We have all heard that trees are good for our environment, good for the soul and key to a cleaner air. These facts are a mandate for a group of dedicated and active nature lovers in the City of Leduc.
LEAB, the Leduc Environmental Advisory Board, is such a group, consisting of citizens who want to make a difference. It helps our City of Leduc be more beautiful and greener by planting trees and shrubs, and designing and creating natural areas.
On Saturday, May 9, several members of LEAB gathered at 10am with the assistance of a City of Leduc water truck at the new Barclay Park, located in the Leduc Business Park at the North End of the city. Quite the apt name for a dog park, “Bark-lay”, wouldn’t you agree? This spacious property is almost fully fenced except for the area where vehicles can come in and park by a wide opening in the fence. The City is considering improvements to that access, so that they can say this new dog park is fully enclosed. This location is great not only to offer Leduc dogs and their families a different venue to enjoy, but also for industrial workers who get to take their dogs to work with them.
Tree planters were greeted by dynamic and congenial members of LEAB. At the forefront is Jaimee Dupont-Morozoff, Biologist and the new LEAB chair since January, Katie and Kerra Chomlak, Environmental Coordinator with the City of Leduc. It was interesting to hear that Jaimee works for the Nature Conservancy of Canada, a non-profit land trust organization, and she studies endangered butterflies.
Leduc Council member Glen Finstad, a self-titled “nature lover” and LEAB member assumed the water duties for several hours, filling pails for a multitude of tree planters. With his perennial smile and tireless energy, Mr. Finstad was a welcome contributor to this ambitious project.
Nearly 80 residents planted more than 500 trees of various species, such as Lodgepole pine (Alberta’s official tree), Tamarack, White & Blue Spruce, Siberian Larch, Willow, Dogwood, Saskatoon and Cinquefoil bushes. The City of Leduc will water them later on, and keep an eye on them.
Interestingly, tree planters were not all local residents. Steve “The Newsman” Sutcliffe is a Town of Devon resident. Formerly at The One Radio, Stephen has moved on to be a Heli-News reporter for Global and CISN. He felt he wanted to contribute to a community he grew fond of. Good friends brought an out-of-town helper; Nicole Ritcey and Lauren Mizen of Leduc had with them Lauren’s sister Larissa Kutera, a yoga instructor of Wainwright. The ladies took a moment to stretch their limbs doing yoga poses. This reporter had with her a good friend who planted 25 trees on his own, while she interviewed a few participants; together, we finally planted five more!
Two-year Leduc residents, the Oliver family with their two kids worked tirelessly. Katie Oliver is an environmental consultant and a LEAB member. The Eklund-Morin parents and their young son were also enthusiastic and tireless. Jaimee Morozoff, LEAB chair, stated that, “there were a lot of kids here today! And teens…that was really impressive, and we applaud the parents who involve their kids in such a great, beneficial cause.” Three young ladies, Leduc Junior High students, came to help and shared that, “they felt they use a lot of paper thus trees in their daily life so they wanted to help replace them.”
The City of Leduc commissioned June Bug, aka “Cindy Ohlmann, the talented face painter,” who pleasantly shared her skills for three hours. The City brought in an always popular Fat Franks concession, to reward the workers with free hot dogs and refreshments.
A family came to create a living Memorial to their beloved Raymond Yule, a City of Leduc resident of 40 years who passed away last September. Over the years, Raymond had rescued many spruce seedlings that would pop up in his yard, and transplanted them in small pots, buried in his yard where they thrived and grew. His widow, Enid Yule, a proud and spirited octogenarian, pulled all those pots out of the ground to get them ready for transport to the Barclay Dog Park. The Yule family planted these 2-foot tall spruces at the West end of the Park. Our thanks to Wendy Yule for sharing this touching story.
Celeste Reid, a cute grade three student at Leduc Estates School came with a fun group of young kids, their planting duties encouraged and directed by Tracy Reid, Leader of Leduc Guides #2’s, a dynamic and growing group. In their group, a young scout had arrived from an event at Fred John.
This was an amazing day of collaboration for nature lovers, dog owners and LEAB supporters. The Barclay Dog Park next to 3912-77 Avenue in the Leduc Business Park is open to everyone!