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Calgary residents appeal to city for new approach to northeast green space: ‘There’s no access’

Click to play video: '‘There’s no access’: Calgary residents appeal to city for new approach to northeast green space'
‘There’s no access’: Calgary residents appeal to city for new approach to northeast green space
WATCH ABOVE: It's a part of Calgary that's popular with dog walkers and a haven for wildlife. The area along Nose Creek north of Country Hills Boulevard has unofficially been considered a park for many years by area residents. The city says it may become a regional park in the future, but community groups are calling for better access to the green space now. Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports. – Jan 1, 2024

It’s a green getaway in northeast Calgary, tucked between commercial and industrial development to the east, and the community of Coventry Hills to the west.

The area along Nose Creek, north of Country Hills Boulevard, has unofficially been considered a park by area residents for many years.

The city says it may become a regional park in the future,  but before that, community groups are calling for better access to the green space.

“Having access to a green space like that is hugely important because the next closest space is Nose Hill, which we can’t access by walking or transit really easily,” said Amanda Mauch, the president of the Northern Hills Community Association.

“It’s really important to maintain that space,” she said. “I think a lot of us that live here take pride in the fact that it’s there and that there’s a historical component and relevance that we should all know about.

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“But because it’s not designated as a park, you don’t really know about those things.”

It has all the makings of a park, with city garbage containers, a bridge and a gravel pathway, but it’s not a park and it’s tricky to access.

“It’s a perfect area to enjoy the wetlands and nature, but there’s no access,” said Andrew Yule, the president of the Nose Creek Preservation Society.

Yule’s organization wants the city to designate the area as a park. Members have even suggested a few names like Glacial Valley Park or Wagon Trail Park.

So far, the city has refreshed the gravel on the trails but that’s about it.

Over time, residents have found ways to get in, but some are asking for access for all abilities.

“It’s blocked by a big vehicle gate because it’s only been used really by the City of Calgarys,” Yule said. “They have this huge vehicle gate that prevents anybody who is not able to climb over or under to access it, and we don’t have any sidewalks that connect the community to this park. We need this for all ranges of mobilities.”

Click to play video: 'U of C students propose plans for Nose Creek Valley park'
U of C students propose plans for Nose Creek Valley park

Ideally, the developers of a community will make the stormwater pond a centerpiece of the community, according to Jasmine Mian, the city councillor for Ward 3.

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She said the stormwater pond that is adjacent to Coventry Hills was not designed with that intent, likely because of the train tracks that separate the community from the pond.

Any changes to the land use, like increased pedestrian access, needs a land use designation change.

The city says the land in the west side of Nose Creek in the south portion of the Stoney Industrial Area has been identified as a potential future regional park.

In the meantime, the city says the land functions as stormwater infrastructure, making it unsuitable for public use as the area is susceptible to flooding.

The city says potential for converting this space into a regional park would require money for planning and construction.

“There’s so much that could be done there while also maintaining the green space and the habitats,” Mauch said.

“I just think about the opportunities of field trips that kids could take there and learn about the history of the area. It’s wonderful,”

 

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