Conservation Halton Foundation raises funds to plant entire forest

Here’s hopeful news from Conservation Halton. This is their report.

Indoor forest at Friluftsliv Gala

Conservation Halton recently hosted the Friluftsliv Foundation Gala on Thursday, June 20 at Kelso Quarry Park. In just one evening, guests were able to plant an entire forest, with funds raised to put 1,487 trees and shrubs in the ground. If you were not able to attend Friluftsliv this year, but would like to help protect our forests, you can still support tree planting efforts with an online donation. Visit for details.
The indoor forest was intended to be a visual representation of climate mitigation and adaptation, but they turned out to be more than just a statement. The trees were used during an auction at the event to raise funds for tree planting. The goal was for each of the 1,153 trees and shrubs to be funded and this goal was easily surpassed. Each of the trees will be planted on Conservation Halton properties to restore forests affected by invasive species.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward steps up to ensure all trees are planted

Burlington Mayor, Marianne Meed Ward, was in attendance at the event, where she stepped up to make sure that each of the trees and shrubs would be funded for planting, and then challenged others in the audience to contribute.
“The Conservation Halton Foundation has a long history of raising funds for conservation projects but Friluftsliv marks the start of something new. Just as friluftsliv refreshes the spirit, the Friluftsliv Gala is our way of relaunching the Foundation with a renewed vision and a refined purpose.” says Garner Beckett, Foundation Director. “We are proud to be part of a community that cares so deeply about protecting nature and the support shown for the Foundation at the Friluftsliv Gala was a perfect demonstration of that commitment.”

Milton Mayor Gord Krantz in the audience

“First, Conservation Halton turned a former gravel quarry into a beautiful natural area. Then, we turned an empty industrial warehouse into a stunning event venue. We invited guests to an event with a name that no one could pronounce, with a dress code that no one understood, at a venue that didn’t really exist, with a forecast that called for torrential downpour,” said Hassaan Basit, Chief Administrative Officer. “The fact that there were 300 guests in attendance at the event shows the enthusiasm and support that our community partners have for the Foundation, and we are incredibly proud of that.”

Guests arriving in the rain and embracing the “rugged formal” dress code

The Conservation Halton Foundation Gala is held to raise funds for projects and programs that protect the natural areas in our watershed, create opportunities to connect with nature, educate our children about the environment and inspire stewardship in our communities. If you would like to become involved with Conservation Halton, and be part of events like Friluftsliv, the Foundation is looking for new members to complement the current Board of Directors. Candidates should be passionate about protecting the environment, reflect the community that we serve, have experience in leadership and governance, be keen to act as an ambassador and advocate for the Conservation Halton Foundation. Visit for details.

Speakers, from left, Indigenous artist, activist and educator Eddy Robinson, Conservation Halton Foundation Director Garner Beckett, Conservation Halton CAO Hassaan Basit, Swedish keynote speaker Jerry Engström

Kelso Quarry Park, where Friluftsliv was held, is not yet open to the public but the intention is that it will be open in the future. Conservation Halton does not have a date for this opening, as we are still working on restoration, developing visitor use plans and seeking sponsors to support this endeavor. We want to make sure that this area is enjoyed in a sustainable way when it is opened to the public. However, views into the quarry are available from hiking trails at Kelso Conservation Area and some events are being held on the property.

For our piece on Kelso Quarry Park, see

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