Dale Hodges Park, formerly the site of Klippert gravel pit, opened to the public on June 26. Located west of Market Mall along the Bow River, the 40-acre site includes stormwater wetlands, wildlife habitat, trails for cycling and walking, and lookout points across the scenic river valley.
The park was named after Calgary’s longest-serving member of council who “took an active role in protecting and creating Calgary’s green spaces while in office.”
“Dale Hodges Park is a one-of-a-kind, beautiful stormwater treatment facility designed in collaboration with local artists, Sans Façon. The design highlights the natural and man-made processes involved in stormwater management,” said Katie Black, general manager of Community Services with The City of Calgary.
This specific project brings citizens along on a journey: the stormwater originates from rain or melting snow from eight north-west Calgary neighbourhoods, and travels to Dale Hodges Park where it is filtered and treated, prior to entering The Bow River.
The park is one of the first of its kind in North America and the result of an innovative collaboration between artists, engineers, landscape architects, biologists, and environmental management consultants. A team comprised of O2, Source 2 Source Inc., Sans Facon for Watershed+ and AECOM worked collaboratively to transform the site.
The design brings stormwater management to the attention of Calgarians in a way that inspires curiosity, and a deeper understanding of how our natural and man-made systems interact. The unique perspectives of the team members added to the quality and creativity of this park’s design, ultimately creating an engaging and educational space.
“The park’s proximity to the river presented a rare and unique opportunity to protect the Bow River, as it is estimated that the annual sediment loads to the Bow River from this area will be reduced by 50 per cent,” said Rene Letourneau, senior project engineer.
The overall budget for Dale Hodges Park is $26.8 million, which includes costs for the design and construction of the stormwater treatment system and the park, reclamation of the land and innovative public art incorporated into the design.