City highlights importance of parks and open spaces
April 22, 2021

Edmonton's parks and open spaces are part of our city's identity. Over the last year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, our parks have offered us a safe and healthy way to connect with the people we care about, connect with nature and stay active. 

Residents came out in droves to city parks as a safe escape during the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to 2019, many river valley parks and trail systems saw a 100 per cent increase in users. 
  • The shared pathway on River Valley Road saw 199,196 users from June to September, 2020, compared to 91,948 during the same time frame in 2019. 
  • The Rossdale Trail or shared pathway saw 117,740 users from June to September, 2020, compared to 60,207 during the same time frame in 2019. 
  • The Gold Bar Trail saw 196,958 users from June to September, 2020, compared to 53,744 during the same time frame in 2019. 

As our City grows to eventually welcome two million residents, the demand for parks and open spaces will only increase. That is why we are planning for the future, today. During the 2021 construction season, the City will renew Confederation District Park, Emily Murphy Park, Gold Bar Park, Hermitage Park and Glengarry District Park. The City will also build or renew 14 playgrounds and plant six thousand trees through the Urban Tree Canopy Expansion Project. The City is planning for future parks, including Warehouse Campus Park, a park that will provide a much-needed urban green space to address the needs of current and future downtown residents, students, workers and visitors to our downtown. 

2021 Naturalization: 150 hectares of stormwater management facility land
Alongside plans for future parks, the City is also planning the future of naturalized spaces in Edmonton. This year, 150 hectares of land around stormwater management facilities throughout the City will begin their conversion to naturalized sites. In these areas specifically, naturalization helps protect the banks of stormwater management facilities, like wet ponds, from erosion and captures rainwater. It also reduces stormwater runoff and reduces the risk of flooding. 

Naturalization increases habitat and food sources for plants, birds, wildlife and beneficial pollinators, like bees and butterflies, and increases areas for planting trees and shrubs which in turn provide benefits to residents such as windbreaks, shade and beauty.

2021 parks and open space service levels
Our approach to service levels this season will be improved compared to early summer 2020 when the City faced sudden impacts of the pandemic. With these adjustments, although they are not the same as pre-pandemic levels, crews are working within allocated resources for this year.
Turf maintenance throughout parks will be completed on a 10-14 day schedule, except for premier parks and sports fields which will continue to be maintained on their 7-10 day cycle. At the start of last year, as a result of the pandemic, turf was maintained in parks on a 21-day cycle, before service levels were increased to a 14-day cycle in July. 

Edmontonians showed their community spirit last year by mowing grass in areas with longer grass. However, for safety reasons the City does not encourage the public to mow City-owned parks. There are several other ways residents can get involved in programs that support Edmonton’s natural environment and beautification of green spaces.

Crews are also sweeping trails to remove any gravel, sand or debris. These trails will receive periodic sweeping during the year if there is too much debris or sand. For the summer months, litter will be collected from garbage cans located along trails twice per week.

For a complete breakdown of service levels for parks and open spaces, including trails, outdoor City maintained sports facilities such as ball diamonds and running tracks, turf, horticulture shrub beds, and weed control, visit
Parks are a treasured and vital resource for Edmontonians. Those enjoying our parks and open spaces this spring and summer are reminded to spread out, make use of the many parks and amenities available in your communities and throughout the City, and follow all COVID-19 related restrictions and requirements.  

For more information:
Building Edmonton: 
Have you ever wondered what type of work goes into planning a city park? For more information, check out our latest Transforming Edmonton blog.
Service levels:

Media contacts:  
For park construction and renewals:  
Communications Advisor
Communications and Engagement

For parks and open space service levels: 
Communications Coordinator
Communications and Engagement