Water for Riley: because living things thrive with water

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Reflecting Blooms, designed by ACAD student Michelle Lazo, is the jury’s unanimous choice for the drinking fountain in Riley Park.

Riley Park: historic treasure in Calgary’s green spaces
In 1910, Riley Park was a gift to the City of Calgary for everyone’s future enjoyment. For over 100 years it’s been an urban oasis in the inner city. Riley Park serves all demographics, and attracts users city-wide and locally.

Calgary’s densification policy has brought about 1700 new residents in four years, with an anticipated additional 17% population growth within walking distance of Riley Park. Visitors are professionals in condos, youth and students from the three nearby schools, families in single and multi-family dwellings, seniors of Grace Hospital, nearby women’s shelter, and accessible housing for formerly homeless Calgarians.

Riley Park users need services
As the community densifies, and the numbers of park users increase, the demand for facilities also grows. Yet, the park lacks facilities to serve its growing and diverse population of visitors, and services are an unfunded priority unless we raise the money.

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There’s so much to do in Riley Park
Children love the new playground. In the summer the wading pool is full of fun-seeking families. Youths practice slack line and music under the trees. A new bandstand is planned for concerts on the grass. Calgary’s oldest leagues play on the cricket pitch.
There’s picnic tables, paths to walk through the gardens of glorious summer flowers, and special event photography. People run, walk, cross-country ski, dog walk, and play all manner of games in the open areas.

We believe success is built on community
Once this close-knit community saw a need and opportunity we mobilized around a vision of a unique, functional, public art fountain. The City has agreed to install, own and maintain it. Behind our application is an exciting multi-institution collaboration with collective beneficial impacts.

We instituted a 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 SAIT, ACAD and Hillhurst Elementary School students have taken ‘ownership’ of their park and their fountain.

Stay in touch, follow us
Please follow our progress on twitter, Facebook and on our blog, email us with feedback and suggestions, and join us in this journey to improve a beloved natural public space.

Press this link to donate now!     Donate to Water for Riley

“Technology alone is not enough- it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities that yields us the results that make our hearts sing.” Steve Jobs 2011

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