St. Patrick's Island
Just a skipping stone away from East Village, across the George C. King Bridge (formerly St. Patrick's Bridge), St. Patrick’s Island opened in 2015, offering EV residents and all Calgarians a beautifully revitalized 31-acre backyard. Nature lovers, families and urban explorers alike can revel in the natural beauty that has been restored through mindful renewal and a biophilia master plan – a landscape design approach that nurtures the bond between people and nature.
A monumental public art installation aptly named Bloom, a kid-friendly Playmound and a completely accessible Picnic Grove provide urban amenities to the wilderness setting. With a fishing cove, Seasonal Breach, a lowland channel with a boardwalk over naturalized wetlands, wooded areas with meandering pathways, a Confluence Plaza with an amphitheatre and room for programming - not to mention a Rise that offers some of the best views in the city - St. Patrick’s Island is an island for all seasons. And all people.
Prior to restoration, St. Patrick’s Island underwent a BioBlitz, to categorize every species of the island’s flora and fauna. Native plant species were also reintroduced.
Turning back the clock on decades of underuse of St. Patrick’s Island was a lot more than just a cosmetic facelift. A 1960’s backfill of seasonal river channels was reversed, restoring the island’s original topography and allowing biodiversity to once again flourish. The soil removed from that old backfill was used to partially construct the Rise.