New park continues to add to Landscape of Memory
Calgary, AB – Memorial Drive is one of Calgary’s most cherished and well used corridors, and to help enhance this space, The City of Calgary Parks will be building a new public plaza and park space.
“Since people enjoy using the Memorial Drive corridor for a variety of different reasons already -- commuting, walking, running, resting -- we wanted to create a space that enhances people’s experience in the park and adds more meaning and vibrancy to the area,” says Doug Marter, Planning and Development Manager, City of Calgary Parks.
The new plaza, which will be located along the Bow River at the end of 34A Street N.W. in the community of Parkdale, will feature benches, bicycle racks, a new forest of trees and vegetation and an art sculpture that connects Calgarians to the Bow River. It’s scheduled to open to the public fall 2014.
Starting on April 1, Calgarians will begin to see fencing and other construction materials arrive at the site. Detours on the pedestrian pathway will also start occurring. Parks is asking Calgarians to please respect all posted signage for safety reasons.
The new plaza is being developed at one of the points along Memorial Drive that has been set aside as part of the Council approved “Landscape of Memory” project. The project helps protect Memorial Drive’s legacy as a living memorial to the events and people that have shaped the city’s landscape.
“This plaza will be a great enhancement to the park,” says Marter. “Right now, other than a few benches in the area, there’s no place that offers people a place to sit and enjoy the space. The new plaza will not only give people a place to sit, but take in the views and reflect, and maybe even catch their breath.”
At the same time, the plaza will offer Calgarians a unique view of The City’s stormwater through an integrated art sculpture located in the centre of the plaza. This sculpture, designed by Brian Tolle, supports the vision of The City’s Utilities and Environmental Protection (UEP) Public Art Plan, which lays out how public art can be applied to infrastructure projects to ensure the goal of stewardship and sustainability of water resources for the city.
The sculpture is an inverted replica of Mount Peechee, the third highest peak in the Fairholme Range in Banff National Park. Visitors can look down into the inverted mountain and witness the water that runs through The City’s underground stormwater infrastructure (called an outfall) and into the Bow River.
“The sculpture allows Calgarians to appreciate and reflect on the environment, encourage interaction and questioning, and provides opportunities for greater understanding of human impact on the environment,” says Manager of Culture, Sarah Iley.
The sculpture will also help The City raise awareness about the impact stormwater has on the health of our rivers.
The water that runs through the outfall and into the river comes from water running off our roofs, driveways and streets. Often carried with this runoff are pollutants and sediments that end up, untreated, in the river.
The new plaza will cost $3.5 million to develop. A portion of the budget ($890,000) has been provided by the ENMAX Legacy Parks Program to help develop the Memorial Drive “Landscape of Memory” corridor. As well, $2.5 million has been allocated to the project in accordance with The City’s UEP Public Art Plan.
For more information about the Parkdale Plaza project, or to learn more about The City’s “Landscape of Memory” and UEP Public Art Plan, please visit calgary.ca.