Sunday, 28 June 2015

Red Deer 100,000!

Hey everyone,

The population of Red Deer is now over 100,000 and it has been projected that the population of Red Deer will double in the next 18 years or so. What do you think about that? Do you think Red Deer is getting too crowded and sprawled out?

I have lived in Red Deer since the population was closer to 60,000 and I have seen a lot change. We now have rush hour traffic jams and smog on calm days. We used to brag about being able to drive anywhere in 10 minutes, now at times we're pushing 20 minutes or more! 

Growth is a hard thing to plan for. If we over shoot it then we will have problems with an over supply of housing and high capital expenses and possibly high debt payments. But if we undershoot growth then we have problems with the cost of living and housing prices spiking, utilities and services being over burdened and all that. I am grateful that the city planners in our city have been able to keep up.

Human civilization going forward is faced with monumental challenges due to climate change and population growth. Yes technology is rapidly developing but we must look beyond mere technological developments to solve our problems.

I am cautiously encouraged that Red Deer is in a position of continued growth this will be an amazing opportunity for us but there are a lot of challenges we will overcome. For example, we must balance the urge to sprawl outward by revitalizing our older neighbourhoods and our downtown. Just because our population is projected to double in 18 years doesn't mean our surface area has to double as well. 

I met some of the planners who are designing the new part of Red Deer named Timberlands. They were at the city Open House presentation about future developments north of Highway 11A. I am very encouraged by their vision and their progressive mindset.

The issue of where to build a new High School and a new Aquatic Recreation Centre came up a few times at the forum. The direction that we are currently heading in is that there will be a massive amount of growth on the north end of our city over the next 10-15 years and plans for a new high school and a recreation centre north of the river aren't part of those plans. I think this is short sighted.

Now I have been making a series of videos about what it like to be a pedestrian in Red Deer. I hope to elucidate some of the things that are serving us well and contrast them against things that aren't serving us well. If you haven't yet already, please check out my YouTube Channel and my Facebook Page.

I would love to hear your responses to some of the topics that I bring up. I believe in collaboration and I hope to be a part of the conversation as our city goes forward. 

Connect with Me on G+FacebookTwitter and now my two YouTube channels either 16 Paces (The Story Of My Garden) or Wieler4RD.

& IRL (In Real Life) - lets go for coffee!


Do you need Oilfield Safety Training or First Aid Training? 

I am the owner of Bullseye Safety, we offer H2S Alive and First Aid training in Red Deer!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Aquatic Centre Where?

Hey everyone,

There are two topics in this post that I will be sharing.


This last weekend Krystal and I were busy hosting an obstacle course for the Central Alberta Children's Festival. We have done something like this 3 times over the last 4 years because it is really a lot of FUN! We have kids of our own and our philosophy is that kids need to be able to run, jump, crawl and explore! So that is why we love designing this obstacle course for the festival!

The kids are drawn in by the vibrant colours and the interesting objects that we set out for them. The obstacle course started with a hopscotch. Then there was an army crawl, tires to jump through, hoops, balance beams and a tunnel at the end. We put a strong focus on making use of all the space we were given to create a safe and welcoming environment!

I am very grateful for all the volunteers who worked hard to make this event possible! Also I am grateful to Wrenchmasters for letting us borrow their tires!


Every year the festival is held at Rotary Recreation Park behind the downtown Recreation Centre. It is a beautiful location with many old trees that give the area picturesque feeling. Natural sites in our city; especially in our downtown will become more and more valuable as our city grows. The appraisal will be calculated in property value as well as cultural and environmental metrics.

I understand that this site will be the location of the future 50 meter pool and aquatic centre. I am very nervous that this location will be negatively impacted if the recreation centre is in fact expanded into this green space. The idea of paving large swaths of this heritage site under to make way for a parking lot and expanded recreation centre seems imprudent to me.

I am open to being persuaded that building the pool there is in fact a good thing, but I think Red Deerians would be best served if we were to select a greenfield site for this new construction and leave the recently renovated Recreation Centre as is. A good site would be somewhere on the north end, perhaps Hazlet Lake just north of highway 11A when that area becomes developed into residential as is currently being planned. It could be built right beside a new highschool that could service the town of Blackfalds too! But maybe I'm just a silly dreamer.

Now I know that building on a new site would be substantially more expensive and I know that the current outdoor pool will be shut down in a few years either way. Also I understand that there is an argument that it will be too expensive to operate the current recreation centre as well as a new centre somewhere else. So maybe this is the best solution but it is hard to keep all that in mind while walking through that wonderful park. 

Connect with Me on G+FacebookTwitter and now YouTube (16 Paces, The Story Of My Garden).

& IRL (In Real Life) - lets go for coffee!

Do you need Oilfield Safety Training or First Aid Training? 

I am the owner of Bullseye Safety, we offer H2S Alive and First Aid training in Red Deer!