Dale Hodges Park

Client The City of Calgary
Location Calgary | Alberta | Canada

The riparian, floodplain and upland ecosystems of the Bow River Valley are among the most important natural features in Calgary. The City of Calgary’s acquisition of the former Klippert gravel pit, located along the northern bank of the Bow River and now within Bowmont Park (renamed Dale Hodges Park), presented an outstanding opportunity restore native riparian habitats and bring people back to the river through recreation and park amenities. An additional primary focus was the treatment of stormwater prior to entering into the river. 

A team comprised of O2, Source 2 Source Inc., Sans Facon for Watershed+ and AECOM worked collaboratively to transform the site. Structured around a series of designed aquatic and upland habitats, the flow of water within the park begins in the upstream residential communities where runoff travels through pipes before daylighting in the park. The aquatic journey within the park expresses the integration of water engineering, public art, landscape architecture and ecological design.

The forms of the water structures and landforms are inspired by natural river morphology as well as hydrologic and sedimentation processes. O2 and S2S sculpted polishing marshes and wet meadows, their forms inspired by anabranches or river scrolls. The scrolling forms in the landscape enhance filtration, create diverse habitats, and provide more depth to store water when necessary. The network of pathways and boardwalks mimic and contrast these forms: visitors can read the river’s story over time. The final outflow stream discharges to an important trout habitat area, designed to serve as refuge during river flood conditions.

The project has received numerous local and national awards for its innovative approaches to integrating stormwater management, public art, and public spaces along the banks of a dynamic river.

Photographs courtesy of Wilco Southwest.

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