June 24th, 2024

Service Above Self: Stop and look at the daffodils

By Medicine Hat Rotary Club on May 28, 2024.

So, the snow has finally melted for the next little while. Beneath it, all to often there is litter. The city encourages residents to take part in a litter blitz from now until May 22. Sure would be nice if we could keep Medicine Hat litter-free all year for a more robust community!

So, you might rightly wonder, “OK, Rotarians, what are you doing for environmental health?”

Glad you asked.

The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat has a long history of environmental action. For the city’s Earth Day, it has traditionally cleaned along the Trans-Canada Highway near the college.

This year, the focus is ongoing attention to the 4.8-kilometre, year-round, Rotary Centennial Trail. Located along South Boundary Road, it connects Desert Blume with Medicine Hat. The trail opened in 2019, and initially provided a welcome outdoor retreat during COVID.

A leashed dog area, during winter months, the trail was available for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and even horseback riding. So, a spring cleanup has its merits.

The club will be working to keep the area pristine all year round. Club attention will also be directed to Rotary Centennial Drive NW, which is the section of 23rd Street NW in Crescent Heights from Division Avenue N to Box Springs Road NW.

A busy thoroughfare without sidewalks, the grassy verges seem to tempt litterers. In addition, Rotarians also have helped Martha Gue, a volunteer with South East Alberta Watershed Alliance, on her mission to keep ponds litter and invasive species-free.

Yet, care for the environment is not all about cleanup. It’s also about creating and maintaining green areas.

Rotarians led the way with the development of Rotary Park. Located between North Railway and Maple Avenue, the park features exquisite plantings designed by the city and once boasted a swimming pool that was used in Visit Medicine Hat promotions.

If you’re looking for a healthy jog, you might find your way to the Rotary Track on Division Avenue N in Crescent Heights.

Or you could walk along the berms near the South Saskatchewan River where annually daffodils grace the grass, another project supported by Rotarians.

And just a short drive east to Dunmore, you can visit Rotary Centennial Park, where the Rotary Club of Medicine Hat and Rotary Ignite celebrated 100 years of Rotary in Medicine Hat by planting 100 trees.

Partners were Cypress County, which provided the land, and the Dunmore Community Association. One hundred trees! Take that, carbon dioxide! More oxygen!

Rotary supports activities that protect natural resources, advance ecological sustainability and foster harmony between communities and the environment. Those efforts yield a higher quality of life for us all.

This column was contributed by the Medicine Hat Rotary Club

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