Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation

The Glenbow Ranch Park is a unique example of Alberta's rich cultural and ecological history. Our Foundation, along with our many volunteers work tirelessly to conserve these lands and enhance the visitor experience through our educational programming, research initiatives and events.

A class of school children dressed in brightly colored shirts overlooking the Bow River valley from Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.Our Story Why We Exist

The lands on which Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park sit are stunning. Views of Calgary, the foothills and the Rocky mountains take your breath away. They are also rich in history - Aboriginal communities built their teepees here, buffalo roamed and the once vibrant Glenbow Township thrived here for short time.  Sitting between Calgary and  Cochrane, these lands could easily be developed into stunning, sought after residential areas. But land owner Tim Harvie and his three sisters Carol (Raymond), Katie and Pauli (Smith) did want to see their lands developed.  They wished to honor their father and mother's wishes and preserve these lands for all to enjoy. So they sold these lands at a low cost to the Government of Alberta and with the funds - created the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation. The Foundation was created to build the infrastructure and programming needed to make this park what it is today. They hoped that the Foundation would always exist to encourage stewardship of the land, support research initiatives, promote park use by all and ultimately grow and development the park with support from other local land owners and the Government. With Tim Harvie still an active board member, their vision remains, and will always remain, at the heart of what we do here at the Foundation. 

The iconic Glenbow Store. A rather run-down wooden building with a bright blue sky in the background.Our Impact What We Do

Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation exists to support Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, one of Alberta’s most unique provincial parks. Located along the north shore of the Bow River between Calgary and Cochrane, the park boundaries encompass more than 1,300 hectares of foothills parkland and native grasslands. These surroundings provide fantastic opportunities for the foundation to teach visitors about significant natural features, endangered ecosystems and rare species, archaeological finds such as teepee rings, the historic Glenbow town-site and quarry, and the ranching and industrial history of the region.

OUR MISSION: The Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation supports park development and the visitor experience at Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park. 

OUR VISION: Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is a pre-eminent destination that inspires all visitors to become stewards of the land .

OUR HISTORY: The foundation was established in 2007. The GRPF is part of the Harvie family’s contribution to the build-out of the provincial park, making it accessible to all Albertans. We are a registered charitable organization working to make Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park a great destination for visitors and to residents of Alberta.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

- Since 2011 we’ve built nearly 30km of trails and visitor facilities throughout the park including our most recently completed section of the Calgary to Cochrane Trail. 

- Since 2016 our in school educational programming (Discover Archaeology and Discover Grasslands) has taught over 2,500 children from Cochrane and Calgary about the rich history of the lands that surround them and the need to protect them. 

- Since  our golf cart tours have offered hundrends of families, seniors and those with mobility issues a chance to see the park in its entirety all while learning about the cultural and historical uniqueness of the park. The deer, coyotes, snakes, osprey, eagels and countless ground squirells that often cross paths with the tours are always a big hit too!

A fully-loaded 8 person electric golf cart on the Glenbow Ranch asphalt trail. Bright green hills and a blue sky in the background.Our Programs How We Do It

Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation’s goal is sustainability. Our aim is to provide public programs and carry out research into the park’s native grasslands while ensuring that we have sufficient funding to do so for many years into the future. To make this happen, we seek out grants and sponsorships, and charge small fees for our programs. Every dollar that you contribute to the foundation or spend to participate in one of our programs goes to support the development and delivery of quality programming and events that raise public awareness about the park’s valuable natural and cultural resources.

EDUCATION

The GRPF is responsible for the Park’s Visitor Services. The Centre is run mostly by volunteers and offers wonderful exhibits on the parks hisotry.

We are responsible for all public programs at the park. From park talks to interpretive golf cart tours and family programs, it’s the Foundation at work! Our Discover Archaeology and Discover Grasslands school outreach programs are our connections directly into your community. Our educator visits schools in Calgary and Rockyview County armed with artifacts, and exciting activities and leaves students excited and looking forward to sharing what they learned with their parents.

We also offer field trip opportunities to anyone who contacts us. From school classes, Girl Guides and Scouts to church groups and bridge clubs, we strive to tailor our tours to meet everyone's needs and interests.Our pond program which takes visitors down to our pond and gives them a chance to get dirty while learning about the ponds important ecosystem is a hit with our younger audiences and their parents alike. 

We currently have one devoted staff person for all our programming. This staff person does his best to offer programming to as many school and visitors as he can. The only limit to how many people we can reach with our programming is our man-power!

RESEARCH

Grassland ecosystems play an important role in providing clean water, producing rich forage for wildlife, and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 

The Foundation has a rich history of collaborating with  environmental groups, Universities, Governments, corporations and other non-profit organizations on many initiatives like our most recent Pollinator Citizen Science Project and ongoing fescue research. 

STEWARDSHIP

The park is a wonderful place for relaxation, recreation, rejuvenation, and inspiration. We have been told more than once that Glenbow Ranch Park is a favorite destination and that once you have visited - you return regularly. This is why our stewardship committee is so devoted to the park - they have formed a personal connection with it. From maning the Visitor's Centre to pulling weeds, they are up to any task that will support the park and we could not do the work we do without them and our other volunteers.  We hope to reach out to more volunteers from all walks of life as we grow this Foundation. 

FUNDRAISING

We depend on private and public financial support for our programs and park development initiatives. donations to the Foundation guarantee the ongoing success of what visitors experience at Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.  Our friend-raising and fundraising efforts ensure that we fulfill our mission today and tomorrow.

Brightly colored fair tents add color to the background while runners get ready for a half-marathon on a mid-summer morning.Our Requests What You Can Do

Capital Donations Needed - There are a variety of small capital donations needed to help run our visitors centre and support ongoing programme needs. 

SPONSOR A PROGRAM

The following vital programs currently have no sponser:

  • Discover Grasslands and Discover Archaeology: $15,000 per year of programming.
  • Pond Program: $5,000 per year of programming
  • Park Talks: $1,000 per year of programming
  • Park Golf Cart Tours: TBD

ADOPT A ROCK OR A BENCH

Help create a world class park by joining the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation’s “Adopt Program”.   By “Adopting” a bench or a resting rock you will help the Foundation in our work to support Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.

When you join the Adopt-A-Bench/Rock Program, the GRPF installs a plaque engraved with a personalized inscription on the bench or resting rock of your choice. Inscriptions can celebrate a life or share a moment.

The total cost of donating to the Adopt-A-Bench/Rock program for a ten year term is $3,500 and a tax receipt will be given for the full amount.

Contact

Sarah Parker
Executive Director
403.851.9053
Charitable Number: 836853754RR0001

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Finance & Governance

Annual Operating Budget: 
$ 350,000
Calgary