City announces new 190 acre River Valley Park in Northeast Edmonton
Edmontonians will have more opportunities to share outdoor experiences and connect with nature when the city’s River Valley park system expands this summer with the addition of a new public park in Northeast Edmonton. Nestled along the North Saskatchewan River, this 190 acres of developed parkland (which is larger than Hawrelak Park’s 168 acre footprint and equivalent to 150 football fields), connects with popular River Valley trails and includes unique features such as charming barn bridges, an ornamental lake, a large events centre for gatherings and weddings, trail connections, children’s playground and public washrooms.
“Edmontonians have told us loud and clear that they want to expand River Valley access to enjoy more opportunities to connect with friends, family and the natural world around them,“ said Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “I hope this new park will serve as an important gathering place for generations of residents as our city continues to grow.”
The picturesque park, previously known as Our Lady Queen of Peace Ranch North, is located at 17 Street NE and 153 Avenue NE, and its acquisition comes at a time when the City of Edmonton is investing in the wellbeing of Edmontonians, providing opportunities for quality outdoor recreation experiences and expanding the Ribbon of Green network for biodiversity and ecological integrity.
Parks provide important, accessible opportunities for individuals to get active and connect with nature, which can improve people’s physical, emotional and mental health.
“To ensure equitable access to River Valley experiences for all Edmontonians, we must provide recreation opportunities in all corners of the city,” said Ward Dene Councillor Aaron Paquette. “North Edmonton is developing and growing at a fantastic rate, so we are planning, not only for those living here now, but for the needs of future residents as well.”
The park is located adjacent to the Horse Hill Area Structure Plan which includes five future neighbourhoods and an anticipated population of 70,000. Accessible recreation is important to communities because it fosters healthy living, and helps people feel like they belong.
While the City of Edmonton officially acquired the park on May 15, 2023, it will not open to the public until late Summer 2023 in order for staff and crews to perform proper inspections, maintenance work and prepare the facilities and grounds for public use.
Residents and stakeholders will have an opportunity to provide input as part of a concept-planning process that is expected to begin later this year. Following that work, the new park will be officially named. Until then, it will be referred to as Northeast River Valley Park. Information about public engagement opportunities are forthcoming and will be published on edmonton.ca/NERiverValleyPark in the coming months.