A Calgary gravel pit park was awarded the National Jury Prize for Outstanding Public Landscapes.
The Canadian Society for Landscape Architects (CSLA) has recognized Dale Hodges Park on a number of criteria, including demonstrating environmental and social awareness in the design and use of innovations in landscape design.
Dale Hodges Park is 100 acres west of Market Mall on the Bow River. The land that housed the former Klippert gravel pit was acquired in 2010 to restore the area’s ecological integrity and increase its recreational value for Calgarians.
In a collaboration between the Parks, Water and Public Art departments in Calgary, Dale Hodges is now both a public park and a rainwater treatment facility. The park creates diverse habitats for the local flora and fauna and is a 40 hectare living work of art.
According to the City of Calgary website, the park was designed to capture, slow down, and filter rainwater from eight surrounding northwestern communities on its journey back to the Bow River. The design highlights the natural and man-made processes associated with rainwater management.
“The project is unique,” said David Harrison, project leader for Calgary Parks. “As a rule, the source, the route and the location of the rainwater in our cities are either not recognizable or largely invisible, while rainwater ponds are often viewed as an inconvenient infrastructure requirement.”
“At Dale Hodges Park, rainwater was drawn to the surface and seen as an opportunity to create a unique park and create valuable habitats,” he said.
In 2021, a national jury of landscape architects selected 14 projects from a total of 72 submissions as CSLA winners.
“These award-winning projects are prime examples of Canadian landscape architecture. They illustrate what landscape architects do and how landscape architects are helping to reshape our communities by defining the places where we live, work and play, ”reads the CSLA press release.
The Jury Prize, presented to Dale Hodges Park on April 7th, will be awarded to the project that best demonstrates the CSLA’s vision of advancing the art, science and practice of landscape architecture.
Dale Hodges Park offers rainwater wetlands, wildlife habitats, recreational trails and lookout points over the scenic river valley.
This Calgary park is located at 2123 52nd Street NW.