A new sports park in southeast Edmonton opened June 27th. Named after former Edmonton Mayor Ivor Dent, this park brings together sporting and cultural groups in a five-way partnership that promotes athletic excellence and features a number of elements to promote the sustainability of the site. Ivor Dent served as Edmonton’s Mayor from 1968 to 1974 and was instrumental in bringing the 1978 Commonwealth Games to Edmonton.
“The site of the park was the shooting range for the 1978 Commonwealth Games and given Mayor Dent’s role in bringing that exciting event to Edmonton how appropriate it is that this park is named in his honour,” says Councillor Bryan Anderson. “His passion and commitment to athletic excellence and community building are reflected in this park.”
The sports park features 24 fields that will host a number of sports, including soccer, rugby, cricket, field hockey, football, kabaddi, lacrosse, ultimate, Gaelic Football and hurling. The 138-acre park is located at the corner of Ellerslie Road and 50 Street.
“The park and its 24 fields make it an ideal location for large scale tournaments and greatly enhances our ability to attract national and international events to Edmonton. As well, it allows us to expand our individual programs and engage more children and adults in our respective sports,” says Alastair Hancock on behalf of the four partners.
The park also sets out features to live in balance with nature through features that promote sustainability including:
The capture and retention of all storm water on site to support the sport field irrigation needs.
Preservation of the natural wetland feature inherent in its original environment which plays an important role in the management of the storm-water on site.
Use of sustainable waste management principles to control weeds and utilize natural material generated on the site as a source of fertilizer.
“The Alberta Government is committed to making life better for Alberta families, and working with our municipal partners we are able to support valuable community infrastructure,” said Deron Bilous, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “We are pleased to have provided $9.9 million dollars to the development of the Ivor Dent Sports Park through the Municipal Sustainability Initiative.”
Partners in the park include the Edmonton Minor Soccer Association, MTRS Club Soccer, Nor’Wester Athletic Association and Punjabi United Sport & Heritage Association. The groups are working collaboratively with the City of Edmonton in the operations and maintenance of the park.
Funding for the park was provided by the City of Edmonton, Government of Alberta and the partners. Support to clean up the site was provided through the Government of Canada.
“Our dad had a passion for athletics and made the growth of public recreation facilities during his time as alderman and mayor a priority. He would be thrilled to see his legacy tied to this incredible facility that like him, champions physical activity, collaboration and diversity,” says his son, Charles Dent. “Our family is very proud to see his name on this park.”