Lions Club volunteers aim to plant 50,000 trees in Calgary

It’s the second year of its planting project with the City of Calgary, and volunteers with the Lions Clubs in Calgary say they will have thousands of trees planted by the end of 2022.

“We’ve made a commitment to the city of Calgary to plant 50,000 trees, and this is the second year of the program and by the end of this year we would have planted 15,000 trees,” said member Otto Silzer.

The City of Calgary provided a parcel of land along McKnight Boulevard NE and Falconridge Boulevard NE for about 15 volunteers, plus city staff, to plant seedlings.

“The motto of the lions is we serve,” said member Melanie Dueck.

“Anywhere we can get involved and help others, we get involved. Whether it’s helping seniors, the blind, disabled, children programs or food programs.”

For Ken and Russ McMurtry, they wanted to savor the bonding time as father and son.

“Create some memories,” said Ken. “The days sometimes go by very quickly, so the more you do together the more fun it is.”

For his son Russ, it took some convincing to come plant trees Sunday morning.

“Last week, dad said he had something going on with the Lions Club and he was interested in going and offered to buy some breakfast and have me tag along,” said Russ.

“It looks nice, and I do like the idea that trees are an investment. They aren’t going to be 20 feet tall for awhile.”

The Lions members, approximately 500 strong, in 20 Lions Clubs in the city of Calgary, undertook the task of planting 50,000 trees in recognition of the Canadian Centennial.

In 2021, during COVID-19 restrictions, approximately 5,200 seedlings were planted in Thorncliff and Falconridge.

This year’s goal is to plant over 10,000 trees.

Last weekend, the Lions Club says it planted 2,160 trees in Hidden Valley.

This weekend, volunteers aimed to plant 8,300 trees in the northeast.

Silzer says he has asked the city to find spots on the south side of the city to plant trees next year.

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