Episode 57 – About Parks

Sarah De Lano, Tara Russell, Trevor Chow-Fraser, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips, and Marilyn Dumont at the Aviary
Sarah De Lano, Tara Russell, Trevor Chow-Fraser, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips, and Marilyn Dumont at the Aviary

Edmontonians take a lot of pride in our parks and natural areas. But how did they come to be the way they are, and how well do they make space for humans and other species? On September 29, Let’s Find Out hosted a live podcast recording at the Aviary, with short talks and activities about parks. At the end, listeners had a chance to submit a question for our upcoming season about parks and natural areas in and around our city.

An audience in a dark room looks at a projected image off-screen
Listeners getting a glimpse of Sarah De Lano’s research

As guests came in, they had a chance to grab a card with the name of a park or natural area in Edmonton, and to exchange stories about their place.

a stack of books about edmonton parks, and a stack of brightly coloured index cards, on a table
Brain fodder for getting curious about local parks and natural areas
Bryna Andressen smiles at the back of a packed room
Listener Bryna Andressen won a prize for being the first to collect five stories about the place on her card, Hawrelak Park.
marilyn dumont smiles in front of a podium on stage at the aviary, with an orange t-shirt
Guest speaker Marilyn Dumont on stage at the Aviary

Marilyn Dumont was the first speaker of the night. Marilyn is a Metis poet, writer, and professor, and teaches for the faculties of Arts and Native Studies at the University of Alberta. Her four collections of poetry have won either provincial or national awards: A Really Good Brown Girl (1996); green girl dreams Mountains (2001); that tongued belonging (2007); The Pemmican Eaters (2015). She was awarded 2018 Lifetime Membership from the League of Canadian Poets for her contributions to poetry in Canada, and in 2019, awarded the University of Alberta Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Alberta Lieutenant Governor’s Distinguished Artist Award.

tara russell speaks at a podium in front of the let's find out banner, in a brown sweater
Tara Russell speaking about the importance of parks for conservation

Next up was Tara Russell, the Program Director at CPAWS Northern Alberta. She started working with CPAWS in 2015, where her passion and knowledge of Alberta’s wild spaces have allowed her to wear many hats in the organization. She has led projects to better protect our natural heritage: ask her about Alberta’s parks, public land, caribou conservation, and work to protect the North Saskatchewan River Headwaters. Outside of her work with CPAWS, she recharges in the very places she works to protect – and brings her friends and family along for the ride.

sarah de lano speaks in front of the let's find out banner, in an orange t-shirt
Sarah De Lano speaking about her book Rat Routes and Reasons to Gather

Finally, we heard from Sarah De Lano, a mother and language instructor. She is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta and has ancestral ties to River Lot 28, one lot over from where the Kinnaird/Rat Creek Ravine sits and very close to where she currently lives in the community of Parkdale. She harvests plants and berries in the Ravine with her daughter and has recently completed a community-based research project and recipe book on diversity in greenspace and urban agriculture.

Thanks to everybody who came out to our live recording, and to the Aviary for hosting.

let's find out about parks poster - with leaf illustration

This episode was made possible with support from the Edmonton Community Foundation and the Alberta Podcast Network, which includes the lovely Glass Bookshop Radio podcast.

Fawnda Mithrush from the Alberta Podcast Network speaking to the crowd
Fawnda Mithrush from the Alberta Podcast Network speaking to the crowd

Further Reading

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