Silver Springs Community shows overwhelming support for Gardens

When a petition was launched in Early January to stop the growth and development of the Gardens, a counter petition was initiated.

The primary purpose of the "Support the Gardens Volunteers" petition was to provide people with the opportunity of expressing how they feel about the issue.

And the people spoke.

Here are just a few of the many comments posted on the petition site.
Some of the comments have been slightly edited for length and grammatical correctness.

                                                         Click on photos for bigger view.

The gardens have truly enhanced this once empty, desolate space
and have created a beautiful atmosphere that people as well as their dogs can enjoy.
     - LS

                                                          What the Shakespeare Garden used to look like

What the Shakespeare Garden
now looks like

I love the gardens, and I feel that both the dog walkers and our beautiful gardens can co-habitate These gardens have transformed a once rocky, weed infested field - and now we have beautiful gardens tended by garden angels! I am for peace on both sides! The gardens should expand as far as I am concerned!       - BF


The gardens are beautiful and I support their efforts and further development. I love walking my dog through the gardens.        - SH

I love the park and my sons and nephew have a bench dedicated to their birth that we always enjoy visiting. I grew up in Silver Springs and I am always impressed by the beauty and effort that goes into maintaining the gardens by the volunteers who spend numerous hours improving and maintaining the gardens.

This is a dramatic improvement over the original use of the land and is a special place in N.W. Calgary.       - TH

I love walking my dog through the gardens and enjoying the efforts of the wonderful volunteers that have created a paradise in the city.  - BC

Dogs enjoy plants and gardens too!   - EG

This is a tremendous change from the grass field when I grew up in Silver Springs and I support any further development to this area.    - RH

As a user of the Silver Springs multi-use park since before the gardens, including, yes, with a dog, the botanical gardens only improve upon and add to the space.  - RS

I am a dog owner who goes with my husband to the Silver Springs Botanical Gardens to walk our dog. We have had countless hours of enjoyment from the forest and the beautiful gardens. I do see many dog walkers using the park as well. On occasion I have seen dog walkers in the park with several dogs off leash. I enjoy meeting many of the other dogs and their owners and several of them were very helpful when I fell on the ice in winter.

I am concerned however about the owners of dogs who have them off leash and often out of sight. How can they even know where to pick up after their dogs? One day I saw a walker with several dogs (all out of sight) who had one small dog near her. I watched when the dog did its business to see what she would do. She immediately approached the dog and knelt beside it, giving the impression she was cleaning up but in truth she patted the dog and left without any attempt to clean up. I would suggest that all dog walkers carry a clean-up bag and if they don't see where their dog made a mess, then clean up after someone else's dog who has not done so. With all the volunteer hours of the gardeners, it would be nice to have some of the dog walkers volunteer hours to keep the paths clean of dog soil.

I have seen the dog walkers enjoying the gardens and have had no negative response from any of them concerning the efforts of the volunteers.  - LE

This park/garden is a blessing to all who get a chance to walk through it.
It is completely unfathomable that anybody would be against it.   - AK

I enjoy the gardens and believe that the park is a space to be enjoyed by everyone, be they two or four legged.  - MM

I support the Silver Springs Botanical Gardens Society. I love walking through the gardens. It's truly a special place for all the community to enjoy and I support any further development.  - AE


My husband and I are volunteers in these gardens. Up until a few years ago we were dog owners for 17 years and Charlie was definitely a big part of our family. The women I work with in the gardens and myself have always made an effort to welcome the dogs and get to know them by name. We are not people who don't like dogs. This is a message that is being spread and is just NOT true.

As a garden group we receive many e-mails from people thanking us for the work we are doing to beautify the park. I believe that everyone should enjoy this area - people out for a stroll and dog walkers. One elderly woman who made a habit of walking through the park was knocked down twice last summer by large dogs and will now no longer walk through the park anymore for fear of it happening again. Kind of a shame...  - BB

We enjoy running, biking and walking our dog in the Gardens. It is for anyone who enjoys being outdoors. There is no reason for any group to feel that they have special privileges. The Gardens Society does a fantastic job, and should be applauded for all of their efforts over the years to beautify our community.

I have witnessed dog owners tell people trying to take wedding pictures that if they don't like dogs bothering them, they shouldn't be in the park. I couldn't believe that ... I have had extremely positive experiences in the gardens and with those who work in them. The Dog group is clearly grasping at straws when they complain about the construction of a shed, and motorized vehicles. All city parks have sheds and motorized vehicles. - TR

If these volunteers were not working with the city's permission, why would the Mayor and councilor have toured these gardens? Also, if this garden was an eyesore, why would there be so many requests to hold weddings there?   - DW


I grew up in this neighbourhood. I love the gardens as a place for all people in the community. My parents are volunteers and I know their intentions are to beautify and unite the neighbourhood and beyond. It saddens me that a group can't see beyond their own narrow interests and share the space.    - KB

There is room for everybody!   - LK

My Opa died the year this park was made and we dedicated a tree to him. We frequently walk through this park.    - AS



I appreciate that the gardens and forest are for the ultimate enjoyment of thousands of persons, and is the focal point of the area.   - LM

This botanical garden is an amazing place to wander through to see and experience the beautiful gardens. It has become a favourite area to share with visitors and friends. I have brought people from Australia to see this area and they loved it! I am very proud to show it off and also to highlight the work of the
volunteers who have made it such a beautiful place. A real gem in the city of Calgary!  - JM


Calgary needs more beautiful gardens like these maintained by volunteers who care about animals and people who frequent the area. - DG

I think the gardens are fantastic and a great place for people and pets. I'm a dog owner. Keep up the good work!!    - MPC

I have visited this park and am amazed at what the many volunteers have accomplished. I hope the dog owners enjoy it too as there is no reason why it cannot be shared and enjoyed by everyone.   - JC


Thank you one and all for your continuing support!

Enjoy the Gardens and Forest!

"Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you."
William Shakespeare