Ziplines, parkour course, some features of rec facility opening in Calgary’s northwest

Calgary’s northwest community of Hawkwood is soon to become home to a community space that will include ziplines, balance beams and a parkour course.

Currently under construction, the $1.8 million Hawkwood Recreational Facility is set to open in January.

According to the Hawkwood Community Association’s program coordinator, Heather Kovach, it’s a space that is incredibly needed — Hawkwood is a “have” community, she said, but it has lacked infrastructure for people to engage with.

“What people really wanted in this community was a place to gather, be social and be active,” said Kovach.

“We were very fortunate in that we had huge community engagement, huge community involvement. And … we came up with a great design.”

As the principal architect at The TULA Project, Hurlbut previously redeveloped Bear Street in Banff. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

That design was conceptualized with the help of Calgary-based landscape architect Kelsi Hurlbut.

As the principal architect at The TULA Project, Hurlbut previously redeveloped Bear Street in Banff.

And as far as favourite projects go, she says the Hawkwood facility is high on her list.

“I love working with communities. You get to work with people who are going to be fundraising for the space, and then using the space,” Hurlbut said.

‘Something for the entire community’

The space in Hawkwood will include seating under the trees, solar panels, and a sunken lawn with a fire pit in the summer that will be flooded in the winter, when it can be used as a skating rink.

Ensuring the space could transition between seasons was a priority for Hurlbut, who said she wanted Calgarians to have opportunities to embrace the city in winter.

As for the parkour course, it will be built to accommodate inexperienced users as well as veterans, and was developed with safety in mind.

The Hawkwood Community Association’s program coordinator, Heather Kovach, left, and resident Asher Pagnucco, right. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Kovach said the community will have public parkour lessons when it opens, and Hurlbut said they consulted with a U.S. company for guidance on best standards and practices for the construction of the circuit.

“We don’t really have any standards in Alberta for how that is designed — it’s not technically a playground, so it doesn’t have the same certifications or standards that we need to adhere to,” Hurlbut said.

Ultimately, she is hoping the facility will be dynamic and inclusive.

“It all started with the community’s main goals of having something that was multifunctional, can be used year-round, and attract a wide demographic,” Hurlbut said.

“Because you really want it to be something for the entire community.”

One Hawkwood resident who can’t wait for the facility to open is Asher Pagnucco, 11.

“It would be amazing if it got done faster,” he said.

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