Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ralph Klein Park makes history

Ralph Klein today became the first Mayor in Calgary’s history ever to see a City Park named in his honor.

The new 30-hectare park is located within a 200-hectare constructed wetland in east Calgary off of 84th Street south of Glenmore Trail S.E.

“The park provides a mix of upland, wetlands and open water habitat for wildlife and nature enjoyment. When it opens this fall, the Environmental Education Centre will offer state-of-the art environmental education programming with an emphasis on teaching, learning and training for a sustainable future,” said Parks Director Anne Charlton.

The park wetlands use natural vegetation to treat storm water before it is discharged into the Bow River. Several other energy conserving strategies and design concepts have been implemented such as the use of alternate energy sources for building heating and the use of green technology and materials during site construction.

The park also houses an Environmental Education Centre recreational spaces and public art.

The $32M park development, which started construction in early 2009, was made possible by funding from the ENMAX Parks Program through the ENMAX Legacy Fund.

“The name Ralph Klein is synonymous with Calgary - the two are inseparable," said Mayor Dave Bronconnier. "As Mayor he led our city through good times and bad, and spearheaded initiatives like the northeast LRT construction, building the new city hall and hosting the 1988 Winter Olympics. As an avid outdoorsman, this park is a very fitting tribute to a man who gave much to serve Calgarians.”

Bronconnier and Charlton unveiled a plaque dedicating the park to Ralph Klein, which will be placed in the park once construction is complete. Both the park and Environmental Education Centre will open to the public in the fall.

More information on Ralph Klein Park can be found on the Parks website at calgary.ca/parks.

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