Welcome to the Ribbon of Green!

As you move through the website, you'll find yourself immersed in the beauty and history of Edmonton's North Saskatchewan River Valley, North America's largest interconnected system of parks. Residents not only treasure the space for its recreational and cultural opportunities, but for the escape into nature it affords them. On all sides, the city of Edmonton bustles and flourishes. Under the leaves and on the grassways of the parks, however, the tranquility of nature largely remains.

The river is an integral part of Edmonton's culture and heritage. Both the Hudson's Bay Company and the North-West Company, two founding Canadian entrepreneurial and colonial initiatives, established forts on the north-shore banks at the end of the 18th century. Some time later, after the forts amalgamated and formed a larger settlement, Edmonton was named the capital of Alberta. Today, the Provincial Legislature stands as a proud sentinel overlooking the river and the south bank. The Ribbon of Green Historical Atlas endeavors to explore these centuries of growth and transition in greater detail.

From the homepage, you can navigate to various items of interest:

The History of River Valley Parks offers a brief history of a few parks within Edmonton's North Saskatchewan River Valley parks system.

“Written Histories of Edmonton's River Valley from Specific Eras” introduces three significant periods of transition within Edmonton's history.

1850 – 1929: From the beginnings of the two forts, through Edmonton's establishment as a settlement, town, and then capital city, life during World War 1, and the approach of the Great Depression. Throughout, growth and development of the river valley continued.

1930 – 1959: Follows Edmonton through the Great Depression, the Second World War, and into the Cold War. During this time, Edmonton established itself as a major city nationally and internationally. The growing parks system continued to be visual and cultural calling-card of the city.

1960 – 2009: Alberta's natural resources continue to bring local, national, and international attention to Edmonton. Continued development of the parks pursued in order to further support and facilitate Edmonton's rapid city growth. In more recent decades, increased attention has also been paid to environmental improvements and concerns.

Each period features a map (original to that time) that has been divided into four or six sections (labelled A, B, C, D, etc). Click on each section to 'zoom in' on specific areas of the developing city. Once 'zoomed in', icons will appear on the map, each indicating a written entry related to that location. Click to open.

Research Archives and Libraries offers a visual summary of the research archives and libraries available in Edmonton today. Click on each icon for more information – most will direct you to the institution's website.

The Article Index offers an overview – a 'site map', if you will – of the “Written History” articles, divided according to their respective time periods.