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Memorial Park Project

The Municipality is building a Memorial Park project in the Beacon Hill neighbourhood of Fort McMurray. The first phase of construction begins in May, 2020, with the entire project expected to be completed in the fall of 2021. View the construction notice

The Memorial Park will commemorate the community’s experience with the 2016 Horse River Wildfire, which was the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history, claiming over 2,500 dwellings and forever changing the character of the communities it impacted. 

The project will be in memory of Emily Ryan, a youth from the region. Emily passed away tragically on May 4, 2016 following community-wide evacuation from the wildfire. The project is supported by the Ryan family and is aligned with the Municipality’s Parks Master Plan. The park will also respectfully commemorate Aaron Hodgson, Emily’s cousin who also passed away following the evacuation.

Initial public engagement took place in May, 2019 including two public engagement sessions and an online survey. Close to 100 residents interacted with the project team and the Ryan family at the sessions with over 400 participants submitting feedback through the survey. The goal of the engagement phase was to assess if the project was supported by residents and to gather your ideas about what story the park should tell.

Overall, 86% of participants strongly agreed or agreed the Memorial Park should be constructed at the selected location in Beacon Hill. The overall response from residents in Beacon Hill mirrored what we heard from all participants.

In terms of the story of the park, the community told us:

The space should be calm, respectful and be a place of reflection
The park should tell the overall narrative of the wildfire
Any active elements of the park should be built in a way that respects residents living nearby

Our plan is to return to the community for additional public engagement opportunities. 

For more information or to connect directly with a member of the project team, please contact PULSE at rmwb.ca/pulse or 780.743.7000. We are available to discuss the project in further detail or to meet at any time to hear your thoughts on this Memorial Park project.

Related Links:

  • Phase 1 Construction Notice 
  • FLOOD RECOVERY: Information and resources