The existing Anniversary Park site required an upgrade for a multitude of reasons. The previous park wasn’t formally developed and its limited infrastructure was near the end of its lifecycle.
The biggest issue facing the park, however, was the degradation of the beach. The beach area was very small and lost more sand every year. In addition to shoreline erosion, aquatic vegetation was overtaking the shoreline, turning the beach into a marshy mess for visitors and making it an undesirable place to swim.
With so many issues needing to be addressed, the City of Chestermere sought out McElhanney to use the information from the public consultation process to create a new park that would be a modern and inviting place for the citizens of Chestermere. McElhanney conducted the preliminary design of the shoreline to determine feasibility, and then the conceptual plan of the entire park.
The project scope for the shoreline included the manmade beach area complete with design of an underdrain system to keep the beach area drained, retaining walls for the new park and the beach, a lakeside promenade, a boat launch, and new stormwater outfall. The conceptual masterplan progression included a pre-design report which provided conceptual servicing and grading along with a review of the pedestrian movements, spatial definition, and functional performance of the park as a whole. Along with the preliminary design report, McElhanney presented an upgraded masterplan design and rendered plan, conceptual perspective images, and cross sections, and a detailed cost analysis that ensured the design concepts fit within the City’s budget. McElhanney exceeded the expectations of the City and, along with commending the team for exemplary work, the City hired McElhanney to progress the project to detailed design, tender, and to undertake the contract administration during the construction phase.
In its first season of operation, Anniversary Park has become one of the most desirable public spaces in all of Chestermere and East Calgary. The summer months saw the new beach packed with families and friends enjoying the sand and water, and the grass berms and plaza furniture are hot spots for lounging, reading, or taking a lunch break. With newly opened green spaces, City residents now have a place to go to play soccer, Frisbee, and other group activities. This increases the public health of the community and benefits the community economically as the addition of such a large green space compels more families in setting down roots nearby.