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River Park, Sandy Beach and Britannia Slopes

 

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River Park, Sandy Beach and the Britannia Slopes together form a popular park and recreation area for Calgarians. This regional park is located north of the Glenmore Dam and along the Elbow River in southwest Calgary.

Summer Update 2016

A lot of thePhase II improvements have been completed and are ready for Calgarians to enjoy. Thank you for your patience throughout construction. We will continue to keep you updated on the rest of the work occurring in the park here and through Twitter (#riverparkyyc).

Area Closures in River Park

Area closure map

  • Zone 1 fencing has been removed and is now open to the public. As a reminder, the area will be divided into thirds to allow turf management techniques to establish and improve the quality of the turf in the area.
  • Zone 2 fencing has been installed, and we have widened the pedestrian route to the off-leash space and have provided temporary openings along the fence so park users and dogs have better access to the east area in Zone 2.
    NOTE: the temporary openings will be located in different areas along the fencing, depending on where the work is taking place.
  • Fencing along the trail parallel to 14A St. has been widened to allow more user access and construction fencing perimeter reduced to provide more open space.

We do apologize for the inconvenience of these area closures, and thank you for your continued patience while we work to finish construction which is scheduled to be completed this year. Fenced areas and closures will be contained to active areas of construction only; the majority of the park will stay open for your enjoyment. Please respect temporary closures as they are there for public safety.

Work completed to date

  • The Sandy Beach parking lot has been reconfigured, paved, painted with designated parking spots, and major landscape improvements. The parking lot is now open to the public.
  • Upgrades to the washroom at Sandy Beach.
  • Flood repairs and enhancements to the beach area at Sandy Beach.
  • Improvements to theoff-leash river access point in Britannia/Riverdale, including restoration barrier installation to protect riparian vegetation communities. We’d like to remind park users that no water-access for dogs is allowed at Sandy Beach.
  • New gravel trails from the Sandy Beach parking lot to the designated river access point and raft launch.
  • Clearer lines of sight on the regional pathway and three scenic rest nodes at strategic locations on the hill along the path.
  • Caragana removal and replaced with native species.
  • Escarpment fencing in River Park.
  • The new picnic shelter, barbeques and fire pits at Sandy Beach and Riveredge Park are completed. For use on a first-come, first-served basis for the rest of the summer.
  • The timber stairs from Sandy Beach Park to River Park as well as along the Britannia escarpment have been completed, and are open.

Coming soon

  • Garbage enclosure improvements at River Park.
  • Trail and pathway improvements.
  • Upgrades to the playground at Sandy Beach.
  • Timber stairs on the Britannia escarpment.
  • Planting/Implementation of living fences will provide natural barriers and enhancements to fencing to better integrate structures into the park aesthetic.

Progress and construction updates will be provided on this page as work progresses, so please check back regularly.

For a complete and detailed listing of all Council-approved actions and improvements in this project, please refer to the Design Development Plan. Signs regarding the planned work are posted at various locations throughout the park for citizen awareness. Work will continue as planned, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, dependant on weather and other mitigating factors. Any questions or comments can be directed to Calgary Parks by contacting 311.

If you see any destructive or suspicious behaviour, please report it to Calgary Police Services by calling their non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.

Phase II - Update - Fall 2015

In Fall 2015, the detailed design of Phase II improvements to River Park, Sandy Beach and Britannia Slopes Improvement project began. The improvements will enhance the park experience for all users of this multi-use regional park, and provide a balance of uses, design interventions, and improved management practices. The project’s Design Development Plan provides a comprehensive listing of all improvements and recommendations for the park, including the different phases of the project.

Phase I - Update - Spring 2015

Informal Trail Reclamation - Britannia Slopes

In Spring 2015, Phase I of the River Park, Sandy Beach and Britannia Slopes Improvement project will conclude with the planting of shrubbery. Native shrub species such as Wolf Willow and Prickly Rose will be planted to help reclaim informal trails and encourage restoration within these green spaces.

This planting will not impact access or use of designated trails in the park, and will enhance the overall appearance and diversity of the park for all users. Help us make these park improvements as successful as possible - by respecting all trail closures and remaining on designated trails - to give the new plants time to grow and establish.

Update - Winter 2015

Crews began work on the first phase of construction in summer 2014, consisting of trail restoration and improvements, changes to off-leash area boundaries, and fencing installation for the protection and restoration of the park’s natural areas.

However, since beginning work in the park, there have been escalating incidents of park vandalism, destruction of construction equipment and supplies and abusive behaviour to City contractors and employees.

As a result, The City of Calgary’s Animal and Bylaw Services have also been asked to increasingly patrol the area, and Corporate Security has installed cameras in the park to deter further damage, vandalism and to ensure safety of all park users and residents in the community. City staff are working closely with Calgary Police to monitor park damages.
The cameras will be adjusted and configured so that they will not record any nearby housing and/or private property.

City parks are provided for the enjoyment of all Calgarians. We recognize that not every idea or suggestion can be accommodated due to the wide range of needs and desires of all Calgarians. However, we believe we do our best to find a balance between all the feedback we receive from citizens.

Parks is anticipating having all the improvements and recommendations completed by the end of 2016. Construction updates will continue to be posted on Calgary.ca, and any questions or concerns can be directed to Parks by contacting 311.

If you see any destructive or suspicious behaviour, please report it to Calgary Police Services by calling their non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.

Update - Summer 2014

Construction crews began work in the park in mid-July. Signage was posted in the park prior to the work starting to remind park users of the construction. Park users are asked to please respect all park closures and signage while construction is occurring.

Parks is anticipating having all improvements and recommendations identified in the Council approved Design Development Plan (DDP) completed by the end of 2016, and will post construction updates on this web page. Questions or concerns can be directed to Parks by contacting 311.

Parks would also like to remind people of the ongoing flood repairs happening in the park, specifically riverbank stabilization work and repairs to the Elbow River pedestrian bridge. For more information on the City's flood recovery work, visit The City’s Flooding in Calgary web page.

Project information

From 2009-11, The City of Calgary Parks worked with stakeholder groups and the public to develop a management and design development plan for the park. The plan was developed to address stakeholder concerns about environmental damage, aging amenities and user-group conflicts.

The two main goals for this planning process were:

  1. A Park Management Plan recommending principles and strategies related to enhancing the park experience for all users, reducing potential conflict among park users, minimizing biophysical impact of park users and maximizing park sustainability.
     
  2. A phased Design Development Plan (DDP) identifies opportunities for improvement related to off-leash dog use, impact of over-use in general relating to park health and maintenance, impact of use by river rafters, appropriate location of internal trails/regional pathways, increasing pedestrian access and use by nearby residents, and traffic and parking.

In March 2014, City Council voted to allocate funding through the ENMAX Legacy Parks Program to complete all of the park improvements and recommendations in the DDP.