News | DrumhellerMail - Page #3251
Last updateTue, 23 Jul 2024 1pm

Badlands Community Gardens are shaping up


    Any ideas what to do with your old garbage bins yet?
    If not, the Badlands Community Gardens Society would love to take them off your hands. As long as they have a lid, are in good condition, watertight and wide enough to dip in a watering can, the Society can use them as water barrels.
    Located on the Newcastle Trail, the Badlands Community Gardens are starting to shape up.
    Lettuce, chives, radishes, beans, tomatoes, potatoes are just a few of the plants growing in the planters.
    In fact, there are only two spare ones left if anyone would like to try their hands at growing veggies or plants.
    So it is now a case of wait and see it grow, although some finishing touches will be added soon.
    “It’s functional now, but eventually it will be pretty and a nice place to hang out. We want to have fruit trees, rhubarb plants, the Tyrrell Museum donated a bunch of sapling, mostly spruce I think. We want to have a composting row behind a fence made out of willows, it will be very pretty some day! It’s just a matter of time and money, but it’s happening a little bit at a time, it’s very exciting,” said Community Garden Society director, Chris Marion.
 Two of the boxes were planted specifically for the food bank by the Greentree School Grade 4 - 6 kids, who like to refer to themselves as “The Sprouts,”  Marion told The Drumheller Mail.
    The Sprouts will be painting the shed before July 24, date of the Drumheller garden tour, and Marion has managed to secure some benches from the City of Calgary from their surplus stock.
    “They are awesome benches they were surpluses from their Devonian Gardens. They didn’t cost us very much, and Hi-Way 9 has offered to transport them here for free!” exclaimed Marion, who says the society has received help from many businesses and individuals from Drumheller. “The community is really behind us on this, it’s awesome. I am not surprised though, that is the Drumheller I have gotten to know.”
    The Society is concentrating on the Garden Tour, the first in a long time in Drumheller, they are organizing for Saturday, July 24, in collaboration with The Garden Club and Communities in Bloom.
    “It’s going good, we could use one or two more gardens, just to have more on the tour. The gardens we have so far are pretty neat, the people who have offered to show their garden are pretty interesting and one of the ladies has even offered to give a composting workshop, one at 10:00 in the morning and one at 2:00 p.m.”
    Contact Chris at 403-823-6930 or log on to for more information on the Garden Tour or the community gardens.

Town breaks ground on Badlands Community Facility


    Rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of dozens gathered to officially kick off construction of the Badlands Community Facility, Monday morning.
    Organizers of the event moved the groundbreaking ceremony into the Drumheller Memorial Arena due to a heavy rainfall warning being issued for the area. Despite this, feelings of relief and jubilation filled the arena where the Fire Coulee Bandits performed for the 85 rain-soaked residents gathered to witness the historic occasion.
    Attendees included Mayor Bryce Nimmo, Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson and co-chair of the Community Facility Steering Committee, Tony Lacher.
    “It has truly been a rewarding experience for me to have worked with so many people who have shared a vision of tomorrow which we bring to you today,” said Lacher. “This facility will proudly serve our community, and thanks to the architectural firm of Graham Edmunds Cartier, it will be an attractive focal point for our town for years to come.”
    The Badlands Community Facility grew from an idea to a campaign and now a reality. The Town selected Graham Edmunds Cartier Architecture as the principle designer, and in June, Dawson Wallace Construction won the contract to build the facility.
    The project will include a new public library, a fitness centre, running track, field house, gymnasium and conference meeting facility.
    Mayor Nimmo thanked the federal and provincial governments for their support. MLA Jack Hayden was unable to be at the groundbreaking, but did send correspondence reaffirming the provincial government’s commitment to the project.  Nimmo also was grateful of the work of former councils to make this day a reality.   
    “The town can afford this building because of the good planning by past councils,” he said, also mentioning the hard work of administration as well as the steering committee, a group of concerned citizens who saw the project through. 
    Construction is set to go this summer and is scheduled to be completed by August 2011.
    After the initial phase is complete, the second phase, which includes a second ice surface, will be undertaken.
    A fundraising goal of $12 million has been set for the complete project, and many private and corporate donors have come out to support the project.
    “The Badlands Community Facility will enhance the valley’s quality of life and be enjoyed by everyone,” said Lacher.
    “Stand tall and be proud of what we have accomplished together.”

Rotary Youth Exchange student returns home after year in Finland


    The Rotary Youth Exchange program gives the promise to participants of learning a new way of living, a great deal about themselves, maybe even a new language. It also gives people the opportunity to be an ambassador, teaching people about their country, culture, and ideas.
    “You can help bring the world closer – and make some good friends in the process,” they say about the program on their site.
    Drumhellerite Lian Lister has just returned from a year long Rotary Youth Exchange trip in Finland, sponsored by the Drumheller Rotary Club. When The Mail spoke to her about her experiences, it is clear that the Rotary Youth Exchange program kept its promise.
    There she attended high school, lived with three host families and got to discover the world through Rotary organized tours in Europe and learned about herself in a way and depth she hadn’t anticipated.
    A determined person, Lian crammed three years of high school into two to get her Alberta diploma before leaving. She knew she wanted to stay somewhere in Europe but hadn’t expected to be assigned to Finland.
    “It wasn’t my first choice of destination, but I really wanted to go to Europe. I didn’t know what to expect about Finland, because I knew nothing about Finland before I left.  As it turned out, I was so glad I went to this country people don’t really know about, because I know that otherwise I would have never gone there. I can even speak a bit of Finnish now!”
    Filled with fear and excitement about what was awaiting her, Lister flew off to Finland a year ago, and told The Mail she came back a more worldy woman.
    “The trip has broadened my horizons. It sounds a bit cliche, but I have lived in Drumheller my whole life, and I was really looking forward to travelling and seeing what else the world had to offer me. I really feel like I have learned a lot, not just about Finland but other countries as well because I met so many exchange students and we were really like a big family from all over the world, so I really got a perspective about different cultures and how we interact, similarities and differences.”
    It wasn’t easy though at the start, she explains she felt overwhelmed at first, the different language being a barrier, she found the country itself very similar to where she came from.
                “It looks very similar, the nature is very much the same. I thought I was going to be so cold going so far north, but it wasn’t any colder than I am used to here,” she laughs.
    “I didn’t know any Finnish when I went there, it was terrifying, it really was, being there, not understanding the language or the culture and not knowing anyone, it was really really scary,” she remembers.
    “I feel like I have changed so much and grown so much as a person. I missed home so much in the beginning, it took me a few months to get over that. Everything was so new and overwhelming, families were doing things so differently from my own family, that made me miss my own family but it also made me appreciate what I have here.”
    She plunged into Finnish life, attending one of the top high schools in the country, took classes, and even decided to take exams at the end of the year.
    “I didn’t have to take any exams but did a few anyway.  The papers were given to me in English, although I was expecting to get them in Finnish!”
    She studied math, physics, english, geography and music classes during her year there and was taken aback by the school system, saying it was a really good system and highlighting most people could speak english, so it made it easier for her.
    “I was doing well in school here but there, their schooling is really tough. They have to apply to get into their high school, and it depends on their marks in junior high. I went to one of the top school in the country so the students there were there to study. The classes were intense.”
    Part of the Rotary exchange program is to be an ambassador for your country. This, Lian says, was what she enjoyed the most.
    She gave presentations about her country and says she felt more comfortable up in front of a classroom giving a presentation than she did in the school surrounded by people that she didn’t know or understand.
    “Actually they don’t know anything about Canada just like we don’t know anything about Finland. I told them about Canada and where I am from, Alberta, talked about Drumheller and dinosaurs. I really liked doing it. Over there I felt more Canadian than I ever have. I felt so proud to be a Canadian, I had never felt that before. How great life is here and how blessed we are, how fortunate we are with everything we have here. I think going abroad makes you have a stronger identity.”
    Now back home, adjusting to life again and the reverse culture shock as she describes it - “it’s weird to hear people speak English and be able to understand!” she laughs - she is already planning a return trip in a few years, to meet up with the many new friends she has made.
    “My new friends were the hardest ones to leave. I’m looking forward to seeing them again.”


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