Reason #1 - The Red Deer River Valley
The Red Deer River valley is one amazing place. From whitewater rafting west of Sundre to Dickson Dam to Red Deer's Waskasoo Park system to Canyon Ski Area to Dry Island Buffalo Jump to the Badlands, the Red Deer River offers an incredibly diverse range of opportunties.
As as a resident of Red Deer, I get a chance to see the river up close. It is a place where my dog can run off-leash and swim. The city has an extensive network of multi-use paths for people to cycle, skate, ski, walk and run. The river valley is home to River Bend Golf Course and the Red Deer Golf and Country Club. Cultural attractions like Fort Normandeau and Cronquist House are places to learn why people settled in the area.
Let's treasure this resource. Take advantage of it, but don't abuse it. Two summers ago, we took a day trip in our canoe and had lunch on the island across from Bower Ponds. I was profoundly disappointed that we had to watch where our children were walking because the island was strewn with broken glass. On hot days, legions of people float the river in a wide variety of vessels. Most have a fully-stocked cooler on board. Few have paddles or PFDs. It's a terrible accident waiting to happen.
Thankfully, groups like the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance work hard to protect, enhance and promote this amazing resource. The river gives us a place to play and gather. It provides us with drinking water and electricity. Take care of the river, OK? It's not much to ask when you consider the positive impact this river makes on our lives.