IT’S DONE!

Four years over schedule, 100% over budget and we can’t drink from it until the COVID 19 pandemic is over.

Who says irony is dead?

On this blog site, Water for Riley documented every step, every meeting, every success, every partner and donor, every ‘I wish I’d never started this project’ moment.

Here is the last step of the fabrication stage, and, many times, I thought we’d never reach a point where that sentence is true:

Duncan from Landform started with mud in the rain
The construction site needed levelling
Landform scheduled the sod laying to take advantage of the rain
By afternoon, the sod was down and Trail had done the inspection.
The fence will stay for two weeks to give the sod time to connect with the site
The dog bowl is a little tall for a Westie, so he’ll need human help to drink.
Trail also inspected the paw pedal that will allow dogs to help themselves, if they are tall enough
When it is again safe to touch a surface that others touched, thirsty park visitors will approach the drinking fountain to enjoy clean delicious mountain water.

Water for Riley will post news of the drinking fountain water turning on whenever The City of Calgary deems it safe. We dream …

Until then, Team Water for Riley is alive and planning the celebration.

There are so many people to thank, a whole community of effort, a collection of industry experts, generous donors, and a City of helpful public employees who made this possible. I am so grateful to these donors and partners:

Everyone in these companies was invaluable in this project’s success.
In difficult economic times, please support those who support our community.

Over the five years of the project, many people volunteered time. As well as HSCA staff, especially Lisa Chong, and the members of the HSCA Planning Committee to whom Water for Riley reported, these community members volunteered their time on the planning committee:

Gena Rotstein, Natalie Bach, Jocelyn Kabatoff, Michelle Vincent, Sally Truss, Fong Ku, Lorna Cordeiro, and Diana Macdonald. I hope anyone I’ve forgotten will forgive me.

Three people kept me inspired when I almost gave up: Ron Buchan and Michelle Reid, The City of Calgary Parks Department, and Decker Butzner. And, of course, the inspiration for the project, Trail the opinionated Westie.

Now, over to Maddie Wong Selby and the events committee, it is your time to party like it’s 2019.

Gratefully, signing off for now,

Deborah Sword


Be part of Calgary’s public art legacy;

for Riley Park, for you, and for the future.

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

Preparing the ground

Landform Inc., has been on site in Riley Park as Project Manager and Prime Contractor for the drinking fountain’s installation.

Duncan ran Landform’s equipment on site in Riley Park

This week, the Landform crew laying the foundation encountered an unexpected need for a geotechnical opinion. This was a last minute surprise for the Water for Riley team.

Apparently, the engineering assumption was that the site had approximately 6-12 inches of topsoil. Landform found 45-50 inches of topsoil/unsuitable material and called the engineering consultants, who determined that a geotechnical opinion was needed.

The geotechnical engineer recommended a bridging structure of geotextile/gravel to provide a support structure for the rubber surfacing. The unsuitable soil was described as:

a silty sand fill soil overlying a native sand.  The silty sand fill was approximately 500mm thick and was dilatant, loose, and medium brown with some black organics throughout.  The native sand was moist, compact, and medium brown in colour. 

Water for Riley thanks McIntosh Lalani Engineering Ltd., a division of Englobe, for swift action in getting the site specifics that Landform needed. It prevented both delay in completing the work and the risk of installing an inadequate foundation. 

The geotechnical engineer recommended a non woven geotextile fabric overlaid with a biaxial geogrid reinforcement for compaction of approximately 300mmm of base gravels to bring the subgrade up to design elevation. 

It’s easiest to let the photographs translate that into plain language.

Kai laid the non woven geotextile fabric
The gravel arrived in the afternoon to cover the fabric, and Kai and Duncan levelled it before compacting it
This is the view when approaching from the north, the playground as backdrop

The next, almost last, step is to lay a rubber surface that is the same as the mat under the playground.

the site is ready for the final surface work, likely on May 14, 2020, and then – IT’S DONE except for the celebration

Water test – passed

On May 5, 2020, the Water for Riley installation team gathered to test the new drinking fountain in Riley Park.

The foundation will be laid next week and will cover the three stems to the level of the white water pipes. Then the drinking water won’t be so far out of reach.

Successful water tests
Dwayne from Rainmaker and Peter from Landform collected the first water
Peter demonstrates the accessible drinking fountain passes the test
Dwayne demonstrates the middle drinking fountain works
Trail eyes the dog drinking fountain, waiting for the time the park will be open post-COVID-19
The drinking fountains all passed the water test
the dog drinking fountain works with a paw pedal
Water for Riley saved the first water, to pour when the drinking fountain opens, post-COVID-19

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/

Installation begins at last

It’s been a long time coming

How long? Here’s a copy of the original email asking if a community, volunteer effort for a drinking fountain in Riley Park was a good idea. See that date?

And that’s what we did

This week, Riley Park visitors will see construction start on a student designed drinking fountain that is local from start to finish. In all the years we spent to get here, we never strayed from the vision.

Peter Staples, Project Manager for Landform, at 11:30 AM, 20 April, 2020,
outlined the drinking fountain’s footprint with a can of spray paint.
By 3:30 PM, the construction site was fenced.
After eight years, the project is moving forward.
Finally.
The footprint is amoeba shaped.
Trail has inspected and approved.

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/

Drinking fountain proceeding

The installation team is ready to start

The celebration of the project is postponed. The project isn’t.

Whew.

Continual snowfall, even into mid-April, and warm sun created pools of snowmelt near the children’s playground. Despite Riley Park looking like a swamp, Landform will begin preparing the site next week.

Taking care of you

Landform must comply with COVID 19 protocols. The construction will be easy to walk around and watch from a safe physical distance.

In our team meeting today, The City of Calgary Water Services staff confirmed that parks drinking fountains won’t be turned on until Public Health officials declare the COVID 19 crisis ended.

Functional to follow in the future

Ever since this project began as a grassroots, volunteer driven effort, we’ve described it as an artistic functional drinking fountain. Until it’s safe to touch shared facilities again, the drinking fountain will be only artistic.

We look forward to a morale boosting celebration when we can again gather in beautiful Riley Park.

Until then, Water for Riley wishes everyone good health.

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/

Crucial progress made

Another milestone met

Yesterday, March 5, 2020, The City of Calgary, Landform and Water for Riley signed the contract that grants permission for the drinking fountain to be installed.

We were all so relieved. The contract has been months in negotiation to get the language right. Everyone worried the construction season would arrive before the paperwork was ready. Thanks to Parks Department staff for making sure the documents arrived and to Chris at Landform who made a special trip to our community to sign it in person. Symbolically, we sat together and signed the contract on a picnic table in Riley Park.

In case you wondered, not that anyone ever did, here’s the legal description of the land upon which the drinking fountain will be installed.


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/

Drinking fountain celebration: 4 big updates

1. Some activities now booked for 13 June, 2020.

After a short official opening just before noon on Saturday, 13 June, we plan an afternoon of live music, cricket demonstrations, tour of the historic cricket league clubhouse, the story of the land and Riley Park with Harry the Historian, cake, and more excitement that is still to be confirmed.

The historic cricket league clubhouse, 1908

2. Gio spreading the word about the event.

We are fortunate to have a new volunteer on the planning committee. Giovanni (Gio) is a Mount Royal U marketing student, who works in Kensington and loves Riley Park. Gio will take the lead on social media, publicity and marketing for the drinking fountain grand opening. We are so grateful to him for stepping forward to help, and delighted to work with him. Please help him spread the word about the celebration on 13 June, in Riley Park.

Gio is the marketing lead for the grand opening celebration

3. A grant for talent and expenses of the event.

The contribution The City has already made to our successful completion of this project can’t be overstated. From the start, the staff at Parks, Water Services, Arts Development and councillor’s offices have been helpful, encouraging and supportive.

Now, The City is giving financial support as well. We are very grateful to The City of Calgary for a Ward Community Event Fund (WCEF) grant for the event.

“The Ward Community Event Fund (WCEF) assists community associations or community-based groups hosting events or undertaking initiatives to enhance their community.”

4. Volunteer event planner needed.

If you are able to volunteer to lead a wonderful group of local residents planning this event, or know someone with time and skills, please get in touch.


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/

Water for Riley 2.0

Since 2015, Water for Riley has proudly used the unique name, logo, and brand that our generous elf Diana Thompson gifted to us.

The drinking fountain is built, and its new water line awaits. Installation is scheduled for this spring as soon as the ground of Riley Park thaws and the site prepared. We decided the logo should reflect the progress to this last, final and concluding stage -can you tell we are excited about the project ending?

The logo 2.0

To acknowledge these accomplishments, we asked the drinking fountain’s designer, AUArts student Michelle Lazo, to refresh the logo. We wanted to incorporate her design. We hope you like the new logo as much as we do.

Save the date please

bands, history of Riley Park, cricket demonstrations and water features

Planning the party

January 20, 2020, the team met in the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association. Six months from now, we will have a terrific celebration of this entirely local, volunteer driven, community based drinking fountain.

Come for the music, bring a picnic, enjoy Riley Park and admire the drinking fountain.

Rachelle (NWHP REIT) Rachel and Lorna (community volunteers) and Stephanie (HSCA) are the steering committee for the event planning.

Area of greatest need

There is much to do in planning the celebration. The area that most needs willing volunteers is social media and publicity. If you have time and an interest in marketing/social media/publicity/promotion etc, please call 403 862 1923.

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/

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/