Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reader's Rock Garden

While I'm in that neck of the woods, I will highlight another cool thing in that section of Calgary- on 25th avenue just after you cross the train tracks, if you turn right you will be in the parking lot of the Reader Rock Garden. A man named William Reader created this garden in 1914 and brought in a lot of exotic plants and created a rock garden down the slope of cemetery hill-opposite the stampede grounds. But then he died and the garden became overgrown with weeds and no one took care of it. Just a few years ago the garden was restored and I went there a few weeks ago and its pretty cool. You walk up the hill through all these really neat stone paths and there are little trickling waterfalls and bridges and very pretty flowers, trees, foliage. at the top of the hill there is a little gazebo and a cafe which looks out over downtown and the stampede grounds. My friend Bre and I had lunch and tea there and our BLTs were super good-on sour dough bread with really good bacon, aged white cheddar cheese and yellow tomatoes! yum. They also have a porch on the little house and I think it would be a lovely thing to do at this time of year when the leaves are so colourful to go sit out there in a warm cozy sweater and have a pot of tea.

Calgary Water Centre

I went to an event at this building last night for the "Calgary Architecture & Design Week Gala" which was disappointing....
but the building is very cool. very eco-friendly and follows this sustainable building policy called LEEDS-Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Its good to see Calgary starting to adopt some green building policies. Even the office furniture is made of recycled materials and they use non-toxic cleaners, improved air quality and you can actually open the windows for fresh air!!

Here are some of the facts:

Private buildings are responsible for 40 per cent of the world's total energy use. By taking advantage of natural sunlight and installing the latest technologies for heating and cooling, the Water Centre will use 58 per cent less energy than a conventional building, saving taxpayers $108,000 per year.

*The Water Centre's thin shape and southern exposure lets the sun help warm the building during the winter, while the roof overhang keeps out the heat of summer. Employee work stations are placed away from direct sunlight along the north side of the building, allowing temperatures to be maintained at a lower operating cost.

The three-colour glass curtain wall balances the amount of visible light and heat entering the building.

Under-floor heating and radiant ceiling slab cooling will save energy and provide a more comfortable work environment.

Bright ideas

Abundant windows and an open plan mean all employees have access to natural light, reducing the need for electric lighting. Daylight and occupancy sensors ensure lights are only on when they are needed. The Water Centre will save an estimated 1,250,000kWh per year on lighting – or over 1,100 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Green roof

In 1875, Fort Calgary used prairie sod to keep out the rain, making it Calgary’s first office with a green roof. The modern version incorporates a high-tech rubber membrane topped with a layer of soil. Native flowers and grasses help cool the summer air by releasing moisture as they grow. The soil and roots insulate against winter frost.

Water-wise landscaping

The garden uses drought-tolerant native plants in groupings that evoke different prairie habitats around Calgary. Saskatoons and other shrubs act as wind breaks, retaining moisture for the grasses and wildflowers. Plants in the constructed wetlands help filter water from the roof and parking lot.

The Water Centre is located on 25th Avenue S.E. and Spiller Road, the Water Centre is home for The City of Calgary’s Water Resources and Water Services’ professional (460) and field (314) staff.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Calgary Garden Path Society

A big highlight of my summer was joining the Garden Path Society and learning a lot about gardening! It is so cool and great to be a part of. Its run by volunteers and the best part is the half acre of vegetables that is grown to give away to charities and allow the public to come in and harvest. By volunteering there I have been able to take home fresh organic vegetables that are so pretty and colourful. Today was the last harvesting day and I got a bunch of potatoes, some carrots, rainbow chard, some padi pan squash, and a little pumpkin! I've been introduced to vegetables I never knew I liked and had an excuse to spend many of the beautiful sunny days outside among great people that all wanted to get dirty!

Calgary Garden Path Society!

The Garden Path Society of Calgary is a local, non-profit organization that is focused on providing garden space for Calgarians. We strive to overcome the urban obstacles that prevent people of all ages and cultures from participating in growing food and plants. With the help of supporters, the Garden Path Society has a positive effect on the health of the city by raising funds to help grow food for charity and to provide spaces for citizens to grow their own abundant harvest in an earth-friendly way.

Vitamin Daily

This is a site I came across one day and so I subscribed to it and it sends me an email everyday with stuff about Calgary which is kind of cool. It has told me about new restaurants and stores, recipes, new styles, etc...

it's pretty neat!

My first Blog...

This is my first blog, I've decided I need a way to keep track of everything I've been interested in lately and wanting to remember because I like it so much and want to share it with everyone else! so I decided it was time for me to start a blog...i think its going to take me a little while to figure this thing out so i'll take it a day at a time, but stay tuned!