Saturday, February 19, 2011

Battalion Park

Battalion Park
 is the site of a set of geoglyphs located in Calgary, Alberta on Signal Hill. The site is located on a hill overlooking the Sarcee Nation, and lands formerly known as Camp Sarcee and later Sarcee Training Area. This region, in the valley of the Elbow River, was a military reserve used from before the First World War and up until the 1990s by the Canadian Forces.

The park itself consists of a stairway up the hill with several interpretative displays. The centrepiece of the park, however are large whitewashed stones, arranged on the side of the hill to spell out several numerals. The numerals correspond to the numbers of four battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force who trained in the region before embarking for combat deployment overseas during World War I.

The numerals were created by 16,000 stones hauled in sacks by hand from the river by soldiers in their off duty time. After the war, the numerals fell into disrepair and became overgrown and forgotten until a local historian looked for them prior to grading of the hill to accommodate construction in the area. Following extensive lobbying to declare the numbers a historic site, a project initiated by several cadet groups in Calgary restored the numerals. Battalion Park officially opened on November 3, 1991

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