Gateway Gazette

Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area Plants 150 Trees with New Canadians.

On Saturday July 8 the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area (ASCCA) hosted a tree planting event in partnership with Calgary YMCA Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC), a program that offers free English language instruction to new Canadians. Over 100 students and their families attended to celebrate Canada’s 150th, through the planting of a legacy forest of 150 white spruce trees.

This initiative was made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between Calgary Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast. It was a celebration of diversity and community spirit, with the hope that those attending would be inspired to further engage with nature and conservation, realizing that respect for our remaining natural areas is an integral aspect to the Canadian identity.

Jack Beeksma, a teacher with YMCA LINC who attended the event conveyed the students are joyfully enjoying being part of Canada, and this event was a way they could contribute (in a very practical, get-your-hands-dirty way) to the beauty of their new home.”

Greg Shyba, CEO of the ASCCA stated, “the families planting trees at the ASCCA for this event will be connected to the conservation area for many generations to come and will join other Canadians protecting the area in posterity.” Along with having planted trees in the conservation area, participants and their families attended a western-style BBQ lunch. A tremendous thank you goes out to our fantastic volunteers and staff who helped to make this event a success.

The Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area is a 4800 acre day-use natural area and is a registered charity dependent on fundraising. The land was donated by Ann and A.R (Sandy) Cross in 1987 for the protection of wildlife habitat and conservation education. The area is open to the public year-round with entry by registration, and has several kilometers of trails through rolling foothills and aspen forests, with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, just a short drive south-west out of Calgary along Highway 22X.

Visit our website at for more information, and to make a donation.

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