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Location for the Riley Park drinking fountain

Map of location

Late spring or early summer, 2019, we hope to have a beautiful, artistic drinking fountain installed in Riley Park.

Its location is near the heavily used playground, picnic tables and new band stand. It isn’t so near the bandstand as to interfere with concerts. There is enough space around it for other activities.

What do you think?

 

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.

Seeking jury member to represent the community

We need community representatives on the jury.

It could be you.

We’ve made significant progress towards a drinking fountain for Riley Park. One task is to constitute a jury to select the “winning” design from approximately two dozen submissions.

How exciting are the designs so far? 

Five volunteers attended Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) to hear 19 students present their original, creative fountain designs. Our expectations were reasonable. After all, these were students, not professionals or experts. However, the spectacular quality and amazing creative variety blew us away.

Who do we need as a jury member? 

We seek a community resident who understands the needs and sensibility of our community and who uses our wonderful Riley Park.

What’s involved in volunteering as a jury member? 

It’s a three day commitment between 31 March and 31 May, 2016. You will spend one day reviewing and making notes on all the design submissions in preparation for the jury’s meeting in round one.

How will the process work? 

Round one considers the rankings and selects the top three (minimum) to five (maximum) for professional technical feedback from, for example, an engineer and landscape architect at IBI Group. After that review from a technical stand point, IBI Group experts will return the designs with feedback and suggestions.

During round two, the jury will meet to consider that expert technical feedback and use the suggestions to select which design will be built for Riley Park. All submissions will be ranked using a matrix that grades how well the design meets community, historical, environmental needs and other criteria.

How to put your name forward as a potential jury member.

Please send an email to sally.truss@outlook.com with one paragraph (250 words) explaining the reasons you want to be on the jury and what personal qualities and credentials you would contribute to the decision-making process. The deadline to submit your name, or someone else’s (with their permission please), is Dec. 31, 2015.

How else can you be involved?

We invite everyone to participate as a volunteer organizer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. Contact us waterforriley.org.

Donations, tax receipts issued, can be made through the Parks Foundation donate buttonCalgary. Click the button and please specify you support Water for Riley.

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Why is a drinking fountain important for Riley Park?

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 donate buttonthe Parks Foundation Calgary, click on the button. Please specify the project you support is Water for Riley.

 

The collective impacts are bigger than drinking water

It isn’t just about water

Our belief that Riley Park, a jewel in Calgary’s urban green inventory, deserves a beautiful drinking fountain as a funded priority is based on five crucial principles:

  1. Health: Active users of Riley Park currently must leave if they’re thirsty, or bring bottled water, or sweet or caffeinated drinks.
  2. Environment: We find disposable cups and bottles discarded in the trash or bushes, and littering the fence line. It’s an unsustainable waste of resources.
  3. Community building: The message the project sends is the community cares, with a drinking fountain that’s both community-based and accessible to all. This project is entirely community driven and managed.
  4. Economic well being of Kensington BRZ and local businesses: Attractions attract. The BRZ works hard to make our community a visitors’ destination. An artistic drinking fountain supports that goal.
  5. Other collective benefits of this project to our community and the city include:
    • connect people to place, encourage eyes on the street,
    • increase energy for volunteerism,
    • make everyone stewards of their park,
    • facilitate the enjoyment of nature in a dense urban space, increase awareness of our urban environment,
    • knowledge that Riley Park is a designated historic resource,
    • improved access to outdoor activities thereby improving quality of life and health,
    • reduction in waste and litter as water bottles can be refilled,
    • expand community ownership to students who had not ventured down the hill into Riley Park until this project,
    • crime reduction with families in the park,
    • the energy of community engagement inspiring students to be problem solvers, and
    • the thrill of design replacing a concrete block mentality.

Be part of the excitement. Please volunteer, donate or email us with questions. To donate donate buttonthrough the Parks Foundation Calgary, please click the button. Specify the project is Water for Riley.

Students designing drinking fountain for Riley Park

Students astonished and delighted Water for Riley with the variety and creativity of drinking fountain designs.

Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, five members of Water for Riley watched 19 ACAD students present their designs. And we aren’t done yet. More student designs are expected.

Water for Riley community: Sally (This is My City), Connor (Place2Give), Michelle (City of Calgary), Julie (The Calgary Foundation)
Water for Riley community: Sally (This is My City), Connor (Place2Give), Michelle (City of Calgary), Julie (The Calgary Foundation)
Students present their designs to their classmates and instructor, Kerry Harmer
Students present their designs to their classmates and instructor, Kerry Harmer

Any one of the designs we saw would enhance beloved and heavily used Riley Park. We don’t envy the jury of professionals who will have to choose the winning design.

Water for Riley is nurturing compounding, positive spin offs

The students will experience additional constructive feedback on their work, will have exposure for their talent they would not otherwise have, and three neighbouring learning institutions are now collaborating with the community in new ways. The project will end when the fountain is turned on, and the relationships will continue.

Students met with City Parks staff in Riley Park on a September research trip, which informed and inspired their designs.

students & RP sign

students on tree

To help make Water for Riley and the students’ dream become reality, please support the drinking fountain in Riley Park. Donations can be made through the Parks Foundation Calgary. Specify the donation is for Water for Riley.

Email us or phone 403 862 1923 with questions or to volunteer.

Riley Park drinking fountain will have an artistic design

Exciting drinking fountain design challenge

It’s confirmed. Over two dozen student designs from ACAD, SAIT and Hillhurst Elementary School students will submit designs. A jury will select a shortlist to forward to IBI Group. The experts at IBI Group will review those to ensure the designs meet engineering standards. The final design selection will result in a drinking fountain near the children’s playground, hopefully before the end of 2016.

We are soliciting donations for the drinking fountain

Water for Riley is based on five core principles:

Health: Riley Park attracts people and pets from all Calgary to enjoy cricket, paths, playground and pool, picnics, benches, wedding and nature photography, and open space, and soon, a bandstand. Park users must leave when they’re thirsty, or bring bottled water, or sweet or caffeinated drinks. After the fountain is installed, children can stay hydrated to play.

Environment: We find disposable cups and bottles discarded in the trash or bushes, and littering the fence line. It’s an unsustainable waste of resources.

Community building: The message the drinking fountain sends is that the community cares. The project connects sports, youth, students from three neighbouring institutions, seniors, homeless, arts, businesses and families around a fountain that’s both community-based and accessible to all Calgarians.

Kensington BRZ and local businesses: Attractions attract. A concrete block fountain with a plain silver bowl, made in the USA and available in bulk, would not attract visitors to Riley Park. The BRZ works hard to make our community a visitors’ destination. Water for Riley supports that goal.

History: Riley Park is a unique historic and cultural resource.

Ezra Riley donates land to City of Calgary for Riley Park, 1910.

Art is subjective, and not everyone agrees on it. We have many stakeholders with opinions. All the designs will be displayed, and the jury, with IBI Group’s expert guidance and City of Calgary’s Parks and Heritage Department input, will decide which design is built. Our task is to raise the funds. Details of the design display will be announced in the coming months.

For all these reasons, we’re making the effort to improve the facilities of our beloved and well-used Riley Park. We invite you to participate as a volunteer organizer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. To learn more, send us an email and give your contact information.

Donations, tax receipts issued, can be made at The Parks Foundation Calgary. Specify the project is Water for Riley.

Water for Riley gets a major Calgary Foundation donation

Riley Park attracts people from every quadrant of Calgary, participating in a wide range of activities. Activities encourage a lot of thirsty people to linger in welcoming Riley Park.

Yet, there’s no drinking water near the playground and planned permanent band stand. A small group of volunteers wants to change that.

We are very pleased to announce that we have received a significant kickstart donation from The Calgary Foundation, for which we are very grateful. The money is for the first phase of designing a beautiful drinking fountain accessible to all of every activity and demographic.

Julie Black, Citizen Engagement Associate, Calgary Foundation and Deborah Sword, Volunteer Project Manager, Water for Riley.

This generous grant from The Calgary Foundation takes Water for Riley from a vision to implementation,

It’s so exciting that, with seed funding, ACAD and SAIT students will design the drinking fountain, enhance their learning, connect to the community, become stewards of Riley Park, and have a real-world client experience.

Stay tuned for details of the student design challenge.

We invite you to participate as a volunteer organizer, fundraiser, donor, sponsor, or any other role. To donate, click this button that links to the Parks donate buttonFoundation Calgary, and specify the project is Water for Riley. Thank you.
To learn more, send us an email with your questions and contact information.

 

The Latest News about Water for Riley

Donate to Water for Riley

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Riley Park is a heavily used, intergenerational, regional jewel in Calgary’s green inventory. It attracts people from every quadrant of the city.

The many activities in Riley Park include cricket, walking, dog training, children in the playground and pool, Frisbee and music playing, kite-flying, tight-rope balancers and hoola hoops, picnics with dozens of family members, flower admirers, wedding and nature photography, sun-bathers, cross-country skiers, and short cutters to school and the Sunnyside LRT Station.

Yet, for all Riley Park’s users the only drinking water source has been from a silver bowl in the pool area, accessible through one small gate, only during the pool’s limited open times, in a ‘no dogs allowed’ area.

The only drinking water in Riley Park comes from here, a few weeks per summer.

Now, imagine a beautiful drinking fountain accessible to all of every activity and demographic. A drinking fountain near the new bandstand would send a message the community cares about health, the environment, and nature. Water ensures adequate hydration that isn’t a sweet drink. Available water reduces the cups and bottles tossed along the fence or wasted in landfill. Bottled water is not sustainable. Also, a beautiful solution is its own attraction, like a sculpture garden is an attraction.

Approximately 1700 residents have moved into our community in the past four years. Additional condo developments will further increase density. That’s a lot of thirsty people in welcoming Riley Park; there’s more need than ever for public amenities.

Water for Riley connects sports, youth, students, seniors, homeless, arts, and families to build a fountain that’s local from start to finish. A contest to design and build the fountain will include the students of SAIT and/or ACAD rather than the City’s usual procurement or bidding processes.

We invite you to participate as a volunteer organizer, fund raiser, donors, sponsor, or any other role. To donate, click this button that links to the Parks donate buttonFoundation Calgary, and specify the project is Water for Riley. Thank you.
To learn more, send us an email with your contact information.