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Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016, Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta's seventh largest city, but it retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.
Sherwood Park was founded as Campbelltown by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada with the same name, so the community's name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.
The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is in the Edmonton metropolitan region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton. The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.
The industrial area known as Refinery Row is west of Anthony Henday Drive. At least 49 neighbourhoods are located within the portion of the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area east of Anthony Henday Drive.
In the 2011 census, Sherwood Park had a population of 64,733, a change of 13.9% from its 2006 population of 56,845.
Sherwood Park has a strong economy with over $9.0 billion worth of major projects completed, announced, or under construction. As a founding member of Alberta's Industrial Heartland, Strathcona County is home to Canada's largest hydrocarbon refining cluster. A district known as Refinery Row lies west of Sherwood Park and includes some of the largest industrial facilities in Western Canada, including Imperial Oil's Strathcona Refinery.
Art and culture
Sherwood Park has a vibrant art community with multiple galleries found within the area. These include:
Gallery @501 - The Strathcona Country Art Gallery@501 provides access to the visuals arts and works to enhance knowledge and appreciation through art education and art practices for the community of Strathcona County. This gallery, centrally located at the Centre in the Park, changes exhibits on a six-week basis and feature local, provincial, and national artists.
Loft Gallery - Found within the A.J. Ottewell Art Centre, the artwork displayed is the work of Art Society of Strathcona County members. With artwork changing approximately every eight weeks, these local artists and group shows are presented throughout the year.
Picture This! - This framing company and art gallery have represented over 250 local, national, and international artists for more than 35 years. They feature monthly ongoing art shows and events and also offer seminars to help with art selection.
Smeltzer House Centre for Visual Arts - Hosted in the hundred year old Smeltzer House, this heritage site is a hub for cultural programs within Strathcona County. From pottery to glass fusing, there are opportunities available for artistic expression for all ages.
Spark Centre - This performance and event venue hosts art shows and a variety of events, while also being home to the Glen Ronald Gallery. This local artist has captivated international audiences and hosts his works of art within the gallery.
Sherwood Park has a proud history of culture and maintains those ties through various different outlets:
Bremner House - This multi-use facility portrays the settlement story of Strathcona County and sheds light on the history of the area through the lives of residents from 1900 to the early 1950s. Annual events hosted here include the Strathcona County Vintage Tractor Association's annual tractor pull in August and Christmas in the Heartland held the last weekend in November.
Festival Place - This theatre features over 100 professional performances each year. Performances include art events, plays, dance, and music. The Café Patio Series by Qualico Communities takes place from September through June. The Patio Series takes place every Wednesday evening from July to August and presents two acts featuring a variety of genres from local and touring musicians.
Sherwood Park's Heritage Mile - This open air museum is the preservation of old landmarks from Strathcona County's past including Lord Strathcona, and the Ottewell homestead amongst others.
Strathcona County Museum and Archives - A hands-on museum which features several different exhibits showcasing pioneer life in Strathcona County. All ages are welcome to interact with several artifacts within the train station, general store, grain elevator, and more.
Sherwood Park's location within Strathcona County provides easy access to a range of natural areas which serves to create harmony between its citizens and nature as a sustainable community. This includes the UNESCO Beaver Hills Biosphere as well as several provincial parks, trails, and natural areas:
The Beaver Hills UNESCO Biosphere provides access to explore open spaces, hiking trails, lakes, and campsites for residents and visitors alike. This outdoor area is available in all four seasons to enjoy activities such as camping, hiking, and fishing. Some of the Biosphere destinations include:
Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area - With almost 85 km (53 mi) of hiking trails from four staging areas, this area has a wide range of habitats which support numerous wildlife species. Active wildlife management programs results in excellent viewing opportunities along the trail systems.
Elk Island National Park - This park is a destination for day picnics and overnight camping. It is home to Aspen woodlands and prairie meadows, to pockets of wetland. Due to conservation efforts, a wide variety of wildlife resides within the park.
Ministik Lake Game Bird Sanctuary - Another habitat for wildlife, this 20,000 acres (81 km2) terrain is a protected area for a number of threatened migratory birds including the American white pelican, the great blue heron and the more vulnerablehorned grebe . Alongside waterfowl, moose, deer, wolves, and small mammals have all been observed in the sanctuary.
Trails and natural areas
Sherwood Park has a number of trails and sections, including:
Parkway Trail System - There are over 135 km (84 mi) of paved trails located in and around Sherwood Park. Whether cycling, running, walking, or in-line skating, there are several points of interest along the trails for visitors and residents to enjoy.
Sherwood Park Natural Area - A 3 km (1.9 mi) regularly groomed trail with a wildlife-watching platform allows for bird watching and animal spotting. This trail intersects with the Old Edmonton Trail and is easily followed due to plaques marking several of the original survey markers.
Strathcona Wilderness Centre - This outdoor adventure centre facilitates four season activities such as hiking, disc golf, geocaching, camping, orienteering, and others.
Tourism and attractions
The Activity and Travel Guide has a sampling of the many restaurants, hotels, shops, golf courses, recreation facilities, art galleries and more. At the end of a full day, there are several options available for staying.
Sports and recreation
Recreation facilities within Sherwood Park include the Broadmoor Arena, Glen Allan Recreation Complex, Kinsmen Leisure Centre, Millennium Place, Sherwood Park Arena/Sports Centre and Strathcona Athletic Park as well as a BMX bike park, a BMX bike pump track and a skateboard park. The community also has 37 parks and sportsfields.
Sherwood Park is a large football community. At least one Sherwood Park high school football team has been to the Alberta provincial final since the 1999 season. The bantam team, the Sherwood Park Rams, have won provincials five of the last seven seasons. The 2014 provincial championship is held by the Sherwood Park Wolverines, which is their first title.
Baseball has become a popular and important sport in the community.[failed verification] In 2008, the Sherwood Park Dukes began their first season in Sherwood Park, playing at Centennial Park in the Western Major Baseball League.
Strathcona County hosted the 2007 Western Canada Summer Games with most of the events held in Sherwood Park. The games included 2,300 athletes, coaches, and officials from the four western provinces and three northern territories. Around 2,800 volunteers helped make the games a success.
According to data collected by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in 2012, crime in Sherwood Park has been on the rise especially impaired driving and domestic violence. Domestic violence reports rose by 32 percent; impaired driving went up 10 percent. Other facts released also pointed out that sexual offenses went up by 20 percent and drug trafficking charges went up 55 percent.
Sherwood Park was home to Canada's first charter school: New Horizons Charter School, a public charter school that offers a gifted education program for students from kindergarten to grade 9. It is in Sherwood Park on the edge of the Village on the Lake subdivision.
Sherwood Park's newspaper is the twice-weekly Sherwood Park-Strathcona County News. The Sherwood Park News and Strathcona County This Week newspapers, both owned by Bowes Publishers, in turn part of Sun Media, merged on November 6, 2007 to become Sherwood Park o Strathcona County News.
^ ab"Imagine Bremner Backgrounder #1: The Path to Bremner"(PDF). Strathcona County. May 2013. pp. 2-3. Retrieved 2016. After the first oil industry development in the early 1950s, Council approved the first urban development for the satellite town of Campbelltown as a home for oil industry workers in 1953. ... Due to a name duplication Campbelltown was renamed Sherwood Park in 1956.
^"Table 6: Population by sex, for census subdivisions, 1956 and 1951". Census of Canada, 1956. Population, Counties and Subdivisions. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics. 1957. p. 6.50-6.53.
^"Population of unincorporated places of 50 persons and over, Alberta, 1961 and 1956". 1961 Census of Canada. Population - Unincorporated Villages, Bulletin SP-4. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics. 1963. pp. 63-67.
^"Population of unincorporated places of 50 persons and over, Alberta, 1966 and 1961". Census of Canada - 1966. Population - Unincorporated Places, Bulletin S-3. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics. 1968. pp. 184-187.
^"Population of unincorporated places of 50 persons and over, Alberta, 1971 and 1966". 1971 Census of Canada. Population - Unincorporated Settlements. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. 1973. pp. 204-207.
^"Geographical Identification and Population for Unincorporated Places of 25 Persons and Over, 1971 and 1966". 1976 Census of Canada. Volume 8 Supplementary Bulletins: Geographic and Demographic, Population of Unincorporated Places - Canada. Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics. 1978. |volume= has extra text (help)
^"Table 2: 1981 Place Name Reference List of Census Subdivisions and Unincorporated Places by Census Division". 1981 Census of Canada. Place name reference list - Western provinces and the territories. Ottawa: Statistics Canada. 1983. p. 2.1-2.19.