Calgary Parks 100th Anniversary: Part 1

June 17th, 2010 by Caralyn Macdonald

What colour is your gopher?

Been down to Olympic Plaza lately?  You may have noticed a few art installations, six in fact scattered throughout this park.  This is all part of Calgary Parks 100 Anniversary celebration.  This new twist on the park experience is known as ephemeral (temporary) gardens.  These are popular features across the world, which enhance the park experience by transforming them into uniquely interactive spaces.   Yes, as awesome as they are, they’re only here for the summer.

Over the next few articles, we will get up close and personal with all of them.  I am going to start out with my favorite – the Pink Gophers!

This art installation is aptly called “I am not a Gopher” by Carson McCulloch Associates.  These “critters” can be seen everywhere in Calgary and surrounding area.    They answer to many names like the popular gopher and prairie dog, but are actually Richardson’s Ground Squirrels – who knew – not me!

These pink ground squirrels are referred to by the design team as stewards of our environment and wanted to thank Calgary for such as great home by participating in the 100th Anniversary celebration.  If you care to count, when installed at the beginning of May there were 100 of the pink critters, one for each year of parks in Calgary.  However, rumor has it from good sources that a few have left for other pastures.

If you have not already seen them, check them out over lunch hour, share a few “peep peeps” and please leave them for others to enjoy.

Photo Credit: Janet Jessiman

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