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Airdrie 2020 Winter Games plants 500 trees

The Airdrie 2020 Alberta Winter Games Society has planted hundreds of trees to represent youth in sport development ahead of the upcoming event, slated to take place Feb. 14 to 17, 2020. The trees have been planted as part of an initiative called the Winter Games Forest.

Around 500 trees were planted at Chinook Winds Park May 1, with the help of the Airdrie Junior Forest Wardens and the City of Airdrie Parks staff.

“The idea of planting 500 trees is to help offset our carbon footprint,” said Shauna Quinn, chair of the Games’ board of directors. “But it's also a way for us to have a fundraiser – all the money earned from selling the trees will help us facilitate more sustainable programs throughout the Games.”

Each tree costs $25 and can be purchased online from Generous Solutions, under the cause “2020 Games Forest: Focused on the Future.” Every purchaser will have the opportunity to name their tree on behalf of a special youth, with the name displayed on the Winter Games’ digital forest and on site at Chinook Winds Park.

According to Quinn, the seedlings were generously donated by Tree Time, as a part of a sustainability sponsorship.

“It was important, on the sustainability side, that we could give back to a greener community,” she said, “which will enhance our parks and use it as a way to support our youth here in Airdrie.”

With Airdrie hosting the games, Quinn said, the community will see benefits from projects like the Winter Games Forest. She added hosting an event of this size can help both local businesses and residents.

“For the community to be able to host the Alberta Winter Games is a great privilege and an honour. Not only is it a great opportunity to help leverage sport development and support the youth in our community, but it's also a huge economic driver,” Quinn said. “And in times like this, to have some diversified opportunity for the community to thrive through the different projects and programs that can happen when we're hosting a big event like this, it is really important.”

The 2020 Airdrie Winter Games will feature more than 2,000 athletes competing in more than 20 different sports, she added.

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