St. Patrick's Island - A Biodiverse Haven

St. Patrick's Island: A Biodiverse Haven

St. Patrick's Island, a revitalized 30-acre island in downtown Calgary's Bow River, has recently been rescued from decades of neglect and now provides multiple ways for area residents to connect with nature. Transforming this island into an accessible, biodiverse haven, Brooklyn-based W Architecture and Landscape Architecture was able to orchestrate a deft balance between human activity and the natural rhythms of landscape that will maintain its harmony year-round.

Restoring the indigenous plant palette and seasonal wetlands has encouraged birds, insects, and mammals to return to their native habitat. Two new water channels reintroduce the river to the park: a shallow channel and beach, carved from a former lawn, transform into a skating area during Calgary's cold winters; meanwhile, a new wetland habitat with an elevated walkway system - part of a network of bicycle and pedestrian pathways - supports the island's revitalized ecosystem while providing ecologically safe observation areas.

filed under: Landscape Design
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