Calgary Parks 100th Anniversary: Part 2

by Caralyn Macdonald · 0 comments

The Centennial Grove

This another installation of the six scattered throughout downtown’s centrally located park - Olympic Plaza - as part of Calgary Parks 100 Anniversary celebration.  For the summer of 2010 Olympic Plaza has been transformed into an ephemeral (temporary) gardens.  These are popular features across the world, which enhance the park experience by transforming them into uniquely interactive spaces.

This Centennial Grove is located on the north east corner of the plaza directly behind the stage and arches.  From a distance it looks like a cluster of oddly sized orange PVC pipes.    Well you are partially right with this assumption.    Of all the installations in Olympic Plaza, I feel this one truly reflects the 100 Anniversary of all our wonderful parks and green spaces in the City.

The designers’ ( IBI/Landplan) vision behind the installation:

Drawing on the imagery of the native prairie landscape of aspen groves and grasslands and in a celebration of the 100 anniversary of the City of Calgary Parks, the installation symbolizes 100 trunks of aspen trees nestled in grassland.

Upon closer inspection you will notice each orange tree has a name of a park on it, with the taller trees representing the older parks in the city.  There are 100 trees, one for each park in the city. I do not know about you, but I had no idea there were that many parks!  Everyone knows about the bigger ones - Prince’s Island, Elliston, Olympic Plaza, Riley Park,  but what about the smaller ones like Century Gardens or Peace Park?  All the trees are bunched in groups of ten to represent the passage of time and growth of the City of Calgary between 1910 and 2010.

Next time you are in Olympic Plaza, take a walk to behind the arches and locate your favorite park!

Photo Credit: Janet Jessiman

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