Community Spirit | August 10, 2020

Volume 1 Issue 15 | | Editor: Colleen MacLeod | #meadowlarkmonday

Community Spirit

What is community spirit and how does it translate into safe and healthy communities? Believe me, there is a connection, so let’s dive in. Community spirit is having the desire to contribute to making your community a better place, promote your community, and donate time to achieve community goals. High levels of volunteerism in a community are associated with better community health and safety.

Most small communities like ours do not have the financial resources to invest in a wide range of community services. Within the scope of community services are parks, recreation, clubs and associations as well as social services. To get an idea of the resources available in our community, check out the Town’s list of Clubs and Organizations here. It looks like it was last changed in 2015, so be aware some items may not be included (such as the Northeast Rocky View Sports Association) and others could be defunct (Block Parents is one of these I believe).

In addition to these more traditional groups, there are a number of Facebook groups with varying purposes:

All of the clubs, organizations, and Facebook groups depend on volunteers to achieve their goals: they need community spirit to survive. Not all community spirit comes from formal groups. This summer, we have an excellent example of an informal community project: a small group of residents decided to take on the task of restoring the gardens leading into town. They saw something that needed to be done and decided to act. Work is still in progress, but the changes are astounding! My partner and I took our dog for a walk along the road out to highway 9 the other night and we were both very impressed with all the work. Congratulations and sincere thanks to all the volunteers! The project organizers have some words of appreciation they would like to share as well.

In Appreciation

Entrance Sign Garden

by Carli

Aimee and Carli want to thank all the volunteers that helped us with the flower garden at highway 9 under the Irricana town sign. We had flowers donated by Angie Hubick and Diane Steward. TC Energy donated the flags and flag posts. Duncan Smith for making the flag posts and helping us assemble them. Ton and Lieke van Arendonk for helping us weed, water and put the flag posts up, Eric Baragar for helping with putting up the flag posts as well. Jae Jae Green for providing the orange paint and Public Works for supplying the soil, water and mulch.

Entrance sign looking sharp!

We couldn’t have made the garden transform the way it did without you all! We’re excited to be a part of this wonderful town and appreciate all of the support from our neighbours!

Roadside Gardens

by Ton

As many of you have likely noticed, Ton van Arendonk and his wife Lieke have taken on many volunteer gardens entering town from highway 9. Ton and Lieke reached out to TC Energy about their plans to make the gardens beautiful again and to help reduce the long term maintenance by applying contractor grade root cloth below the mulch. TC Energy was kind enough to give a grant to help pay for the root cloth and to give the youth volunteers some pocket money.

We would like to put a special thank you to TC Energy for making this possible, the Town of Irricana for supplying the mulch and all the volunteers:

  • Ton and Lieke van Arendonk
  • Duncan Smith
  • Carli Green
    And the youth volunteers:
  • Johnny
  • Logan
  • Aryanna

We hope to finish the gardens within the next month or two. Thank you all for your hard work!

Money 101 – Personal Accounts

by Angela & Grace, ATB Financial Irricana

Sometimes when we even start to think about the ever turning world of banking we get dizzy. It looks like a long, spinning maze that we can’t even begin to navigate. The thought of going in to sit and talk about what to do with your money and where to begin is daunting so we procrastinate. We ask ourselves, can we trust the banks or are they just there to cut a profit and forget about us? Are we too small to be of value to them and will they work hard for us like they do their bigger customers?

We are here to tell you that EVERY customer matters! We will do our best to help everyone reach their goals. Whether you are a child with $5 in their account or a corporation with $5 million, we want to help you be a success story. We want to help you abundantly grow and protect your money as quickly as we can. We want to be your compass to financial success, reaching your financial goals and making your IT happen, whether it be to save for a new bike, buy a home or save for retirement. Maybe it’s being able to pay your bills on time and sleep better at night. At ATB, We Exist to Make IT Possible. Read more.


by Shelly, Pioneer Acres (from our Archives)

The Nor’-West Farmer
6 August 1928
Of Interest to Women: the Farm Woman’s Relaxation

“Relaxation!’ Doubtless many a farm wife and mother will say, “I’d like to know how one is going to get time to relax where there is washing and mending, meals and chickens, separators to wash and cows to milk, and on and on without end!”

There is indeed little time for relaxation in the farm woman’s day, but if one knows how to relax, it is perfectly wonderful how much one will recuperate in just a few minutes. The secret of rapid recuperation is to consciously relax every part of the body. Lie and down and let the couch or bed hold every ounce of weight. Many people have difficulty doing this at first. If this is experienced, try tensing every part of the body, that is, making all of the muscles stiff and rigid and then relaxing.
The mind too must be quieted. One cannot relax when the mind is busy with a hundred things which are waiting to be done. Try to put them all aside, and while one cannot stop thinking, still it is quite simple to concentrate the attention on some beautiful thing. Different things will appeal to different people. To the lover of beautiful pictures, some work of art may appeal most. The lover of nature may think of some lovely spot in the woods — the lover of poetry might prefer a beautiful poem. The Twenty-third Psalm will be found to be excellent for the purpose, and a picture of the green pastures and still waters can hardly fail to be refreshing. Let the mind dwell on the subject you choose in perfect enjoyment with every muscle relaxed. Take a few deep breaths and as you do so feel energy permeating to every part of your body.
— H. E. Brown

Editor’s note: If you’ve ever tried Progressive Muscle Relaxation, you may recognize this article as a 1928 version. If you are new to this concept, there are lots of videos on YouTube to guide you through the process and help you relax. This one is a favorite of mine:

PMR is a great way to unwind before bed

Destination: St. John’s Newfoundland

by Carli

St. John’s is one of my favorite spots to visit in Canada, downtown is always welcoming and they have amazing food there! In the spring you get a chance to see the icebergs floating by and you can go on boat tours to see the whales. The colourful houses are plentiful and the hills are stunning with fantastic lookouts. The best lookout with a lot of history is at Signal Hill, it is also quite the hike as you either walk up the hill and go down the stairs or vice versa. There is a bus that will bring you up the hill to go to the souvenir shop and the historical sites without requiring much walking for those who prefer to do so. This is a must see spot if you ever find yourself in St. John’s!

Savoury Summer Surprise

by Ayvree, Irricana Kountry Kennel

“Here Bailey!” My ears perked right up, and I skidded to a halt. My newfound friends, Maxwell, Nala, Ginger, Chew Barka, (Chewy for short), and Caesar, otherwise known as Droolius Caesar, (suiting being that he is a bloodhound), almost piling into me and bowling me over. Maxwell took no heed of my stopping, and lowered instantly into a play bow, tongue lolling and panting heavily, but still eager as ever to continue playing, taking full advantage of the beautiful summer day and soaking up every minute of sunlight. Chewy and Nala, also on Maxwell’s side to keep the fun going, bounced around joyously and Nala leapt into me playfully. Ginger, a Retriever like myself, did notice my hesitation and voiced the question, “Everything okay, Bailey?”
“Bailey, COME! Time to go!” Then I knew I had heard correctly, as I’d recognize my person’s voice anywhere. My ears drooped and tail lowered regretfully.
“Sorry guys, seems like my time’s up. I’d love to keep playing, but that’s my girl calling, and I love her more than anything, and need to keep her happy! Though we’ll all meet at this park again next week, right?”
“Sure thing!”
“Of course Bailey!”
“I wouldn’t miss it!”
“Sweet! That sounds great – thanks for the fun guys!”
“Bye Bailey!” Caesar barked deeply.

With that, I spun round and dug deep, flying back to my owner. Janis beamed as I approached and began clapping her hands, pushing me faster. “Atta girl! What a good girl you are Bails!” she shouted, arms wide as I collided into her, knocking her backwards as she laughed and embraced me, soaking me in love and pets. “Oh my Bailey, you never fail to make me laugh! Let’s head home girl!” With that, Janis clipped on my leash and I trotted happily by her side back to the car, hopping in the moment the door was open. A wave of contentment and drowsiness from a morning full of play hit me all at once, and I curled up on the backseat as Janis hit the road, windows down and a calm, fresh breeze blew through my fur. Read more.

Muffin Tin Volcanoes

by Jae Jae

This is an easy STEM activity that kids of all ages can enjoy. Bonus, it’s an easy 5 minute setup and you probably have everything you need in your kitchen already! Don’t be discouraged by the mess! When we’re inside I place towels underneath and just rinse the muffin tins and Tupperware in the shower. If you’re outside you can forgo the Tupperware underneath and just hose everything down before bringing the supplies back in the house.


  • Muffin tin
  • Tupperware that is large enough for the muffin tin to sit in, or simply do this activity outside without it
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar (diluted 50/50 with water)
  • Food colouring
  • Spoons, eye droppers and/or squeeze bottles

Method 1 – Colour Reveal

Place your muffin tin in the Tupperware (if doing inside) and place 2-3 drops of food colouring in each individual muffin cup – you can mix drops to make different colours too. Then cover each cup with 1-2 Tbsp of baking soda. In a separate bowl or cup dilute vinegar roughly 50/50 with water. If you have squeeze bottles, fill them with this solution too. Give your little ones spoons, eye droppers and/or squeeze bottles to add the diluted vinegar solution to each muffin cup. This is great for building hand strength and fine motor skills! For older kids you can go more into the chemistry of how sodium bicarbonate mixes with the acetic acid and water to release carbon dioxide, resulting in the bubbles that form!

Method 2 – Colour Mixing

This method follows the same procedure as above, but instead of hiding the food colouring underneath the baking soda you add 6-10 drops of food colouring to a cup of the watered down vinegar solution. Give them Red, Yellow and Blue coloured vinegar so they can discover colour mixing!
Red + Blue = Purple
Red + Yellow = Orange
Blue + Yellow = Green

We would love to see your creations! If you try this out please send us your pictures to so we can share and inspire others!


by Jane
Thrift store finds

Back in May when stores started to open up once again, the first store (other than the grocery store) that I went in was my favourite local thrift store. This month, my friend and I decided to spend the day thrifting. I was pleased to end my epic day of thrifting spending less than $60 dollars mostly on clothing. With the discount, for example, tops and skirts were about $2.50, dresses were about $4, and I got several new-to-me outfits. A couple of the items were also brand new which is always an added bonus. I was also happy to add some more work-appropriate items from favourite brands and even some more neutrally-coloured items suitable for background performance work – my usual wardrobe is not very film-friendly as I like bright colours and graphic tees!

Being on a budget, the thrift stores have become the first place I look when I need a particular item. Why buy new, when you can find a gently-used or even new item in a thrift store for a great price! As well as saving tonnes of cash, these stores also raise funds for great causes. Win, win!

Editor’s note: Looking to find your own treasures? Be sure to check out these local area thrift stores:

Irricana Country Treasures (NEW)

Badlands Attic Treasures (in Linden)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s