City of Calgary's Reader Rock Garden Restoration Project to receive a Heritage Canada Foundation 2008 Achievement Award

    OTTAWA, July 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Heritage Canada Foundation and the
Calgary Heritage Authority are pleased to announce that the City of Calgary's
Reader Rock Garden Rehabilitation Project will receive a 2008 Achievement
Award. The award will be presented to Anne Charlton, Director of Parks.
    The rehabilitation of Reader Rock Garden, a provincially designated
Edwardian Arts and Craft style rockery, included upgrading of the rock work,
replanting of the original beds, rehabilitation of two ponds, and the
reconstruction of a variety of structures, including the original house,
gazebo, bridge and selected site furnishings.
    The three-acre site is made up of rock paths, steps and walls forming
numerous planting beds and a variety of microclimates. It dates from 1913 and
was used as a private residence and garden for William Roland Reader,
Calgary's most influential Park Superintendent.
    The Garden followed a naturalistic design in order to demonstrate
horticultural potential for pioneering Calgary within the rigours of the
western Prairie/Foothills environment. Reader tested and documented over
4,000 different plant species in the garden. His book, the Hardy Herbaceous
Perennial Garden, lists the plants bed by bed. The Garden was known
internationally for its botanical diversity. The quality of Reader's plants
and seedlings were recognized by Kew Gardens in London, the Botanical Gardens
at Harvard, and the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh.
    Most of the Garden was completed by the 1920s, but Reader continued
collecting and experimenting with plant material until his death in 1943. The
Garden was then opened to the public as a City park and named in his honour.
    Following Reader's death, the Garden experienced periods of decline and
neglect; it was estimated that only 5% to 20% of the original plant material
    Reader Rock Garden is the first garden in Calgary to be rehabilitated
using the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of historic Places in
Canada. It officially re-opened in May 2006 and visitation has exceeded
expectations. Following the success of this project the City of Calgary has
committed to rehabilitate its historic Central Memorial Park and Bowness Park.

    The Heritage Canada Foundation Achievement Award, given jointly with the
Calgary Heritage Authority, recognizes outstanding work and commitment in the
field of heritage conservation. The award will be presented to the City of
Calgary by Catherine C. Cole, Chair of the Heritage Canada Foundation, and
Gerry Meek, Chair of the Calgary Heritage Authority on July 30, 2008 at the
Arrata Opera Centre (formerly Wesley United Church).

    The Heritage Canada Foundation is a national, membership-based, non
governmental, charitable organization with a mandate to promote the
preservation of Canada's historic buildings and places. Visit

For further information:

For further information: Carolyn Quinn, Director of Communications,
(613) 237-1066 ext. 229; Cell: (613) 797-7206;

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