The Gwacheon Park located on the east side of Nose Creek Park will be undergoing several changes.

According to Kim Harris with the City's Culture and Heritage Department, the rehabilitation of the totem poles is an opportune time to enhance the cultural elements of the park.

"The original Hongsalmun [an architectural term for a specific gate defined as 'a gate for entering a sacred place' in Korea] designed for Gwacheon Park was taken down as it was a Japanese design and was not an engineer design. Gwacheon City (South Korea) has notified Airdrie that they are refurbishing Airdrie Park in Gwacheon Park by August 2024," she said.

City documents stated that the park has not been upgraded since its development.

"The addition of a (Hongsalmun) and new benches will fulfil the artistic, symbolic, commemorative, and cultural significance originally outlined in the Gwacheon scroll when the park was established in friendship with our Sister City. Hongsalmun is constructed as a cultural feature indicating guests are entering a sacred place or a place of great honour."

Harris added that to enhance cultural elements and align the park to a standard of cultural appropriateness, the Parks and Culture Department, along with the City's Heritage Department will design the park.

"The components included are a Hongsalmun, new benches, plantings that reflect the original scroll. The plantings will be more perennials as opposed to annuals to keep costs down and reflect cultural appropriateness; relocating the temporary flagpole to a more appropriate location closer to the amphitheatre that is appropriate for a larger variety of events,[as well as] posts and rope fencing to define the space enhance the beauty of the Gwacheon Park." 

Harris added that picnic tables in the vicinity will remain. In 1997, Airdrie began its Sister City relationship with Gwacheon.

"The foundation of the initial relationship was the English as a Second Language Homestay Study Program. The City of Airdrie created and managed this program for 60 to 75 students from Gwacheon City to come to Airdrie for three weeks in the summer and two weeks in the Winter."

Although the program is no longer running, the City stated that the development of Gwacheon Park in Airdrie was intended to honour and celebrate the relationship between the two cities and to showcase the Korean cultural uniqueness of Gwacheon.'

"It is through this relationship that the Totems were gifted and the proceeds from the ESL Program funded the development of Gwacheon Park in Airdrie. There was an Airdrie Park created in Gwacheon City that was sponsored by a Sister Rotary Club in Gwacheon. The two cities arranged a variety of exchanges and worked on projects together."

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