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Planning the celebration

Something to celebrate

The drinking fountain’s delayed installation, disappointing though that is, also presents an opportunity. We have time now to put on a great celebration of our success.

Lisa Chong, Stephanie Corbett, Joanne Pawelek, and Tracy Hume met for the first time 21 October, 2019, at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association.
Rachelle Donaldson, Maddie Selby, Michelle Reid, Stephanie Corbett and Lisa Chong met 27 November, 2019, at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association and created an action plan to work on for 2020.

We brainstormed how to thank the many donors, community volunteers, major sponsors, donations in kind, partners, contributors, stakeholders and many others. We created a list of ideas for acknowledging this unique community effort.

Help plan the party

Do you want to help put on this fun event? We offer lots of scope for creativity, a chance to meet and work with wonderful people, and be recognized as a friend of the fountain.

If you are interested in an exciting volunteer opportunity, you can contribute to this legacy project. Join our team and work on some of the following tasks, as the plan evolves:

  • Work out logistics for the event and implement the plan
  • Work with the committee, within the budget for the event 
  • On SM platforms, post before the event and after it of the experiences
  • Engage with three main groups and other stakeholders:
    1. Community leagues, organizations, and informal groups that use Riley Park
    2. Corporate, local and regional
    3. Individuals
      1. Local
      2. Regional
      3. City-wide

Riley Park is so special

In other posts, we shared photos of this bench that a secret admirer decorates with seasonal ornaments. The Thanksgiving, autumnal wreath warmed our hearts. The drinking fountain belongs in this natural green treasure, which community members quietly nurture, as it nurtures them.

A toast to 2020 and thank you 2019

We were so close to the finish line

The drinking fountain is built. That’s correct. It’s fabricated, and the plumber was testing it last week. Theoretically, if this were August instead of October, we’d be announcing the date of the grand opening celebration.

instead, somewhat sadly, we announcing that our wonderful partner, Heavy Industries, is crating the pieces to store over the winter so it can be installed when the ground thaws in Spring, 2020.

These completed stems of Reflecting Blooms are crated for winter storage

We tried so hard

We tried our very best to get the work prepared, documented, approved, permitted, scheduled, tested and installed in September, or October at the latest. Then, the snow came.
 
In the end, the installer’s logic persuaded us to delay installation until May, 2020. All the other steps will be completed then, so The City, Screwpile and Landform can go on site and accomplish everything at once.
 
Heavy Industries has done all its preparation: scheduled the plumber to test the fountains, and after that, ensure the pieces of the drinking fountain are crated and stored safely over the winter. 
 
  • The professional Project Manager will redo the Plan Assist schedule for the final tasks and circulate it.
  • Our Parks Department liaison is shepherding the contracts through The City Solicitor’s office for signatures.
  • The Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association has started a process of convening a committee to plan an opening celebration.
Now, we must wait out winter. 
 
Very best wishes to you all, until spring then …

Huge thanks to all who made the drinking fountain in Riley Park possible

W4R’s organizing committee – Michelle Vincent, Kerry Harmer, Sally Truss, Jocelyn Kabatoff, and Natalie Bach, among others – appreciates advice from: IBI Group, Ron Buchan and Michelle Reid of City of Calgary Parks Department, councillor Druh Farrell, Julie Black of The Calgary Foundation, The Parks Foundation of Calgary, Gena Rotstein of Place2Give Foundation, Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association staff.

Our business friends who donated so much in time and funding and other supports: Framed on Fifth, Sunnyside Natural Market, Nulli Identity Management, and Heavy Industries.

We are especially grateful to many individual donors, and corporate donors such as The Calgary Foundation, Alberta Tourism, NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT, and Spray Group for generous financial support.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.See our story in a video http://www.waterforriley.org/2018/07/acad-w4r-video/

The new, almost guaranteed, perhaps firm, conditionally final, scheduled completion date

Team Water for Riley has now overcome every setback and obstacle; behind us are all the wrinkles and surprises. The drinking fountain in Riley Park is going to be installed this year, this season and this month. Or have I thought that before?

Team Water for Riley now has sufficient evidence of completion to offer photographic proof that backs up our optimism.

Fabrication on track

One of the stainless steel bowls on the three stems of Reflective Blooms.

The three stems of staggered height are on schedule for completion next week. The materials are on hand for the mechanics and plumbing to be added. Heavy Industries continues to provide the Project Management that integrates the other experts’ roles in the work.

The three stems of Reflective Blooms in the fabrication warehouse, 26 September, 2019.

Next steps on track

A lot of meetings, emails, document sharing, brainstorming, handwringing, and fundraising accomplished an excellent result. Team Water for Riley collaboratively solved the remaining issues. Everyone knows who does what and when, for a seamless installation. Heavy Industries’ flow chart coordinates the work of three or four City of Calgary departments, IBI Group, and Landform.

The fabrication and installation schedule shows partial completion.
There’s a clear path outlining steps to complete what remains.

On site work in Riley Park

Months of planning, research, and negotiation about paperwork will soon pay off when Landform lays the surface in which the drinking fountain will be installed. The approved surface resembles the black mat under the current playground. The paperwork is almost ready for signature, which permits the work to proceed on schedule.

The drinking fountain will rest on a black surface similar to that under the playground.
It’s safe, durable, City approved, and, most important to Water for Riley, accessible.

Last role for the community volunteers

Since summer of 2015, residents of Hillhurst Sunnyside collectively provided thousands of volunteer hours managing the Water for Riley Project. Three community foundations gave either or both financial and strategic guidance, Place2Give Foundation, The Calgary Foundation, and The Parks Foundation Calgary. Individuals donated time and money, corporations and local businesses contributed money and donations in kind. We are so proud to have these partners in our efforts. Please join us in grateful acknowledgment:

Winding up the role of the volunteer Project Manager

My volunteer job ends when the fountain works and the books balance after the last invoice is paid. For over a year, the actual project has been in the hands of Heavy Industries’ professional Project Manager, with cheerleading support from the community volunteers. Water for Riley became a professional job long ago, and the volunteers are grateful for the experts with engineering and technical skills.

How to end the project …

This is an open question. From the outset, Team Water for Riley wanted a celebration when the drinking fountain was installed and turned on for the first time. That was supposed to be the spring time, of 2017. Then the summer. Then spring of 2018. Then summer. Then the spring of 2019. Then summer. Now, it’s scheduled for early October, one month from now, and anyone in Calgary knows the weather could be spring like, summer like, autumn like, or full on winter deep freeze.

We’re open to suggestions and volunteers to help plan and organize an outdoor celebration. My role will be over by then and, after doing Water for Riley almost full time since 2015, I look forward to moving to other projects that have languished. I trust someone else will step up to do the celebratory party organizing.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

We invite everyone to volunteer. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

See our story in a video http://www.waterforriley.org/2018/07/acad-w4r-video/

The good, the bad, and the lessons

Water for Riley’s previous post shared news of an exciting donation from Spray Group that rescued the project. As did, by the way, every donation that kept the project alive these past years. How did it happen that such a large amount was needed so urgently at the last minute?

Ever wonder how major infrastructure projects, like building ships and bridges, exceed estimated costs? That’s with experts doing the estimating, procurement, project managing, and fabrication. So, Water for Riley’s part-time volunteers feel slightly less forlorn.

Three last minute issues surprised the volunteers and experts on team Water for Riley.

Foundation and drainage: A criteria for the drinking fountain was wheelchair accessibility. A concrete foundation couldn’t be guaranteed because water from the drinking fountain would freeze and thaw in Calgary’s weather. The City of Calgary wouldn’t approve a foundation that didn’t have a warranty.

To overcoming the warranty issue, the engineers suggested a different foundation entirely, which was less expensive, warranted, and better. Enter Landform Inc.

The new idea for the drinking fountain foundation is to match the rubber-like surface of the nearby playground.

Landform needed a lot more detail, such as types and sizes of hardware, depth of pilings, and materials that Water for Riley had never heard of before. Emails whipped back and forth for weeks, pinning down how much and what size of all manner of topics. Each step needed consultation among Heavy Industries, The City, Landform, and the project’s engineers, IBI Group. For the first time, the costs got specific.

Then it got interesting.

Prime Contractor: Since 2015, everyone on the project agreed that Heavy Industries would act as project Contractor. Despite Heavy’s worldwide scope, international reputation, and local headquarters in Calgary, it had never before had The City of Calgary as a client. While Water for Riley was a wonderful opportunity to build that relationship, Heavy isn’t one of The City of Calgary’s pre-approved contractors. To gain that approval is a lot of paperwork and time. Better, the team decided, to switch to Landform as Prime Contractor and Heavy as a subcontractor.

Then it got legal.

Contract: Heavy and The City of Calgary Legal Department had gone back and forth in iterations of a contract for months. With Landform assuming Prime Contractor status, that shifted. The contract among Landform, The City of Calgary, and Water for Riley is currently under review with the City Solicitor. Hopefully, it is approved and obtains an authorizing signature soon.

Meanwhile, The City laid the water line, Heavy ordered the materials for fabrication, Landform expects to lay the foundation in September, and we have sights set on completion soon after that. Never for sure though, as Water for Riley volunteers learned. Infrastructure projects, it appears, come with surprises. When the contract is signed, it will include payment milestones and construction schedule, so we’ll know better.

Then it gets celebratory.

Water for Riley has notified its major funder, Northwest Healthcare Properties REIT, that we expect to have an opening celebration within the next two to three months. We can’t wait.

Trail, who inspired the project, wants to be the first dog to drink from the pet height fountain

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for The Water for Riley Project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

See our story in a video http://www.waterforriley.org/2018/07/acad-w4r-video/

Major donation a lifeline

In November, 2018, we posted that the engineers were designing the foundation in which the drinking fountain blooms would sit. When the design went to several companies for an estimate to construct that foundation, no one expected a quote of $40,000.00.

Only two options presented. Quit, walk away and forego all the costs and effort expended so far, or raise another $40,000.00.

The volunteers and The City of Calgary staff seriously considered both options. Water for Riley volunteers decided to try additional fundraising first. Foremost on our minds was the extraordinary generosity of all the wonderful donors so far. We didn’t want to let them down when they’d offered such unconditional financial and other supports.

We met with Srimal Ranasinghe of Hive Developments on March 19, 2019. He took our proposal to Hive Development’s client, Spray Group.

Water for Riley volunteer, Jocelyn Kabatoff, met with Srimal at a local coffee shop on 10 Street, N.W. to propose that Spray Group donate $40,000.00.

Spray Group didn’t delay accepting the proposal, subject to one condition. The cheque would be delayed until its development project, Victoria on the Park, received City approval.

To everyone’s relief, the apartment development application was approved, and Spray Group, through Hive Development, delivered the cheque on August 16, 2019, in Riley Park.

Loudres Juan, Director of Hive Developments, presents Jocelyn with Spray Group’s cheque, so Water for Riley can complete the drinking fountain in Riley Park project.

Jocelyn, indefatigable volunteer, writes:

This week the Water for Riley team received a cheque for $40,000 from the Spray Group of companies. This represents the final fund-raising hurdle to bring the Reflecting Blooms design to Riley Park.

Fabrication of the design is about to begin and we will have an estimate for installation and, of course, a grand reveal party at Riley Park soon.

We’re delighted that so many community members have stepped forward to support the vision of this project. Thank you to Lourdes Juan for championing the project, and Jake, for representing doggo who will use the fountain.

Lourdes presents the cheque to Jake the Labradoodle, who declares it ‘delicious.’

To recognize this important and timely donation, Water for Riley updated its acknowledgement page.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for The Water for Riley Project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.Paragraph

See our story in a video http://www.waterforriley.org/2018/07/acad-w4r-video/

Installation phase 1: completed

Notice of project start
After months of negotiation and clarification, the design details are almost finalized.

Riley Park made ready for its drinking fountain

Early November, 2018, the Water for Riley team faced unexpected issues. The experts tell us that issues during construction projects shouldn’t be unexpected, so let’s go with that wisdom. Since November, those wonderful experts have worked hard to find solutions.

The City of Calgary Parks Department had enough faith in those solutions that we met on site to plot the water line location. On Monday, 3 June, 2019, City staff, Heavy Industries’ Project Manager and Water for Riley met on site, looking at plans and maps.

To be ready for the drinking fountain’s installation, City staff were scheduled to dig and install the water line that will hook up to the three stems of Reflecting Blooms.

City staff on location in Riley Park
Deborah of City of Calgary Water Management, Lori from Heavy Industries and City staff Kody, Mark and Aneta plot the location of the waterline that will run from 12th Street NW to the drinking fountain.
June 3, 2019 meeting on site
Lori, Deborah, Kody and Aneta examine the map with topographic and service features. It helped us look for any underground utilities. Kody sprayed the purple mark on the grass to align with the box that will house the water cutoff device.

Decision on Monday, water line on Tuesday

On Tuesday, 4 June, 2019, the crew showed up with equipment, and Michelle from Parks Department matched the location and the digging to the plans.

From 12 Street NW, the water line entered Riley Park at the north gate, went east to avoid damaging trees, and headed south to the future location of the drinking fountain
In half a day, with minimal disruption to Riley Park and its visitors, City staff installed the water line and the shutoff valve. Once the drinking fountain is fabricated and installed, the hookup is easy.
The crew left the site with barely a trace of having dug a water line there. Trail, the inspiration for the drinking fountain project, inspected the location and was satisfied.
4 June, City staff can't wait for the drinking fountain
Water for Riley: a drinking fountain in Riley Park so disposable water bottles aren’t needed. Perhaps this is the last time staff will have to drink from plastic bottles that are used once and discarded?

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for The Water for Riley Project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

See our story in a video http://www.waterforriley.org/2018/07/acad-w4r-video/

Urban parks, community, and water: life extenders

The continuing saga of Water for Riley (W4R)

W4R is pleased to report that Heavy Industries has now assigned a Project Manager. On November 8, 2018, Amy Ghalambor and Michelle Reid meet with W4R at the proposed installation site.

Michelle Reid, City of Calgary, and Amy Ghalambor, Heavy Industries Project Manager, meet in Riley Park to discuss logistics at the drinking fountain site.

The stamp of approval on the project’s fabrication gets closer with each meeting and discussion about design. There are still complications to work out, and Amy is committed to finding solutions.

W4R in the news

As well as the interview on Global Calgary TV, Nov. 25th, W4R volunteers appeared at City Hall Nov. 26th, to speak in support of the Parks Foundation Calgary’s funding.

Today, Nov. 27th, Audrey Neveu, CBC Vidéojournaliste / reporter, interviewed W4R volunteers.

Audrey and Gena Rotstein (Karmaandcents.com) had a great discussion about the non-profit sector, fundraising, and finding solutions to social issues.

The story will be aired sometime early in December.

Audrey toured the site where Riley Park’s drinking fountain will be installed.

People need nature and parks for many reasons

It’s been a long process since the project began in April, 2015; much longer than the volunteer committee imagined. Those five principles, articulated November 20, 2015, remind us why the drinking fountain is such a priority. The vision still inspires W4R volunteers.

One of W4R’s five principles is health, as evidenced in new research published in Lancet Planet Health 2017; 1: e289–97, Urban greenness and mortality in Canada’s largest cities: a national cohort study, by Dan L Crouse, et al.

… as the amount of greenery increased, people’s risk of premature death decreased by eight to 12 per cent.

… exposure to and interactions with green spaces are associated with improved psychological wellbeing and have cognitive, physiological, and social benefits…

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for The Water for Riley Project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

#GivingTuesdayYYC

W4R is part of #GivingTuesday

Riley Park is unique in Calgary. It’s a regional, local and historic grant of land from a generous Calgarian in 1910. There’s need for continued generosity from W4R’s supporters as fundraising fell short of being able to fabricate Reflecting Blooms as designed.

W4R’s first donor, The Calgary Foundation, nominated W4R as a charity worth supporting. W4R is a special project because everyone needs water, as some cricket players learned the hard way.

The drinking fountain design is special because it’s so inclusive, with stems for all, including four-legged park visitors, which Trail and Jake greatly appreciate.

As well as the usual path for donating through the Parks Foundation website, #GivingTuesdayYYC is a broader effort to meet community goals. At the drop down menu, please select Water for Riley Park to donate.

And, Gena Rotstein of Karma & Cents invited W4R’s volunteer project manager to appear with her on Global Calgary, to speak about #GivingTuesday, which is about so much more than just donating money and forgetting about social issues.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for The Water for Riley Project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

Completions and complications

Three completions:

Design: Hopefully, you have seen ACAD student Michelle Lazo’s winning design of the drinking fountain for Riley Park, called Reflecting Blooms. Michelle envisioned five blooms. The five heights were intended to enable access for all thirsts, whether approaching the drinking bowls on paws, wheels or feet.

Plan Assist: The fabricator, Heavy Industries (HI), has almost completed the Plan Assist. HI translates Michelle’s concept into preliminary drawings. Once the City approves the drawings, HI details drawings and a 3D model from which the fountain gets built.

Another deliverable of the Plan Assist is the budget for the build. HI figures out the costs from the approved final design. While not as pretty as the Reflecting Blooms concept rendering, this is what the Plan Assist looks like in the preliminary stage:

Contract: The City of Calgary legal staff has almost approved the wording of the installation contract, which will govern the drinking fountain’s delivery to Riley Park for installation in Spring 2019.

So far, so good.

Three complications:

Unanticipated items: The mechanical engineers designing the plumbing determined that the water pressure in the line is too high for a drinking fountain. An expensive device is needed to step down the pressure. This is an unanticipated item that HI is currently sourcing. Also, the concrete pads anchoring the stems will require an engineering stamp and inspection, which is another unanticipated expense that HI is incorporating into the budget. W4R had hoped to be finished with fundraising and now awaits HI’s updated budget.

Accessibility: The original design is straight stems with steel bowls. HI and the City advise that a wheelchair or walker can’t fit under such a configuration. HI is working on an alternate configuration that will make one stem accessible.

Budget: The original concept was for five, staggered heights of functioning stems. If the updated budget exceeds what has been raised in donations, and if no further funds are available from grants or donations, the drinking fountain will have to be reduced in one of two ways.

Cost saving option 1. Build three functioning drinking fountains and two non-functioning, ornamental blooms on stems.

Cost saving option 2. Eliminate the two ornamental stems and have three functioning drinking fountains.

The conclusions:

This is the purpose of the Plan Assist – to work out these issues before the stems are built.

There will be a drinking fountain in Riley Park in the spring, 2019, with a currently unknown number of stems. Details depend on HI’s updated budget, 3D model, and signed contract between HI and the City Parks Department.

Everyone on the fabrication team is trying hard to construct this project to a limited budget. It’s hard on the volunteer committee, after so many years, to think of having to alter or reduce (or both) the winning design, which was for five elegant stems. However, it’s equally hard to continue fundraising in these challenging economic times.

We welcome ideas.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for The Water for Riley Project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.

First concept sketches

The second fabrication step is underway

First, the fabrication team met to share the vision, assign tasks, and ensure everyone understood the project. Now, the project is with the fabricator for design specifications, and the engineers for location and mechanical specifications. Once their drawings have received official stamps (a professional sign off protocol), the building begins.

There were hiccups and surprises

Delays on a few of the many details were noted in a blog post dated 1 August, 2018. A lot of what Water for Riley is doing hasn’t been done quite this way ever before. The whole team is committed to solving the problems, which W4R greatly appreciates.

Celebrating the drinking fountain installation

The best estimate for the drinking fountain installation is Spring 2019. W4R’s excellent partner and major donor, NWHP REIT, is looking forward to co-hosting the opening celebration.

Terry Schmitt, Regional General Manager, NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT, and Gena Rotstein, Chief Conversationalist, Place2Give Foundation, celebrate the generous donation.

What the Plan Assist does

Here are first sketches that clarify one part of the fabricator’s scope of work. Heavy Industries is the Prime Contractor and endlessly helpful to the W4R volunteers.

ACAD student designer, Michelle Lazo, has a vision of an organic bouquet of Reflecting Blooms rising from the soil of Riley Park.

Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;
for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

Donate to make this vision become reality. At the instructions to seller page, specify that your support is for The Water for Riley Project. The Parks Foundation issues tax receipts for donations greater than $10.00.

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Call 403 862 1923 and leave your contact information.