2016 AGM President’s Report


Weaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society

AGM President’s Report

Submitted by Paul Finkleman

This has been both a tough year and an excellent year for the Weaselhead

Preservation Society. Tough in that we had to face the fact that the province’s agreement

with the Tsuu T’ina to run a freeway alongside the west end of the Weaselhead was going

to proceed, come hell or highwater.

Tough in the fact that we are going to lose 6 acres and several thousand trees from

the Southwest corner of the Weaselhead very close to the main pathway, Beaver Pond and

the Oxbow, to accommodate the 90th avenue feeder route … and that we had absolutely

no say in this.

Tough knowing that the Department of Transportation is intending to re-route

nearly a kilometre of the Elbow River on the reserve lands immediately west of the

Weaselhead, whereas we would rather have seen the Elbow left in its natural state as it

enters into Calgary.

And it’s very tough knowing that the natural wildlife corridor that has allowed a

variety of avian and mammalian wildlife to move freely in and out of the Weaselhead for

eons will be permanently impeded by this freeway. We do NOT look forward to the

environmental havoc created by this immensely enormous construction project.

But it’s also been an excellent year for us, knowing that the Weaselhead has

become Calgary’s largest outdoor classroom, largely due to the committed staff who run

our outdoor Education Program, which has been soaring the past few years. Thanks to

our our dedicated field naturalists, thousands of Calgary students learn about forest

ecology, water biology and environmental stewardship.

Excellent in that in May, we once again had a phenomenal turnout for our annual

spring clean-up with over 60 volunteers of all ages participating, leaving the park in a

pristine state.

Excellent also that although I missed being at the clean-up for the first time in 20

years due to an out-of-town engagement, I was able to pre-organize things and leave it in

the hands of several Board members who ended up doing a stellar job. I can’t thank our

volunteers enough for their ongoing dedication and support for these programs.

Excellent in the fact that due to pressure by concerned citizens and community

groups, the 37th street Stormwater Trunk line will no longer be spilling directly into the

heart of the Weaselhead wetlands, because that the city has decided it is no longer the

right thing to do. They have clearly stated that they will be moving the spillage area east

of where they had originally proposed. This is a rare “win” for the public, when a

government admits it is wrong, and looks at other proposals which will cause less

environmental damage.

And finally, excellent in the fact that we have such a knowledgeable, competent

(and may I add very pleasant to work with) Executive Director in Sarah Nevill. It is

indeed an honour and a privilege to work with her, and such a fine Board of Directors, as

well as numerous wonderful volunteers such as yourselves who have taken the time to be

participate in our activities.

May we all continue to work together in the name of preserving this incredibly biodiverse

natural area, so that our children’s children, and generations to come, will be able

to enjoy, explore and appreciate this urban paradise.

I want to end with one of my favourite quotes, which is painted on a mural in one of the

main halls of Louis Riel school in Oakridge, and that is:

“In the end, our society will be defined, not only by what we create,

but by what we refuse to destroy.”

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