In early 2016, the Northern Hills Community Association ran an article in their newsletter about the City of Calgary considering replacement or removal of seven playgrounds in the Northern Hills. One of these playgrounds was located at 178 Harvest Glen Way NE. Residents were asked to phone or email the City to tell them which playgrounds are indispensable. Moved to action, two local residents Meghan Keating and Victoria Henry each phoned in to the NHCA and the City to support keeping the playground and asked what they could do to see the playground replaced instead of removed. The playground received quite a few phone calls in favour of keeping it, so the City was keen to keep it instead of opting for removal. They were willing to do a like-for-like tot lot replacement and they encouraged us to form a small committee and reach out to playground vendors to choose some equipment for the spot. We did meet with these vendors, planning to do a simple tot lot replacement, but inspiration struck and we decided that we would love to see a more comprehensive renovation of the small park space.
We wanted to create something that more accurately represented our park’s stature as being the only playground for half of a sizeable City of Calgary community. We approached the City of Calgary with the idea of constructing a destination playground and with their enthusiastic support we got to work deciding what that kind of project would look like. The City put us in touch with the incredible Parks Foundation, who introduced us to the idea of hiring a Landscape Architect and with our first successful grant application the Harvest Hills Community Hub Project was born!
Through countless hours meeting with playground vendors, members of other supportive community associations and our own, enthusiastic Parks Foundation representatives, City Parks representatives, and finally Landscape Architects, we arrived at a detailed plan for the space thanks to the brilliant minds at IBI Group.
Along the way, many other members of the community have joined us in our fundraising and advertising efforts. We will always be grateful for the help of Ray Crockett, Sarah Brazeau, Megan Cassidy, Shantanu Datta, Andrea Rudoski, Nikki Browne, Andrea Fodor, Alejandra Tafich, Jamaal J Ahmed, Camil Morely, Percy Connolly, the Canadian Brewhouse (Harvest Hills), and so many others who lent a hand, bought tickets, donated items for our Silent Auction, helped make this website, and otherwise supported this project.
In addition, so many thanks are owed to our local representation, in particular the efforts of MLA Jamie Kleinsteuber and Coun. Jyoti Gondek in making this dream come true. Thank you.
Finally, we are eternally grateful for funding and support from the Alberta Government (CFEP), the City of Calgary, the Northern Hills Community Association, Parks Foundation, TD Friends of the Environment, Alberta Treasury Branch, the Calgary Foundation, Vivo, Calgarians for Responsible Development and many other local businesses who supported our project including CedarGlen Homes, Genstar Development, Qualico Communities, Quantum Place Development, RoyOp Development Corporation, Stanford Realty, First Calgary Financial, and Richard Fleming Realty.
Today, our dedicated committee continues to grow, and we are always delighted to welcome new faces to our effort to build a vibrant and inclusive Outdoor Community Hub that encourages and strengthens bonds within our community. If you are interested in joining our committee of volunteers, please do not hesitate to reach out!
We hope you enjoy the new park space and we hope to see you at any of our upcoming events!