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Heritage Park announces plans for Natural Resource Area restoration, new Interpretive Centre

Project to include restoration and re-opening of the Park's much-loved coal mine

May 17, 2018

Heritage Park is pleased to announce the launch of an exciting two-phase project to restore the Park's existing Natural Resource Area, and to create a state-of-the-art Natural Resources Interpretive Centre. When complete, the project will share Alberta’s energy story – past, present and future .

Phase 1

Phase 1 involves the restoration of numerous exhibits and creation of immersive and engaging programs and experiences. Plans include restoring the #1 Dingman Discovery well and oil storage tank, restoring and reopening the coal mine as an immersive, hands-on exhibit and the restoration of an original 1885 Miner’s Cabin and water wheel. The Trapper’s Cabin will be restored to its original use as a Park Warden’s Cabin, and a one kilometre nature trail will be re-established along the perimeter of the Reservoir. Water Wheel

The goal of Phase 1 is to create an immersive, hands-on experience in the life of a pioneer in oil, gas and mining exploration. This revitalization will allow visitors to step back to 1914 when oil was struck in Turner Valley, travel into the depths of the earth as you mine for coal, experience the thrill of panning for gold, and hike the trail of a park warden.

Phase 2

Phase two focuses on the creation of a new Natural Resource Interpretive Centre where over 65,000 students and approximately 620,000 visitors annually will be able to learn, experience and interact with Western Canada’s Natural Resources. This Centre will develop interactive and engaging school and public programming, allowing students and visitors to explore the significance of Alberta's energy achievements.

The goal of Phase 2 is to demonstrate new technologies and renewable resources that are being integrated into today’s world, while offering a glimpse into the world of tomorrow. The year-round, ultra-energy-efficient Interpretive Centre will incorporate various green technologies such as solar, wind, and ground source systems designed so that they will be visible to the visitors and demonstrate the conversion of these resources into useable, sustainable power.

This 3,300 square foot, state-of-the-art centre will showcase in vivid action how far energy advancements in renewables have progressed; from the traditional harnessing of nonrenewable energy into a marriage of both types of resources that reduce carbon and increase efficiency.

History meets 21st century with virtual reality

Through the use of virtual reality, this project will provide insight into the future. This advanced technology will allow visitors to don a VR helmet, goggles and gloves and experience the future of our energy industry and how the advancements of the future will impact everyday lives. This technology will also be transferable to provide distance learning that will reach across the nation and educate Canadians from coast to coast on the cutting edge technologies being developed in Alberta and through international partnerships.

Funding and Timelines

Phase one of the project is estimated to be complete in 2019, with the new Resource Centre complete in 2020. The fundraising goal for this project is $10 million. 

Heritage Park is a charity that relies on the support of its stakeholders and donors. The Park is grateful to Mr. Bob Brawn and the Brawn Family Foundation for their lead gift to support this project.

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