Only 7 kilo­me­tres left in Green­way net­work Path­way con­struc­tion to wrap up by year’s end

Cal­gary We’re re­ally ex­cited to be at the fin­ish line of this project.

Metro Canada (Calgary) - - YOUR ESSENTIAL DAILY NEWS - El­iz­a­beth Cameron For Metro | Cal­gary

Cal­gary’s Ro­tary/Mat­tamy Green­way has less than seven kilo­me­tres to go un­til it can claim to be the long­est ur­ban path­way and park sys­tem in the world.

The Parks Foun­da­tion of Cal­gary’s sig­na­ture $50-mil­lion project links 55 com­mu­ni­ties, or roughly 400,000 peo­ple, to a pedes­trian path­way net­work that en­cir­cles the city and has taken more than a decade to com­plete.

“We’re re­ally ex­cited to be at the fin­ish line of this project,” said Parks Foun­da­tion Cal­gary Ex­ec­u­tive Director Sheila Tay­lor.

Con­struc­tion is ex­pected to be­gin on the re­main­ing 6.7 kilo­me­tres of path­way that will join the north­east and north­west quad­rants of the city to­gether in a mat­ter of weeks.

The Green­way fea­tures of­fleash dog parks, fam­ily fit­ness parks, wet­land in­ter­pre­tive ar­eas, play­grounds and even a self-serve bike-re­pair sta­tion — in ad­di­tion to 138 kilo­me­tres of walk­ing and cy­cling paths.

The Park Foun­da­tion’s board of gov­er­nors ini­tially called the idea the Cal­gary Green­way when plan­ning be­gan in 2008, ac­cord­ing to Tay­lor.

She said the first phase of the mas­sive project be­gan in Oc­to­ber 2009 and con­nected McKnight Boule­vard NE to 16th Av­enue NE. That 13-kilo­me­tre stretch was of­fi­cially opened in July 2011, but an im­por­tant fea­ture, the Arc Re­sources In­ter­pre­tive Wet­lands in Mon­terey Park, opened a year ear­lier.

Tay­lor said the sec­ond phase, which took two years and con­nected south­east com­mu­ni­ties, started in May 2013.

The fi­nal phase of the net­work be­gan in Septem­ber 2015 and con­nected the re­main­ing sec­tions of path­way from Deer­foot Trail in the north­east to Fish Creek Park in the South­west.

“It all joins to­gether in a net­work that’s over 1,000 kilo­me­tres of path­way,” Tay­lor told Metro. “It en­cir­cles the city, but also brings us to­gether.”

Two other pop­u­lar fea­tures, the Jim David­son Bark and Play Off-Leash Park in Auburn Bay and Progress En­ergy Memo­rial Gar­den in Sig­nal Hill, opened in Septem­ber 2016.

In June, plans were an­nounced for a park in mem­ory of Cal­gar­yGreen­way MLA Man­meet Singh Bhullar, who died in 2015. That space in Taradale is ex­pected to be com­pleted in 2018.

A tour­na­ment-grade, 18-hole disc golf course is also be­ing con­structed in Royal Vista and should be open by Oc­to­ber.

Rob “Fris­bee Rob” McLeod, a disc-golf am­bas­sador and mo­ti­va­tional speaker, said the new in­fra­struc­ture is highly an­tic­i­pated.

“It’s huge,” McLeod told Metro. “Typ­i­cally a course is de­signed in an ex­ist­ing park, and that’s what’s dif­fer­ent about this course.

“In­stead of look­ing at what’s there, it was like, ‘Here’s the land we have, what can we do with it?”

Sheila Tay­lor

EL­IZ­A­BETH CAMERON

A cou­ple naps along­side the Bow Rover near An­gel’s Cafe on the Ro­tary-Mat­tamy Green­way in Cal­gary.

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