Fresh, Green, and New | May 25, 2020

Volume 1 Issue 8 | | Editor: Colleen MacLeod | Published weekly on Mondays | #meadowlarkmonday


This week the focus is on contributors and partners who are helping to grow this newsletter. The talents of each are deeply appreciated!

New Partners

The Meadowlark is excited to announce new partnerships with Pioneer Acres Museum and the Irricana and Rural Municipal Library.

Sam McGee Wasn’t From Tennessee

Last week Shelly, the curator of Pioneer Acres Museum, took us on a virtual field trip to visit the grave of a man named Sam McGee who wasn’t from Tennessee nor was he cremated.

“There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.”

The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service

I remember hearing this poem as a child, but I never imagined there would be a connection to this part of Alberta. Visit Pioneer Acres Museum to get all the details!

Bunny’s Staycation

The local library offers online story time via their Facebook page. Look for a link to watch story time on Wednesdays and Thursday around 4:30 PM (last week featured Bunny’s Staycation and other titles). There is a lot more on offer at the library: links to online books and audio books for kids and adults as well as resources for healthy living and programs in partnership with Community Links (more about Community Links below). This month they are offering community income tax support.

Celebrating 10+ Contributors

In less than two months, The Meadowlark has gone from a one-person initiative to a loose coalition of 11 contributors. We are gradually adding profiles of our contributors: click on ‘About‘ in the menu above to read more.


Your Green (Money 101 – Silver Linings)

Grace (ATB Irricana)

Well I’m not sure what life is going to look like on the other side of the pandemic, but I have enjoyed the slower pace and hope I can guard against having life go back to something that feels chaotic more often than not. Financially there is a lot affecting us in Alberta right now and there will very likely be less jobs to go back to once this is done, but it’s not all bad news. If you are in the market to buy a home, the good news is the mortgage rates are remaining low. Read more.


Fresh Food from the Community Garden

The community garden was created in 2009, when a local land owner offered the use of a piece of land. A volunteer was recruited to coordinate the community garden and this tradition continues to this day. Although the Town of Irricana has nothing to do with the operations of the garden, they provide water in a tank at the site and mowing around the garden free of charge. Members pay a $10 annual fee, which covers the cost of tilling, for a 10′ x 30′ plot. If you are interested in a plot for this year, it’s not too late. You can email and we will forward your request to coordinators Doris and Bob.

Purrfect Vantage Point

Ranger, staying true to his name, discovering the purrfect vantage point for soaking up the sun! Photos by Ayvree

Green Virtual Getaway

Vienna, Austria is considered the most livable city in the world. Rankings are based on stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. Take a peak around.


Easy Arts, Crafts and Activities for Kids

Jae Jae (Jennifer)

Green Activity: Invitation to Paint Wall

I originally made this huge paint wall for my son’s preschool (each panel is 4’x4′). It was such a hit I made a small one to fit on my son’s easel. There are so many possibilities with this activity, and painting on a larger, upright surface is a great way to encourage young kids to cross their midline – an important part of children’s development that builds the foundation for reading and printing as they move their eyes and hands from left to right across their body. My friend Jena created a large free-standing one by cutting down the side of a large moving box and standing it up with a slight curve to stay up – see picture below. All you need is a hot glue gun, recycling (cardboard, egg cartons, popsicle sticks, paper towel/toilet paper tubes, plastic containers, styrofoam packaging pieces, etc.), and paint! 

Adding to Your Play

Bring the mess outside. On a nice day this would be fun to bring this outside and fill spray bottles or water guns with watered down paint! Or even fill half opened egg shells or balloons with watered down paint to throw at the wall! Get older kids involved with collecting recycling, cutting pieces, designing, and gluing the paint wall! For very young ones, you can easily make taste safe paint by adding food colouring to plain yogurt!


Community Links

Community Links recently announced that they “have been awarded funding to be a Family Resource Network (FRN) through the Ministry of Children’s Services…to deliver high quality prevention and early intervention services and supports for children and youth, aged 0 to 18 years old and their parents/caregivers.”

If you are curious about this program or wish to see what other programs (there are many!) Community Links offers our community, visit their website. Years ago, I was part of the committee that founded Community Links and it is nice the see that the original vision to have physical locations outside Airdrie has been realized with offices in Beiseker, Irricana and Crossfield.

Mindfulness as a Way of Life

Jane Phillips

I’ve always believed in the concept of living in the moment, or mindfulness, however it takes some discipline to practice. Most people struggle with dwelling on the past and fretting about the future, rather than simply enjoying the present moment (or at least dealing with it). When people think of mindfulness they think of meditation and yoga, both great practices, however recently I realized that many things that I enjoy allows for the same kind of meditative mindfulness that I can get from yoga and meditation. One example is arts and crafts. I am an avid embroiderer and I also sometimes knit. I find both of these activities meditative and they certainly help with stress levels. I have also recently started doing jigsaw puzzles again and it is the same. There is something with putting together small parts to make a whole that is good for mental health! My recent foray into stop-motion animation was a similar experience. Even in the life-action film world it is the same. Five minutes of finished footage takes a 12-hour shooting day to create and an actor (on stage or screen) performs at their best when in the moment. But mindfulness isn’t limited to these activities. For me, it can also be found in music, writing and exercising.

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