Once again, let us tell you how much we appreciate all the support you send our way!    People from all over the world and from all walks of life have been expressing their outrage at the hate propaganda which keeps coming out of the Sun Ne…ws TV network. Many of you also ask what can be done to put a stop to such biased, unprofessional, contemptuous “journalism”.
In spite of all the letters sent to the station by the public, things have only gotten more vulgar and more contemptuous since June 1st.   This type of attack is designed to fuel hatred and create enemies. It does not create bridges nor does it assist us in understanding each other’s point of view.   However it needs to be dealt with as it has far reaching implications.
Here are a few easy things you can do to help:  Do not watch the channel (the more attention they get, the meaner they become). Notify its advertisers (you’ll find a list  and contact info below) that if they support the channel, you will BOYCOTT their business. This is particularly effective with profit-driven entities such as Quebecor, owner of Sun News TV.
Fill out an on-line complaint form on the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council website   – very easy and quick to do. You will be informed by the CBSC of the developments regarding your complaint. Here’s the basic info you will be requested to input:  
Television Station:  Sun News TV
Name of the program and on-air person involved:   Canada Live with Krista Erickson
Date of Program:   June 1, 2011, Time of Program: approx 4:15PM
Specific Concern:         You will detail the reasons for your outrage.                                             
The following link leads to the Canadian Broadcaster’s code of ethics you might want to refer to. Clauses 5 and 6 are particularly relevant.   and the usual personal information needed to get in touch with you such as address and e-mail address.  You can also write to your M.P.  and ask him or her to take the issue to the House of Commons. 
Canada is a democratic country in which all opinions should be expressed respectfully and with intelligence. Please know that writing to Ms. Erickson directly will only excite her even more.   Be brave, be clear, be compassionate,   All our best wishes right back to each and every one of you!  
Margie and all of us at The Margie Gillis Dance Foundation    


This week I’m gathering up art works from six different schools, in order to showcase the work of some of the students in our Parish.  The art will be transported over the next couple of days to our Church Hall for their big event, a wine-tasting called Puttin’ on the Ritz.  I’m taking this opportunity to say how much I appreciate the teachers who guide students in CREATIVE EXPRESSION within any of the fine arts, but particularly, the visual arts!  It is so crucial that we, as a public, continually advocate for the arts.  In a climate of cut-backs, sometimes it is difficult to sustain a quality program and the public needs to always keep in mind what art, music, drama and dance do for society and especially, the individual!  Following a thirty-year career as an arts educator, this matters to the core of me!  Artists, teachers, musicians, dancers and thespians…..we love you!  Rock on!

My Business Card :0)