The City is looking to foster opportunities for well used public spaces and places for citizens to connect and create urban vitality. In its current state, Humpy Hollow Park is underutilized, unnoticed, and underappreciated; a prime candidate for valuable inner-city park space that should be redeveloped.
In Spring of 2018, the Beltline Neighbourhood Association (BNA) was awarded a Conceptual Drawing Grant from Parks Foundation Calgary to provide funding for the creation of a redevelopment concept for this park space. After procuring a consultant who led a series of stakeholder workshops, a concept and vision was developed which was then taken to the Beltline Community Investment Fund (BCIF) Committee to ask for a funding request. The purpose of this funding request was to take this project through detailed design, further engagement, permitting, and construction. This funding request was approved by BCIF in April 2019, then by the Priorities and Finance Committee in December 2019, and finally by Council in January 2020.
Since this time, The City has hired on a consultant and has been working with this team through a series of site analysis and concept refinement exercises to create two concepts that are based off of the vision and principles developed in the previous community-led engagement. We are looking for your input and feedback on these concepts.
ABOUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD
The Beltline is a community with one of the highest residential densities in the city, yet it has one of the lowest quantities of local open space. It is significantly below the city average for the total amount of park space provided per capita.
The Centre City Open Space Management Plan recommends that for every 1,000 residents, one hectare of park space be provided; the Beltline community offers less than one-third of this amount. Given this scarcity of open space in the community, the long-term value and quality of the Beltline’s existing parks like Humpy Hollow Park is essential to the community’s well-being.
Findings from 2018 community-led engagement
After completing several visioning exercises with community stakeholder groups in 2018, the following vision and principles were developed to guide the redevelopment of Humpy Hollow Park:
Humpy Hollow Park will be a welcoming, vibrant and dynamic community space for all to use and enjoy.
- Humpy Hollow Park will celebrate the local community and culture;
- The park will be a multi-use space considering the needs and desires of a wide variety of user groups;
- Artful, non-traditional play will be included in the design of the park;
- The park will be well-lit and welcoming
What we heard from the 2018 community-led engagement:
The park should include:
Why are we developing park space in the Beltline?
- The Beltline is considerably deficient in open park space. With a population of over 23,000 and the majority living in multi-family residences, we need to take advantage of the open spaces we have in order to maximize their value.
What is the size of the space?
- The park space is 201 square meters (approximately 2,167 square feet).
How much is this going to cost/where is the funding coming from?
- The construction budget for this project is $1.1 million dollars.
- Funding for this project comes from the Beltline Community Investment Fund (BCIF).The BCIF is to be used for projects on public lands or within public rights-of-way within the Beltline related to public realm improvements, including but not limited to:
- Public open space design, redevelopment or enhancement;
- Streetscape design and improvements;
- Implementation of urban design strategies and public art on public land; and
- Public open space acquisition.
What determines what we can do with the site?
- This piece of land is designated as Special Purpose – Community Service District (S-CS) and everything that has be proposed on site is a “permitted use” for this type of land use designation.
When will construction take place and how long will it take?
- Construction activities associated with the park redevelopment won’t start until Spring of 2021; however, the removal of the chain link fencing and existing playground on site may take place in Summer/Fall of 2020.
- Although we will not know exactly how long construction will take until we have a finalized plan in place and a contractor is procured, it is anticipated that the construction of the Humpy Hollow Park improvements will take about four months.
What is happening with the McHugh House on the site?
- The Three-story brick and sandstone Queen Anne Revival-style building known for its architectural character and historical significance to the community will stay on site and will act as an integral piece of the new park development. The intent is to integrate the building better into the surrounding park space.
How will your input be used?
- Your input will be used to identify preferences and patterns to help the project team create a park space that meets the communities' needs.
- Data and input will be collected based on the feedback received; this feedback will help us shape a preferred design concept which will be shared with the public in Fall 2020.
Has there been previous engagement within the community that has taken place regarding the redevelopment of the park space?
- The Beltline Neighbourhood Association (BNA) hosted a series of three workshops with their consultant to come up with a vision for the space.
- Attendees of these workshops included the Beltline Neighbourhood Association Board, members from the Beltline Urban Development Committee, the Beltline Parks and Open Spaces Committee, tenants renting space in the McHugh house, as well as a representative from the Ward 8 office.
- Letters of support have also been gathered from a number of local developers, the 17th Ave Retail & Entertainment District and both Ward 11 and 8 offices who are all supportive of redevelopment of Humpy Hollow Park.
Will there be a playground incorporated into Humpy Hollow Park?
- The City of Calgary determined in 2017 that the existing playground located in Humpy Hollow Park is at the end of its life-cycle and will be removed.Additionally, the local daycares in the community that previously used the playground have all closed, leaving the playground equipment rarely used.
- The City understands the importance of play and has plans to integrate playful elements/informal play opportunities into the preferred concept, however a new playground or tot lot will not be incorporated as part of the redevelopment. This also allows The City to remove the existing chain link fencing along 17th Avenue which has been seen as a barrier to access for the site over the years.
- Haultain Park is located three blocks north-west of this park space, and is home to a large playground.
Will there be an off-leash area or dog park incorporated into Humpy Hollow Park?
- The City of Calgary recently completed a Downtown Off-Leash Area Study, which indicated that there is a need for more fenced off-leash areas in the downtown, in convenient locations within walking distance of residents.The Beltline community was specifically noted as an area in need.
- There is currently only one dedicated dog park in the Beltline which is located at Connaught Park in the west end of the community. A dog park would provide a much-needed amenity for people residing in the east end of the Beltline.
- Feedback collected from this engagement will determine if an off-leash area will be included in the preferred concept for Humpy Hollow Park.
Will there be a water feature in the new park space?
- Due to limitations on available funding for maintenance and excessive operation costs that are associated with life-cycling and regular upkeep as well as The City’s commitment to water conservation, no water feature will be implemented in this park space.
What approvals and permitting requirements are associated with this project?
- The City will be required to take this project through the Development Liaison (DL) process. DL’s act as an urban design control for projects taking place on City of Calgary owned land. This project will also be taken through The City’s Urban Design Review Panel (UDRP) and Calgary Planning Commission (CPC) to help guide and ensure the development adheres to City Policy.
Where did the current name of Humpy Hollow Park originate?
- Humpy Hollow Park was named in 1976 through a contest run by the Calgary Activettes Club (a local women's social and charitable group). The contest evaluated names suggested from local school children and the name was chosen for the geographical humps and hollows of the existing site. Despite concerns, The City approved the winning park name, and nearly 45 years later we are still using Humpy Hollow Park to identify the park space.
PROVIDE YOUR INPUT
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The feedback that is collected from this engagement will be considered to help develop a preferred concept plan, which will then be taken through the detailed design and permitting process at The City. As we take the preferred design through the permitting process, there may be minor changes to the design to ensure that everything aligns with City planning policies and construction standards.
The final concept will take into consideration the feedback obtained from public engagement balanced with City planning policies, bylaws, and priorities. A preferred concept along with a What We Heard, What We Did Report will be shared with the public in Fall 2020 on this page.