A special moment for Sunnybrook Farm in Red Deer took place recently as they celebrated the beginning of their redevelopment project.
The first phase will be taking place this summer and includes the construction of a 1920s heritage garage.
The three-bay garage will be temperature-controlled and will house valuable museum artifacts including the 1911 McLaughlin Buick car and Carlyle truck along with other vehicles and displays.
The project will also include the relocation of the public parking lot, which will be located at the south entrance and will be able to accommodate 45 more cars.
“Years ago everybody had some connection to the land, but as we have urbanized and the rural population has declined we now do not have that immediate connection to the land,” said Mayor Morris Flewwelling during the sod turning ceremony at the farm last week.
“While Sunnybrook Farm was important 20 years ago it is ever more important that we have an opportunity to show people how we are connected to the soil and the environment.”
Included in the South Redevelopment Project the museum also eventually hopes to develop a larger interpretive centre to include the vast amount of artifacts.
They also hope to begin the development of the Calder Schoolhouse as a community rental facility and office location for staff.
“It is wonderful to know that there is going to be a building built here that will be able to provide climate control and storage for those artifacts that truly belong to our agriculture heritage,” said Flewwelling.
The Sunnybrook Farm Museum occupies 10 acres of the original homestead of the pioneer farmer James Bower.
Many of the buildings on the farm are original including the 1942 Bower house and the 1930s dairy barn.
There are about 1,300 artifacts, which have been donated to the museum over the years including 25 working tractors and other farming equipment.