By Doug Sittler
#savetheslopes on Twitter and Instagram
One of Calgary’s best qualities is its stunning natural beauty and great quality of life. Places like Nosehill Park and Fishcreek Park, two beautiful wilderness areas within the city of Calgary, enhance the quality of daily life for many Calgarians. An equally scenic and intact natural area, complete with an excellent marked trail system, exists just to the east of Calgary Olympic Park (C.O.P.), the area is known as The Paskapoo Slopes. Unfortunately, this area will be paved over in favour of a housing and shopping development soon. To do so would be a massive lost opportunity to preserve an absolute hidden gem of a natural area within the city.
A big contribution to the quality of city life is easy access to urban green space, trails and parks.
When people have a chance to reconnect with nature they become calmer, saner, and nicer people. There is therefore much more value in this area in its current natural form than to be gained from transforming it into more condos and shopping centers.
Each year as many as 40,000 new people call the city home. As the city grows and becomes more dense the need for green space becomes more acute. Nothing melts away the stress of a bad commute like a quiet walk in nature. It is a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the city. Many studies have documented the health benefits, mental as well as physical, of getting some fresh air in the great outdoors. There is something magical about getting back to nature that just can’t be matched any other way. Having accessible urban green space provides massive benefits to individuals and therefore to society in general.
The Paskapoo Slopes area contains, natural springs, forests in the slopes, rare native grasslands on the lower area, and even a large glacial erratic. The area is home to wildlife, including deer, moose, and coyotes as well as many types of songbirds.
Imagine if Nosehill park did not exist! If it was left up to real estate developers in the past it would not. Sure it would make a great place for a Starbucks and a Wal-mart, but the city seems to like it the way it is. It was community outcry that gave us that spectacular area and preserved a pristine landscape. It was created by the city response to a grassroots movement to save it from becoming a residential development in 1974. I am very grateful to those recognized the value of this area and stood up to developers to save it. What a gem we would all be missing out on!!
We now have that same opportunity to preserve an amazing natural space on par with better known Nosehill and Fishcreek parks, in the Paskapoo Slopes, for future generations to enjoy. Future generations are depending on you!!
Please support the SavetheSlopes movement via signing their petition on savetheslopes.org. Their vision is to turn the area into the park it deserves to be.
Learn more by liking Save Paskapoo Slopes on Facebook and by following @SaveTheSlopes on Twitter and Instagram. #savetheslopes
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