Winnipeg landscape architect dies, leaving legacy at The Forks, Upper Fort Garry
'What I really valued in Garry is he had a very long-term, holistic view,' says Garry Hilderman's co-worker
Winnipeg landscape architect Garry Hilderman died last week but his work on what many consider the most beautiful spots in the city will live on.
- Upper Fort Garry park officially opens, interactive app launched
- 11 fun facts as The Forks in Winnipeg turns 25
- Architect of Winnipeg human-rights museum honoured
His most prominent work includes the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden at Assiniboine Park, the Oodena Celebration Circle at The Forks, Upper Fort Garry Provincial Park, FortWhyte Alive and Oak Hammock Marsh.
The Oodena Celebration Circle was singularly Hilderman's vision and design, said Jim Thomas, a principal at the firm HTFC Planning and Design, which was founded by Hilderman, who died Jan. 21 at age 75.
"He was tenacious," he said. "He had a gruff exterior and I think sometimes younger staff and students would be intimidated by him but … as I got to know him over the years, I realized that he was really a pussycat inside that rather tiger exterior."
Hilderman's designs were often inspired by his fascination with the relationship between people and the environment, Thomas said.
"He might say that his greatest legacy is Upper Fort Garry," said Thomas. "His focus on that project and for that provincial park was looking at ways in which this site can be used as an opportunity for young people to engage with history and democracy."
In November 2010, Hilderman was inducted into the Order of Canada for his development and conservation of parks, historic sites and environmental projects in Manitoba as a landscape architect and volunteer.
A celebration of Garry's life will be held this spring at Upper Fort Garry Provincial Park.