The SMM design for the Forks Promenade, a linear park and peace garden for the Forks Festival Site, is deeply rooted in history and culture. Over 500 years ago, thousands of First Nations people gathered at the site for a “Peace Meeting’, a profound event that set the stage for peace in the region.
The design incorporates two pathways which cross the site, symbolically re-establishing a historic Broadway/Provencher Boulevard connection and a less formal, winding pathway representing pre-European contact era where patterns of movement varied depending on land flooding, encampment locations, and other natural influences.
The site is grounded in the four elements earth, water, air and fire. An entry foundation emphasizes the east end of the axis and introduces water to the site, symbolic of life. Fire, representing renewal and rejuvenation, comes into the site through the focal point of the fire pit at the Peace Meeting site. Air flows through the design via the gentle rustle of tall grasses and aromatic plantings of cedar, sage, and sweetgrass. Protective berms suggest Mother Earth’s embrace and a clay wall rising out of the earth is an abstract reminder of rich archaeological history of generations that remain in the earth below.