Situated on Calgary’s western border, the communities of Springbank and Bearspaw offer, in many ways, the perfect mix of country and city living.
Bordered by the Bow and Elbow rivers to the north and south, the unique appeal of the area is obvious to anyone who has stood atop of 12 Mile Coulee Road.
Gazing westward, rising out of the fields and foothills, the majestic Rocky Mountains loom large providing ample opportunity for any number of outdoor pursuits as well as one of the more scenic backdrops around.
To the east is the city itself. Boasting a skyline that seems to grow more impressive by the minute, easy access to both Crowchild and Stoney trails means nearly any and every amenity imaginable is just a short drive away.
Part of the municipal district of Rocky View County, both communities were included in a recent development plan that will guide the next decade of development in the area. Presented to council on June 25, Rocky View Country’s senior planner and project manager Richard Barss said the new plan would help preserve the area’s unique rural/urban mix.
“Most people fell in the middle of the two extremes, which helped us develop a sound approach. They recognized the importance of growth and development, but wanted it to occur at a moderate rate to protect the unique character and quality of life in the community,” Barss said of the year-long public engagement process.
According to the plan, which is available for download on the Rocky View County website (http://www.rockyview.ca), the population of the area grew by 93 per cent between 1991 and 2011. During that time, 7,230 new homes were constructed in the county, with 48 per cent of the new homes located in the communities of Bearspaw and Springbank, along with Bragg Creek, East Balzac and Elbow Valley.
Moving forward, Rocky View’s development plan aims to continue to make the region a desirable place for country residential areas and the agriculture sector to coexist by preserving open space and conserving natural landscapes.
First opened in 1982, Western Canada’s largest outdoor family amusement park has been entertaining families for over 30 years. With 32 rides including the ever-popular Shoot the Chutes log flume and Vortex Rollercoaster, the 65-hectare park is located just 10 kilometres west of Calgary on the Trans Canada Highway and is open from 10 a.m. to – 7 p.m. daily until Sept. 2.
Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park
The newest of Alberta’s parks, Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park opened to the public in 2011. The 1,300-hectare park has breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains, downtown Calgary and the Alberta grasslands. In 1909 it was home to the Glenbow stone quarry, which produced Paskapoo sandstone blocks used in the construction of Alberta’s legislature as well as several buildings in Calgary.
Lynx Ridge Golf Course
Designed by golf and landscape architect Bill Newis, Lynx Ridge features five progressive tee boxes giving appropriate levels of difficulty to players of every skill. The Ridge nine, or front nine, plays along the edge of the valley and players will find themselves dealing with frequent changes in elevation and altitude. The Meadows nine is completely different from the front – flatter, which will be a relief to walkers, but no less interesting or difficult.
Springbank Park for All Seasons
The Springbank Park For All Seasons (SPFAS), attached to Springbank High School, is a hub for community activities and sports with a membership of over 1,200 families. The facility includes two full size hockey arenas, a six-sheet curling rink as well as baseball, soccer and football fields and is home to the Springbank Figure Skating Club. The park is a non-profit organization that has been operating for the last 40 years.