Much like the fictive community of Pawnee on Parks and Recreation, Bankview once had its own Lot 48 or “the pit.”
Starting in the early 1980s the Bankview Community Association worked to transform – over a three year period – what one Bankview Bulletin from the period identified as “that hole in the ground” in upper Bankview into a park. Having laid the groundwork for new parks and additional green spaces through the community’s new Area Redevelopment Plan, volunteers at the Bankview Community Association then began the process of change making.
In 1983, over a series of months, various designs for Hole-in-the-ground Park were considered. Community meetings seeking input were held. The Bankview Bulletin was optimistic that work on the Hole-in-the-ground Park would begin in the fall of 1983, with grass being sown and playground equipment installed early in 1984.
“Well, it looks just like a hole in the ground, slowly accumulating a variety of garbage and hedge clippings. But, fear not. Although holes in the ground are common fare in Calgary since the end of the building boom, that particular hole is actually a park.”
By December of 1983, however, the Bankview Bulletin could only report that “construction will begin as soon as the ground thaws.” Yet much had also been accomplished that year.
“In 1983, the lot was purchased, and the low-rise apartment occupying it was demolished. A committee drawn from community members worked with designers from the City of Calgary to draw up a plan for the new park. Late last fall, an open house attended by nearby residents added the final touches, and selected the playground equipment.”
In early 1984, the Bankview Bulletin believed that work on the 25th Avenue Park “should commence soon.” It noted that the design had, at long last, been approved and that a play structure had been ordered from Olds, Alberta. It was expected that the “neighbourhood children will have a place to play – other than the concrete – by the beginning of the Summer.”
But turning the hole on 25th Avenue into a park got no favours from the weather. It was not until the final months of 1984 that the landscaping of Hole-in-the-ground Park began, only to be cut short by winter’s early arrival. The snow also postponed the installation of playground equipment to the new year. The Bankview Bulletin noted that the play structure “will be done in the spring as soon at the weather conditions permit,” but only if at least fifteen residents volunteered to help. Those interested were encouraged to sign up at the January 1985 AGM.
Hole-in-the-ground Park was completed in the spring of 1985 and looks much the same today as it did then. But in the protracted process that led to the turning of a hole into a park, one matter continues to be unresolved. In 1983, after a year when much of the ground work for the park was completed, the Bankview Bulletin noted that one matter proved to be elusive: “the next problem is deciding on the name for the Park.”
Some thirty years later, this now popular destination for Bankview residents of all ages, remains the park with no name.