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Bend in the Bow

The City of Calgary has begun a long-term project to connect the Inglewood Wildlands, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary (IBS), Pearce Estate Park and the adjoining green spaces along the Bow River, called Bend in the Bow. View the site map for a look at this new park space. There are also public art opportunities within the design development plan.

The goal of the project is to explore and address ways to preserve, enhance and celebrate the only urban-centred, federally-recognized bird sanctuary in Canada, while retaining the historic significance of the other lands located within the new area boundaries.

Bend in the Bow is a project name used by The City to encompass the redevelopment of Pearce Estate Park, the green spaces along the Bow River, IBS, and the Inglewood Wildlands. The name comes from the bends in the Bow River around Pearce Estate Park and the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.

Get Involved!

Phase 1 of this project is now completed. It focused on the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and the Inglewood Wildlands. The What We Heard Report #1 and What We Heard Report #2 provide a deeper review on what was discussed and what we heard at the engagement sessions. The Phase I Wrap Up presentation explains how the preferred design concept evolved.

Phase 2 of the project is now underway. This phase focuses on Pearce Estate Park and the adjoining green spaces along the Bow River toward the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Read what we’ve heard from stakeholders and the public to date.

Throughout the project there will be opportunities for stakeholder groups and the public to provide input. For more details, visit the Engage Portal.

To provided feedback on the project, email parks@calgary.ca.

Core Values – Nature, Education, Culture

Parks, as the steward of Calgary’s green and natural spaces, has a tremendous responsibility to ensure areas like the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Pearce Estate Park are maintained, enhanced and conserved. Three core values have been identified through public engagement. Everything that is done in the project, from discussions around its future design to management decision, reference these values.

Nature

We will conserve and enhance the environmental value of Bend in the Bow for future generations.

Education

We will inform the public about the intrinsic value of Bend in the Bow, helping to create citizens advocates who act as stewards of our city’s natural and cultural heritage.

Culture

We will conserve and celebrate the site’s historic significance, and recognize the valuable contributions of its former residents.

Telling a story

When completed, Bend in the Bow will tell stories of Calgary’s beginnings as a city, its heritage, and how it has evolved over the past century in each of the parks it represents.

Inglewood is where modern Calgary began. The area is full of early commercial and industrial history – sawmilling, market gardening and green house operations, petroleum refining, early and modern railway ties, to name a few. Additionally, two of Calgary’s early settlers, Colonel James Walker and William Pearce, established their homes in the area.

In fact, Colonel Walker’s homestead and house still exist as part of the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, and is the only inner city homestead left to remind Calgarians of the city’s early development and agricultural activity. At one point, IBS also housed the area’s first sawmill, a significant contributor to the early economic and physical development of the city. IBS is also one of Alberta’s and Canada’s first federally-designated migratory bird sanctuaries, and therefore one of Calgary’s early examples of natural conservation efforts.

The story of Pearce Estate Park is just as remarkable. What originally began as a part of a riverine forest was converted into an agricultural plot during William Pearce’s ownership. When Mr. Pearce donated the land to The City, it was converted to a city park. Today, specific portions of the plot are being re-naturalized to return it to its native environment. The Pearce estate is also commemorated by an important nature interpretation facility, called the Bow Habitat Station.

Bend in the Bow is an opportunity to celebrate and remember our past by creating new park spaces for future generations of Calgarians. We’re using our rich history to build a great future!

Background

Legacy funding will contribute toward the design development and construction costs. The City is collaborating with Suncor and the Inglewood Wildlands Development Society on their efforts around the Inglewood Wildlands. Capital funding is also available to upgrade water and waste-water services to the Walker House. This is an exciting and unique opportunity to bring the story of the unique ecology and cultural history of this area to life while supporting and adhering to the mandate of Preservation and Protection that serves as Inglewood Bird Sanctuary’s guiding principle for all future management decisions.