How Cultural Landscapes Build Strong Communities

The Morris Schumiatcher room at the Glenbow Museum was standing-room only during Michelle Reid’s dynamic breakout session at the 2012 Place Matters Municipal Heritage Forum. Her topic: “How Cultural Landscapes Build Strong Communities.”

Cultural Landscapes ConnectMichelle is the Conservation Landscape Architect with Calgary Parks, and has provided leadership to award-winning projects such as the restoration of Central Memorial Park and the Reader Rock Garden.

We were honoured that Michelle was available to provide Forum attendees with an inside look at some of the stellar work that the City of Calgary is doing with its urban historic landscapes. Not only did we glean a deeper understanding of the historic legacy of William Roland Reader, Calgary’s first Superintendent of Parks, but we also saw how the cultivation and care of some of these landscapes have had a positive social impact in communities like Bridgeland, the Beltline, and Bowness.

Alberta’s largest city is making a difference when it comes to preserving and celebrating its dynamic public spaces, but Michelle made it clear that this is not only a Calgary or a big city focus. Many attendees from rural municipalities and smaller towns and villages also connected with these places, and saw ways to strengthen their own communities by nurturing their historic landscapes.

Written by: Matthew Francis, Manager of Municipal Heritage Services

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