|Last Saturday @ Bowmont Park volunteers planted 150 trees for Canada's 150th birthday|
Urban trees are great for the environment as they help offset the effects of climate change, prevent soil erosion and act as carbon sinks. Urban forests also provide ecosystem habitats for wildlife, decrease air pollution and play a large role in urban water management. Further still, street trees increase property values by as much as 20%, increase traffic safety, reduce utility bills and add beauty to the area.
Over the weekend, CFN took a number of Syrian refugees from our Volunteer Led Refugee Integration Project to participate in planting trees with the Calgary Horticultural Society to celebrate Canada's 150th. The goal was to plant a legacy forest made up of 150 Trembling Aspen at Bowmont Park to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. Newcomers were also engaged in discussions about the importance of history, the canopies of both Calgary and all of Canada. Moreover, the event proved to be a wonderful opportunity for our clients to participate in and feel the values of volunteering - an important part of the Canadian culture.
CFN clients who participated in the tree planting are a part of a project designed to meet the demand of a larger influx of refugees accessing services at CFN and to respond to the offers of volunteer support from the community at large - creating a volunteer led response in the process. This offers the ability for refugees on wait-lists to still be in touch with CFN, gaining networking skills and learning about the community as a result. Volunteers are involved in the integration process through networking and building community with newcomers. CFN staff act as liaisons to assist the volunteers, coordinate efforts and invite refugee clients to activities such as computer training and conversation classes, along with events like field trips to places like the Calgary Tower, Telus Sparks, or the Calgary Zoo. For more details on this project visit our website and to hear from a volunteer working with the project itself simply watch below.