Making Good News
I've had a strong, personal connection to the river valley for as long as I can remember. Once I got into the River Valley Alliance and assumed the role of chair, it seemed to envelop me. Edmonton's river valley is world-class. We needed to bring the story of our river valley - what it was and what it could be - to the public, to all the stakeholders along the river, and to the world. And that's what we did.
I put together what has become the definitive piece that describes what the river valley is, what it’s all about. It’s a PowerPoint presentation. To this day, it still gives me goose bumps when I think about it. It’s still so fresh in my mind. It’s the story I take out to the public so that they understand.
I began to tell the story of the river valley to whoever would listen. And it began to pick up steam. The goal was to make the River Valley Alliance and what we stood for, a household name. To be known as the advocates who spoke on behalf of the river valley.
There are 10,000,000 people who use the river valley each year. That shows you how relevant it is. It’s Edmonton’s connective tissue, the backbone, the big vein that runs through our city. If you go down into the river valley you enter a different space - you don’t even know you’re in a city of a million people.
The River Valley Alliance is trying to create a continuous world-class metropolitan river valley park system. That’s our goal. I’m too old to ever see this thing finished but that’s fine. We have started it and now leave it to the next generation and the one after that; to our children and our children’s children.
I’m honoured and pleased and proud to have been the chair of this organization through its formative stages. Every day I turn another page. I learn something more. I get more excited about it. That’s why I’m involved. I can’t think of a better way to give back. I hope that this helps make Edmonton a better place than I found it. It leaves a bit more for my children and your children and their children. And hopefully someday this city will be truly recognized for what the river valley is and what it brings to the people of our city. It's magic.