Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park will welcome new and frequent visitors to take part in Calgary’s Jane’s Walk celebration May 3 to 5.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for friends and family to come out in a free, supportive environment and learn about the fascinating history and ecology of this park, discover their backyard and see what the landscape here looks like,” said Sarah Parker, Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation executive director .
According to Parker, Jane’s Walk is a global festival meant to encourage people to explore their communities on foot, celebrating the legacy of urban activist and author Jane Jacobs.
“The idea is for people to get out of their everyday life and find out something about their backyard or visit a new area of the city and surrounding areas that they didn’t even know existed,” she said.
The three walks at Glenbow Ranch are offered in conjunction with the Calgary Foundation, which has organized local Jane’s Walk events since 2008.
This year, Parker said, the walks will each be led by a volunteer and focused on a different aspect of the park.
“They are a wealth of knowledge,” Parker said. “They have led our golf cart tours and other guided walks, so they jump at the chance at being able to do the Jane’s Walks.”
Alice Fedosoff will lead a walk May 3 at 10 a.m. focusing on the history of the park and the indigenous people and settlers that once called it home.
A nature photography workshop and walk May 4 at 10 a.m., led by Ken Wright, will allow amateur photographers a chance to capture the park’s plants and wildlife, and will also give walkers a chance to see the park from a distinct perspective. While visitors must usually stick to the park’s trails, Parker said, Wright has special permission to take his group off the paths to viewpoints they normally wouldn’t be able to access.
For the first time, retired geologist Michael Taylor will lead a walk May 5 at 2 p.m. exploring Glenbow Ranch’s geology, where he’ll discuss how the landscape was formed and what could be in store in the future.
Registration is not required to participate in the walks, and Parker said groups typically comprise around 15 people – an ideal size, she added, as it allows walkers to interact with the guide.
“We will accommodate however many show up,” she said. “The reality is, there’s so many incredible walks happening throughout the area on these three days.”
Past Jane’s Walk events at the park have been a great success, Parker said, attracting many first-time visitors from Calgary, Rocky View County and as far away as Red Deer.
“We love it because we always love showing this amazing provincial park to new people,” she said.
Parker added the park is quite exposed, and anyone planning on participating in a Jane’s Walk should come dressed appropriately for the weather and pack a hat, sunscreen and drinking water.