History of Glenbow Ranch
The lands of the Glenbow Ranch have a history spanning thousands of years:
- native people corralled bison in the coulees and established tipi camps on the uplands and lowlands
- the park used to be part of historic Cochrane Ranche
- in 1891, Glenbow was identified as a water stop on the Canadian Pacific Railway mainline
- by 1903, the Canadian Pacific Railway had established a station at Glenbow
- between 1907 and 1912, a Porcupine Hills sandstone quarry operated here; its blocks and finished decorative pieces were used in construction of Alberta's Legislature Building
- when the quarry closed, a brick plant in the valley was opened; many workers stayed in the valley to continue working, while others moved away to cities or to work on nearby ranches
- with the start of World War I, the brickyards also shut down
- the population of Glenbow slowly declined until the last residents moved away in 1927
- Chester Rhodes de la Vergne sold Glenbow Sheep and Horse Ranch to Eric L. Harvie in 1934
- it remained a private ranch until 2006, when the Harvie family and the Government of Alberta created what would officially become "Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park" in 2008
Establishment of the Park
In August 2006, the Government of Alberta approved acquisition of 1,314 ha (3,246 acres) of ranchland near Calgary from the Harvie family.
The Harvie family also donated $6 million to establish the Harvie Conservancy Foundation. The foundation was to provide sponsorship funds for Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park and the recently-established Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park near Edmonton.
In April 2008, the Government of Alberta officially created Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park.
A $3 million Recreational Infrastructure Canada grant was secured by the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation in 2010. Construction concluded in summer 2011 resulting in pathways, viewpoints, fencing, maps and interpretive signs, a railway crossing, and washroom and picnic facilities. There are now more than 25 kilometres of pathways that provide access to the park's diverse natural and cultural features.