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A Howlin’ Good Time River Park Off-leash News
A Howlin’ Good Time
River Park Off-leash News
A Howlin’ Good Time River Park Off-leash News APRIL 2008 UPCOMING STUFF Scoopy Doo Day River

APRIL

2008

UPCOMING STUFF

Scoopy Doo Day River Park Sunday, April 20 9am - noon It’s time for the annual clean- up of Calgary parks, including our beloved River Park.

Friends of River Park will once again support this effort.

41st Annual Pathway and River Clean-up Sunday, May 4 10am - 1pm Help clean up the pathways and river near River Park and Sandy Beach. Volunteers can enjoy a free breakfast at the Stu Peppard Arena at 8:30am. Great draw prizes available.

Register for the clean-up at

civicaffairs@southcalgarycommunity.ca

Attention: Robin McLeod.

CLASSIFIEDS Buff, her Blue Heeler and a roommate are still looking for a house with at least two bedrooms and a fenced yard by May 1. Ideal location would be inner city Southwest - East or West of Crowchild Trail. Please contact Buff at

bslaney21@gmail.com.

Please feel free to share this newsletter with friends. If at any time you no longer wish to receive communication, just let me know.

Candice Lee

287-1029 (home) 703-1671 (cell) leesmale@telusplanet.net

287-1029 (home) 703-1671 (cell) leesmale@telusplanet.net

River Park Update development process moves along

In December 2007, we learned that a City of Calgary Park Planner was appointed the task

of hiring a consultant to develop a management

plan for River Park, Sandy Beach and the Britannia escarpment.

On March 10, a City of Calgary Park Planner,

a Natural Parkland Management coordinator,

a Community Recreation Coordinator and the Ward 8 alderman met with several representatives from each River Park stakeholder group at the South Calgary Community Association.

Previous to the meeting, chairs of the various stakeholder groups were asked to provide the following:

• our roles and expectations

• our status and operating characteristics

On behalf of Friends of River Park Society, I submitted our purpose/role, our commitment, things we oppose and our expectations and recommendations.

The hiring process has begun and $120,000 (considered an average amount to spend) has

been set aside for development of the management plan. A consultant should be hired within two months.

At the meeting, we were asked to provide suggestions for the public consultation

process. Only a few points were mentioned:

• input from recognized groups

• senior citizen representation

• health and safety factors

• traffic and parking

After the meeting I emailed the following suggestions to the planner:

• an open, transparent process

• accountable to the public

• minutes

• timely feedback made available through different sources(website, bulletin board display, community newsletters, booth set-up in park at various times)

The process is expected to take 12 - 18 months, at which point, a detailed plan will be taken to City council for funding as a capitol project. Watch for upcoming opportunities to provide input.

River Park Tidbits The Park Grass Needs our Help At this time of year, the
River Park Tidbits
The Park Grass Needs our Help
At this time of year, the grass in River Park is
sparse and sensitive, so lend a hand. Please
use the trail as much as possible until the
grass gets established.
Motorized Vehicles in the Park
After recently watching the bylaw truck
driving through River Park, Susan S and I
had a discussion with the bylaw officer about
the damage caused to the grass. He was
quite receptive. Later in the month, I saw
the bylaw truck driving slowly along the
north/south trail.
Mar 9/08 - middle of the park
Thanks Team!
River Park is looking quite clean, largely due to
our efforts. Many thanks to volunteers for re-
stocking the bag dispensers.
Mar 30/08 - near the fountain
due to our efforts. Many thanks to volunteers for re- stocking the bag dispensers. Mar 30/08

Caring For Your Pet For the Health of It

Recall - Vitamin Care for Cats On March 7, there was a voluntary recall of Hartz Vitamin Care for Cats. Some bottles within a particular manufacturing lot may have been contaminated with salmonella. Watch for the lot code SZ 22771, UPC number 32700-97701 or lot code SZ-16371. Discontinue use of the product and discard it in a proper manner. Consumers can contact Hartz at 1-800- 275-1414 with any questions or for reimbursement requests.

Salmonella Warning – Roll Over Treats The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning consumers about salmonella poisoning from handling Roll Over Pork Tenders Premium Dog Treats. The item of concern was sold across Canada in 50 gram packages. People may risk bacterial infection by handling the treats directly or by contact with pets that have eaten the treats. Anyone who may have handled the treats should wash their hands with warm water and soap.

Bloat in Dogs I received a message from someone who wanted to inform dog owners about bloat in dogs. I’ve edited some information from Wikipedia.

Bloat occurs when the stomach becomes overstretched by excessive gas content. In dogs, gas accumulation in the stomach may cause or be caused by twisting of the stomach, which prevents gas from escaping.

Bloat causes blood circulation problems, loss of blood supply in the stomach, shock, decreased blood flow to liver and decreases the ability of that organ to remove toxins and absorbed bacteria from

the blood. The spleen can also be damaged if the twisting interrupts its blood supply. If not quickly treated, bloat can lead to blood poisoning, peritonitis and death by toxic shock.

Several factors contribute to bloat, including increased age, breeds with a deep and narrow chest, stress, foods such as kibble that expand in the stomach, overfeeding, and other causes of gastrointestinal disease and distress.

Symptoms are sometimes hard to distinguish from other kinds of distress. A dog may appear uncomfortable or in extreme discomfort. Other symptoms include firm distension of the abdomen, weakness, depression, difficulty breathing, hypersalivation, and retching without vomiting. A high rate of dogs with bloat have cardiac arrhythmias. Chronic bloat may occur in dogs, symptoms of which include loss of appetite, vomiting, and weight loss.

This emergency medical condition can become fatal within a matter of minutes. Surgery is performed to place the stomach intoitscorrectposition,attachingthestomach wall to the body wall to prevent it from twisting again. Recurrence of bloat is very high in dogs treated without surgery.

With treatment, mortality rates in dogs range from 10 to 60 percent. Surgery further reduces the mortality rate to 15 to 33 percent.

Prevention measures include feeding small meals throughout the day instead of one big meal and not exercising immediately before or after a meal.

For the love of all animals FIGHT BILL S-203

Animal welfare organizations urge you to be a voice for animals at risk.

On February 14, 2008 Conservative, Liberal and Bloc members of the House of Commons Committee on Justice and Human Rights passed Bill S-203.

Bill S-203 is proposed legislation that leaves animals virtually unprotected from heinous acts of cruelty because it maintains loopholes and outdated language that makes federal animal cruelty legislation ineffective and largely

unenforceable. In other words, offenders merely get a slap on the wrist.

Opposing S-203 is an opportunity to change these archaic laws. In April, all MPs can represent their constituents and vote against the bill.

What can you do? Please take a few moments and write a letter to your MP. Express your opposition to the bill’s contents and give voice to the many animals that need our support.

River Park Education

the many animals that need our support. River Park Education On behalf of Friends of River

On behalf of Friends of River Park Society, Linda S and I met recently with Off- leash Calgary Society members to gain expertise with respect to working with The City to maintain off-leash access. We also did a walk-through in River Park with an envi- ronmental planner/wildlife biologist and a geophysicist on March 23. It was a good opportunity to ask questions.

Q. Is it prudent to pursue the possibility of

planting tougher grass in River Park?

A. It wouldn’t work because the three

grasses observed (Kentucky Bluegrass, Smooth Brome and Crested Wheat Grass) are not native and are far too invasive with other grasses.

Q. Is it possible to detemine whether or

not dog feces is the leading cause of high

E coli content in the river?

A. Since the water outfall drains 900 acres

of land from the Altadore area and pours untreated water into the river, it’s unlikely

that dog feces is the sole cause of E coli. Beavers, ducks, geese and coyotes as well as cattle farming upstream are contributing factors. Water samples from future testing can be sourced to determine the E coli contributors, so dogs should not be blamed as the main cause.

Q. Can we avoid further degradation to the

escarpment and river bank?

A. The fence along the east side of River

Park helps to keep people and dogs from further eroding the escarpment, but natural

causes such as the steep grade and snow

or rain will continually cause erosion. Along

the escarpment and river, plants with deep root systems such as willow, work well to stabilize the land. Park managers would do

well to make some dedicated access routes

to

the river to promote less wear and tear.

Q.

Is the new French drain near the parking

lot working properly? A. Although pooling of water from freezing and thawing will occur, it should drain better than it is.

Off-leash access is continually an easy

target by competing interest groups. As always, FRPS leadership members hope

to educate fellow dog owners and have a

positive impact on all of the people who use it.