St. Albert environmentalist Elke Blodgett lived for all seasons

Elke Blodgett was an unapologetic advocate for the environment in St. Albert.

Standing at about five-foot-one, the compact woman was a force of nature. “She was a small person but also big in the sense that she had big ideas and a big heart,” her daughter, Astrid Blodgett, said last week.

On Feb. 15, Elke Blodgett’s voice was carried on the wind. The 81-year-old died of cardiac arrest.

She fought the City of St. Albert’s plans to use a pesticide to kill an invasive, non-native fish in Riel Pond. In 2006 part of Riel Pond was reclaimed as a wetland.

Blodgett also pushed the city to clean up sewage lagoons and she campaigned to move transmission lines out of the flight path of migratory birds.

In the spring of 2011, the City of St. Albert recognized her work by naming a piece of land that juts north into Riel Pond Elke’s Peninsula.

“She was very touched, she was very moved,” Astrid Blodgett said. “She loved it out there.”

Never giving up

That piece of land attracts geese, swans, a large black and white wader that breeds in Alberta and an American avocet, said a Journal news story at the time.

Blodgett’s greatest achievement was never giving up the fight, her daughter said.

“She kept going,” she said. “As you can imagine, city council was not terribly supportive of what she was doing. But she kept going. She persisted. It’s tireless and thankless and you have to care (for the cause) a lot.”

Elke Blodgett at Big Lake………… For a story on Big Lake, I’d like a portrait of St. Albert artist and activist Elke Blodgett at the famous bird viewing platform on the lake. Go to Elke’s house at 5 Grantham Place and she’ll take you there. The light should be excellent if it’s still clear out. 458-3445

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Source:: Edmonton Journal

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