Background to the project
Our much-loved Riley Park has lots to offer visitors. It also lacks basic facilities like drinking water and toilets in its most heavily used areas near the playground, picnic tables, and new bandstand.
Facilities were identified as an unfunded priority for both the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association and the City of Calgary Parks Department. That means it’s officially known the services are needed, and there’s no public money allocated now or in future budget cycles.
What are the benefits to date?
Once this close-knit community saw a need and opportunity we mobilized around a vision of a unique, functional, public art fountain. A group of committed volunteer residents started an exciting multi-institution collaboration with collective beneficial impacts.
We instituted a SAIT and ACAD student challenge to design a drinking fountain that reflects the heritage values of one of Calgary’s oldest districts, and aesthetic values of Riley Park’s gorgeous flowerbeds, and athletic values of the cricket pitch, playground and pool. Participating students have taken ‘ownership’ of their park and their fountain.
We already see the benefits even before the fountain’s design is selected. All the learning institutions are now engaging with each other and the community for the first time. The designs will be publicly displayed, giving student talent a showcase. IBI Group, formerly a local business until it recently relocated its office, has agreed to donate part of its services to provide engineering oversight. The Calgary Foundation provided the first money in and we’re fundraising for the balance.
How can you be involved?
We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Contact us waterforriley.org. To donate through the Parks Foundation Calgary, click on the button. Please specify the project you support is Water for Riley.