Calgary is getting a new park that focuses on mental health

Jul 28 2021, 4:32 pm

Calgary is getting a new park next year, and it’s designed to help people on their mental wellness journeys.

On Tuesday, Parks Foundation Calgary revealed plans for an innovative new outdoor space that will be known as “A Park with Wellness at Its Heart.”

While the park will be located in a public area and open to everyone, plans have been created specifically with children and youth’s mental health in mind.

According to a release from Parks Foundation Calgary, the project will be constructed adjacent to the Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health in development in the city’s northwest. The park will act as an accessible space for patients and their families, and all Calgarians.

Data from a Centre for Addiction and Mental Health report states that one in five Canadian children will experience a diagnosable psychiatric concern in their youth. The new park aims to help Calgarian children and youth with mental health issues.

“We know there is a direct link between nature and positive mental health. By establishing this park adjacent to the Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, staff, patients, and their families can make use of the space as part of their care plans,” says Sheila Taylor, CEO of Parks Foundation Calgary.

“As a public park, the community as a whole will be able to enjoy everything it has to offer,” she added.

This first-of-its-kind park in Calgary will provide space for reflection, healing, and connection to nature in order to support mental health and wellness.

Parks Foundation Calgary noted that planned features include a trellis gateway, medicine garden, community pathways, and swinging benches.

There will also be plenty of space for group activities, gardening, meditation, and more.

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Proposed plan for the Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Park (Parks Foundation Calgary)

For now, the project is being called the Center for Child & Adolescent Mental Health Park. However, the final name of the park is yet to be determined. Parks Foundation Calgary says they will work with their partners to create something meaningful and inclusive.

“We know that parks matter to Calgarians,” said Taylor. “Now, more than ever, we must take care of each other and our community. We are creating world-class, innovative park spaces within our city, encouraging Calgarians to spend time outdoors and be healthy.”

The park is set to be completed in the summer of 2022, and it will be located just north of the Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (1007 17A Street NW) in the community of Hounsfield Heights/Briar Hill.

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