Rocky Ridge Royal Oak Community Association (RRROCA) is a totally volunteer organization registered under the Societies Act of Alberta. We funded a community park for our 20,000+ residents in 2018 and it has become a very popular and well used park. RRROCA operates and manages the park and it is open to the public 100% of the time. RRROCA exists to serve the residents' social and recreational needs.
From the results of community engagement discussions and user needs assessments, RRROCA is taking action to transform the park, adding more multigenerational activities, and addressing climate change. The focus of the transformation is planting an urban forest with over 420 trees and native plants to increase opportunities to connect with nature, increase biodiversity and provide more recreational opportunities. Seventeen species of native plants will provide wildlife shelter and food sources plus pollinator plants. The overall cost of the project is estimated at $280,000.
The upgrades will also address climate resilience, by creating a permeable landscape to recharge ground water and divert 80% of stormwater from the municipal storm water system. Currently fossil fuel powered maintenance equipment is used to maintain the grass, which is seldom used. GHG emission reduction based on gasoline use quantities per year: 356 kg. The new urban forest will sequester GHG CO2 emissions by 4.2 tonnes over 20 years, and reduce potable city water for irrigation by 80%. The urban forest will be drought resistant and will have a cooling effect to counter heat waves.
The preliminary plans call for family picnic areas and shelters, nature play nodes for young children and a trail with nature interpretive signage.
The Gathering Place will benefit nature, add to the natural ecosystem, provide more opportunities for residents to connect with their neighbours and more opportunities to connect with nature.
The project has the written support of Calgary Parks, and Sonya Sharp, our local city councillor.
Who Will it Benefit?
The Gathering Place park will have a much wider range of multigenerational users, including young children and their families, seniors and the physically challenged. The park will be accessible to all community residents. Adult caregivers (parents and grandparents) will enjoy the added outdoor play values to enjoy with their kids, the children will have more opportunities to interact with others. The new amenities will attract more residents thanks to the additional opportunities to connect with nature. The park will also have improved event spaces for fun social gatherings.
The park is adjacent to the William D. Pratt middle school and close to the elementary school. Middle school teachers occasionally use the park as an outdoor classroom. The upgraded amenities will support more educational opportunities in an outdoor learning environment.
Overall the project will enhance the outdoor experience and attract more residents, and more visits.
The site is adjacent to and area of high density residential, apartments and condos. The Gathering Place will become an important green space for these residents.
The Gathering Place will benefit everyone by addressing climate resilience and mitigation, and add to quality of life in the urban environment.