Chaparral Community Association News
On Saturday August 27th the Chaparral Green Thumbs invite you to a community perennial plant exchange. The exchange will take place at the community garden, beside St. Sebastian School. The plant drop off starts at 9:00 am and the plant share runs from 10:00-12:00. Anyone who brings in plant donations to the exchange will receive credit for an equal number of plants. Additional plants can be purchased for $2 each. Plant donations must be in good condition and clearly labeled including the plant’s common name, height, and colour. They will not be accepting any plants that are on Alberta’s Invasive Plant Council’s plant list. Donations are not mandatory; anyone can purchase plants at the exchange.
What a great way to expand your own garden while meeting local, experienced gardeners.
Q: What is that big hill and how did it get there?
A: That hill is what remains from the operations of a landfill that closed in 2013. The landfill first opened several decades ago and was a “dry” landfill, in that it didn’t take all waste, but just non-organic waste, primarily construction waste. It stopped taking waste in June 2013 (with a brief re-opening to bring in waste from the 2013 Calgary Flood).
Q: Why are there still trucks on the hill? How long will they be there?
A: The landfill is regulated by both the City of Calgary for planning purposes, and Alberta Environment and Parks for, well, environmental purposes. The site stopped accepting waste in 2013 as a condition of their development permit with the City, but their Alberta Environment conditions aren’t time-based, but capacity-based. Before the site can be deemed complete, it needs to be filled to specific parameters. Because they cannot accept waste, they are filling it with dirt. They get dirt, primarily, from construction sites. With the slower economy, there is less dirt to fill the hill. How long until it’s full? That’s uncertain. Our reasonable hope/guess is that they will have reached their capacity by summer 2017.
Q: What happens once the site is full?
A: The company that owns the site (now named Waste Solutions, before that Progressive Waste, and before that BFI Canada) will, by law, have to close off the landfill hill itself for 25 years. It will be grassed over, and otherwise left to settle for that period. However, there is a surprising amount of land surrounding the hill that belongs to Waste Solutions and which they’ve advised us they’d like to develop. There are a lot of rules around what can (or more likely, can’t) go on the site, but generally speaking, they’ve expressed interest in developing the land as a privately-owned public park.
Q: Who decides what will be developed?
A: Waste Solutions advised the Chaparral Community Association that they wanted to hear what the community wanted for the site. As a result, the CCA has held five consultations over the past 6 weeks: our AGM, an event at each of Chaparral School and St. Sebastian School, the Stampede Kickoff Breakfast, and an Open House done in conjunction with the Walden Community Association. A variety of ideas were presented, and people were invited to vote for their favorite ideas, and to provide their own ideas. Between 8-900 people, ranging in age from 2 to 82(ish), participated in this. We will now compile the votes and send it to Waste Solutions for their consideration.
Q: What were the most popular ideas?
A:The most popular ideas were a BMX park, a skateboard park, a water park, a zipline and treehouse/fort, but there was a wide selection of ideas of all types.
Q: Will Waste Solutions build these? If so, when?
A: Waste Solutions will take the input provided from these consultations into consideration, but the decision is ultimately theirs. They will be paying for any development and maintenance, so they could decide ultimately to do minimal development, like a path and benches, but they have expressed their desire to create a jewel for the surrounding communities. As for when, our (again) reasonable hope is that, assuming the hill is complete by summer 2017, development can begin in the spring of 2018.
Q: Who do I ask if I still have questions?
: Please feel free to contact the CCA at firstname.lastname@example.org.