Dale Hodges Park

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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The need to remediate an abandoned gravel pit by the Bow River became an opportunity for the City of Calgary to also manage and treat stormwater runoff from upstream communities. 

For the stormwater facility our team provided environmental remediation, design, and construction administration services while collaborating with other engineering and landscape architecture firms and a local artist. We provided environmental services and site rehabilitation studies, obtained regulatory approvals, completed geotechnical work, designed the hydraulic structures and piping components, performed the global hydraulic analysis, and completed construction inspections and administration. 

The design of this treatment facility focused on the incorporation of pre-existing sensitive wetlands and habitat, promoting the creation of a balsam poplar forest and integration of natural wetland habitats to increase biodiversity. The design also uses concrete structures as artistic features, reflecting a project-wide focus on both form and function. 

As the water moves through the concrete structures, it undergoes the initial stages of treatment. It then flows to the wetland, where the plants in the marshy conditions remove turbidity and nutrients that would not be removed in a conventional system. Eventually, the water is discharged into the river through two valves which help mitigate fish migration into the system. 

The system is designed to function utilizing gravity, but without gates and electronic monitoring systems. Its features also allow for pedestrian access to infrastructure, giving visitors an inside look at the treatment process. The biodiverse park is now a vibrant public space featuring walking and cycling paths, boardwalks, viewpoints, and an array of wildlife. 

This award-winning facility advances The City’s goals for environmental sustainability by restoring the landscape and maintaining river health by limiting the amount of sediment discharged into the Bow River. Once a contaminated industrial eye-sore, the space is now a beautiful, vibrant, and functional public asset.

Awards

  • Mayor’s Urban Design Awards (Calgary), Civic Design Project, 2022