The Langdon Community Association (LCA) has announced the hamlet will undertake a park revitalization project in an effort to bring residents together again following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The not-for-profit association announced in a press release on June 15 a plan to revamp Langdon Park through the installation of two full-size tennis courts, a basketball court, and a community gathering garden that will feature small-group areas with fire pits around a central gathering space.
“With this investment, the Langdon community park will be able to continue to host neighbours and families as they gather, enjoy recreational activities and support their health and well-being,” said Chrissy Craig, chair of the LCA, in the press release. “The LCA is so excited to see this project become a reality.
“We can’t wait to see families and the community welcomed back into the park and connecting once again.”
According to Craig, the project aligns with the LCA board’s strategic planning and vision, and follows hundreds of volunteer hours spent applying for grants and fundraising. She said the project is made possible thanks in part to a federal investment of $476,916 from the Government of Canada.
“This dream became reality with federal funding support from the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF),” read the press release. “The fund is a two-year, $500 million national infrastructure program to revitalize communities across Canada.”
Craig added the federal fund is administered by PrairiesCan, which is the Alberta branch of CCRF.
“Our government is continuing to make investments that transform community infrastructure into modern gathering places for residents of all ages and abilities through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund,” said Daniel Vandal, minister for PrairiesCan.
Additional funding for the project is provided by Rocky View County and Accurate Screen and Grating, according to Craig.
“It was amazing to get it because it was a lot of work to try and get it,” Craig said in an interview. “We currently have a park that’s underutilized – it's got old equipment or stuff that’s been removed, but then the remnants of it are left like gravel and volleyball pits.
“It would be nice to be able to bring people back into the park and actually have a proper park for people to enjoy and use.”
She said bringing the community together to enjoy the park’s amenities has always been a goal of the LCA, but it wasn’t fully realized that more amenities were needed until the onset of the pandemic.
“When COVID-19 hit, you were only allowed to do outdoor things, and it was noted that there’s nowhere in Langdon for people to gather in a safe manner,” she said. “There’s nothing for the kids to do, and that’s what we noticed just observing [the community] during these two years of COVID.”
She added members of the association witnessed the City of Calgary’s parks being utilized throughout the pandemic and recognized how Langdon could improve its offerings.
“[We] witnessed seniors sitting in lawn chairs in parking lots, teens gathering on steps of main street businesses enjoying lunch, and scouts and girl guides sitting on buckets in the park,” Craig said in the press release. “Most of the time, these gatherings were not ideal for safety or comfort.
“The LCA dreamed about bringing these groups into the central park, providing a place for them to gather, socialize, play sport, and connect.”
Additionally, Craig said the association recognized the community is limited in offering public sports, especially accessible outdoor sports. As such, the tennis and basketball courts – first announced in the fall of 2021 – are slated to be completed this spring by Year-Round Landscaping. Those amenities will be followed by the garden, which is expected to reach completion by the fall, with construction undertaken by Jubilee Landscaping.
George Chahal, the Liberal MP for Calgary Skyview, said the federal government is proud to work alongside Langdon’s community association to revitalize the central community park.
“Public spaces are at the heart of Alberta’s communities,” Chahal said. “[We’re proud]… to provide residents and visitors with a welcoming place to connect and enjoy the outdoors.”
Craig said she is most eager to see the revitalized park during the Christmas season, when public fire pits will be available for use and Christmas lights and carnival activities will bring people together again.
“That is exactly what we need in our community, because we don’t have those places where people can gather safely,” she said.
“That’s what I’m most looking forward to – just seeing people using the park and being back in the park instead of it just being an empty field right now.”