what makes urban parks natural, magical, healthful & healing

Calgary author Mark Milke lists the qualities that make for a magnificent urban park, and Riley Park has them all – except a drinking fountain. Mr. Milke’s suggestion for spending Calgary’s budget surplus: a new park with “a well-designed green space with water fountains, benches and flower beds; add in an assortment of oak, maple, pine and larch trees; do so on city-owned land in the west end…”.

Water for Riley agrees with Mr. Milke that the design fundamentals that create such a beautiful green space includes a drinking fountain.

Here’s excerpts from Mr. Milke’s column on the topic:

Use Surplus for a New Park
‘Calgary Herald’ – 2016-03-19

Take the long view and cre­ate a green space in the west end.
Mark Milke is a Cal­gary au­thor who likes green space.

In theory, of course, one could live without such parks. … City life in such locales is decidedly less pleasant.

But no one with any understanding of how and why urban public parks developed in North America — the late 19th century City Beautiful movement that sought to beautify cities for everyone (rich, poor and middle-class alike) — would wish for only sterile, concrete-and-blacktop metropolises. Such green-free urban settings grate and grind against the natural human desire for life-affirming green additions to city landscapes.
… green grass, flowing fountains, a rainbow’s variety of flowers in spring, benches on which to sit and tall trees to beautify the panorama …
In A Clearing in the Distance, his magnificent biography of the 19th century landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the main creator of Central Park, Mount Royal Park and others, author Witold Rybczynski writes of a later reaction to Mount Royal by one observer in 1906: “A public park that is convenient and beautiful, and that becomes more and more satisfying each year.”

Rybczynski… described his own wanderings … as “natural and magical; healthful and healing.” …

Think about a legacy that can last for centuries. …

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Some of the student designers want to make the future of Riley Park include a beautiful, functional, accessible drinking fountain.

Water for Riley wants to make their legacy come to pass.

To participate in Water for Riley, email or call 403 862 1923.

To donate through the Parks Foundationdonate button, click in the button and specify you are supporting Water for Riley.