Parks & Open Spaces plan and budget

Parks & Open Spaces plan and budget

2023-2026

Calgary's parks and open spaces are cherished places that connect Calgarians with nature, our heritage and each other. The citywide parks system provides Calgarians with safe, inclusive, active-living opportunities.

The system includes regional and neighbourhood parks, natural areas and the river valleys. The service maintains and stewards almost 8,700 hectares of public spaces (the equivalent of 11,000 football fields spread out citywide over 5,200 parcels of land).

Parks and Open Spaces conserves and promotes biodiverse ecosystems and cultural landscapes. It supports park stewardship among Calgarians through volunteer and education programs.

Our customers

  • Calgarians (children, youth, adults and seniors) 
  • Sport groups
  • Nature groups
  • Cultural and recreational groups
  • Festival/event attendees
  • Festival/event organizers 
  • Tourists
  • The environment (for 'mother nature' and future generations of Calgarians).

Our partners

  • Parks Foundation Calgary
  • Sponsors/donors
  • Developers
  • Other City services
  • The province 
  • School boards
  • Community, sport, nature and festival organizations
  • Horticulture and education institutions
  • Park vendors

Value to Calgarians


  • enhances quality of life by providing well maintained public spaces to relax, be physically active, have fun, experience nature, and gather together
  • supports mental and physical health benefits that result from being close to parks and nature
  • provides free or low-cost access to nature, recreation, culture and park stewardship opportunities
  • contributes to climate resilience and biodiversity, benefiting current and future generations
  • supports recreation and leisure interests

What we deliver


  • Accessible leisure and recreation opportunities for all Calgarians. 
  • Mowing and turf management 
  • Park litter pickup
  • Festival and event support
  • Park snow removal
  • Environmental conservation
  • Park amenity inspections and repairs
  • Park volunteer and stewardship programs
  • Pest management

Budget breakdown


2023-2026 budget ($millions)

  

Service performance


Expected 2026 performance.

Citizen Satisfaction with parks, playgrounds and open spaces

2021 was 93%

Calgarians using parks

2021 was 87%

Park assets in acceptable, good or excellent condition

2021 was 79%

New parkland added

2021 was 101ha

Park habitat restoration

2021 was 58ha

What we've heard

Citizen satisfaction scores have been consistently high for Calgary's parks and open spaces for the past two decades, including 93 per cent in 2021 (and 94 per cent in the Spring 2022 survey).

Satisfaction was also consistently high among Calgarians grouped by gender, income, age, visible minority, immigrant and disability status. Additional surveying in 2021 shows Calgarians who are frequent parks users are more likely to rate their quality of life in Calgary as high.

Recent engagement confirms the publics' desire for clean, well-maintained, safe and environmentally healthy parks and opens spaces. To improve the service, park users cite better washroom access and seating areas as leading factors that would increase their time spent in a park. Key value dimensions for Calgarians are ranked 1) Environmental 2) Availability 3) Sustainability 4) Safety and 5) Wellbeing.

Participate and view results of City research

What we're watching

  • Key trends include the digital shift, specifically increasing and improving the use of technology for optimizing service routes, tracking completed work and mapping park assets and their condition ratings. 
  • Key risks impacting service delivery include: environmental resilience (invasive weeds, human-wildlife conflicts, etc.); safety (and perceptions of safety) in downtown parks; severe weather events (flooding, droughts, etc.) and aging park infrastructure. 
  • Opportunities for the service include continually exploring partnerships and leveraged funding opportunities (e.g., funding for accessible playgrounds, Parks Foundation Calgary projects, etc.). 
  • Increased naturalization of roadsides and improving the health of urban natural areas are opportunities for improved sustainability and climate adaptation.

Our initiatives


What we plan to do

Parks and Open Spaces will focus on maintaining Calgary’s municipal park system through efficient operations, best practices, contributing to Council priorities and optimizing the benefits of a healthy and vibrant parks system for Calgarians and the environment.

How we're going to get there

  • Enhance the quality of life of Calgarians by providing safe, inclusive, vibrant and accessible parks and open spaces.
  • Support climate resilience, focusing on improving the health of the ecological network, through the development and implementation of Habitat Management Plans.
  • Assist and encourage commercial activities in City parks by continuing to improve processes for interested businesses and citizens who can enhance the park user experience.
  • Support downtown revitalization to increase community safety and enhance Calgarians' experiences in our downtown parks and open spaces by working with our partners, including public sector, private sector and non-government organizations.
  • Improve the sustainability and resiliency of Calgary's parks and open spaces system by updating the Parks Open Space Plan which is the overarching policy that governs use, provision and preservation of our municipal parks system.

More initiatives

undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null,undefined/null