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Featured Richmond/Knob Hill Walking Tour: Habitation Markers

If you're looking for a new way to explore Richmond/Knob Hill, try walking to all of the bird house art installations (i.e., habitation markers) in the community. The approximate locations and optional route directions are plotted on a Google Map so you can load the directions on your phone and go! For more community walking/biking tour ideas, the community association has created a walking/bike tour page.

If you're looking for more information about the history of the habitation markers, Brian Brandon noted the following in an October 2019 Newsletter article:

"Our community hosts four unique installations collectively know as the Habitation Markers. They are tucked into four of the small pocket parks throughout Richmond-Knob Hill, at the following locations:

  • 20 Street and 22 Avenue SW;

  • 2433 26 Avenue SW (by the Community rink);

  • 22 Street and 30 Avenue SW; and

  • 25A Street and 30 Avenue SW.

More than 20 years ago, the idea of hiring an artist in residence caught the imagination of the Richmond/Knob Hill Community Association (RKHCA). In 1996, a partnership committee between RKHCA and Calgary Parks & Recreation was established and proposal invitations were issued. An information session was hosted for all interested artists. This was an opportunity for them to learn about Richmond Knob Hill and chat with community residents. Artists were given four project objectives:

  • Identify the community;

  • Enhance community life;

  • Involve community members; and

  • promote sustainability.

Approximately 10 proposals, all with merit, were submitted. After short-listing and interviewing three artists, Ruth Korns (Helton) was selected for her “Habitation Marker” proposal.

Ruth’s proposal focused on establishing community identity. In her words - “Establishing a theme and developing sites to repeat the theme creates a network of identifying factors.” The birds and birdhouse theme symbolizes many aspects of our community. Many bird species are drawn to our community by the mature trees; similarly, individuals and families from various backgrounds call Richmond Knob Hill home. The bird houses represent the diverse architecture within our community. Locating the Habitation Markers in multiple parks created a linking identifier.

After further refinement of the project, Ruth’s Studio Luna was contracted to build the markers. In 1997 community members gathered at each of the parks to help install the Habitation Markers and celebrate our community.

In 2011, Ruth supervised the refurbishment of the first three markers, and in conjunction with the skate shack development, a fourth Habitation Marker was created and mounted at the community hall site. Funding was provided by The Friends of the Federation of Calgary Communities and the Calgary Foundation through their Neighbour Grants program. Our project met the Neighbour Grant objective of helping to create and strengthen the ordinary bonds of neighbourliness."

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