Picture of two small Christmas tress at a community celebration

Community grant supports Ardrossan Living Christmas Tree project

In the hamlet of Ardrossan, a winter holiday project took root last year that fostered positive change and connection within the community. Driven by the desire to raise interest in building a community greenhouse, The Ardrossan Recreation and Agricultural Society’s (ARAS) Community Growing Committee developed the Living Christmas Tree project.

The Community Growing Committee conceived the idea of providing living Christmas trees to Clover Bar Lodge and Silver Birch Lodge, two of Heartland Housing’s affordable seniors lodges, during the holidays in 2023. Living Christmas trees, a global trend for sustainable celebrations involves potting and reusing trees annually.

The Committee’s goal was to decorate 20 trees, each two to three feet tall, with handmade ornaments for these lodges. The trees were in hand, but a significant number of ornaments were needed. To achieve this, the Community Growing Committee set up at three rural events, two dates at ARAS’ Winter Markets and once at Christmas in the Heartland with special help from the Bookmobile. The Committee engaged children in ornament decoration at these events, providing a fun family activity and a chance to give back.

“Crafting ornaments for 20 trees is no small task,” says Cara Shan, one of the Living Christmas Tree organizers. “Involving kids was easy and fun, but ensuring they didn’t take all the ornaments home was a bit of a fun challenge!”

With over 400 ornaments collected from the events, the Community Growing Committee turned this into a positive holiday experience for families and children, emphasizing the values of giving and community involvement. Decorating and distributing these trees to the lodges was the next task, one that required much-needed community support.

“We had a lot of folks interested in helping out over the holidays,” continues Cara. “The community really came together to deliver the trees and spread holiday cheer.”

The Sherwood Park Ringette Association, Scouts 153, and Ardrossan Elementary collaborated to deliver the trees and holiday spirit. The trees were decorated in common spaces at Clover Bar Lodge and Silver Birch Lodge, creating a festive atmosphere where residents and Living Christmas Tree volunteers connected and celebrated, even sparking an impromptu Christmas carol sing-along.

Building connections and having lasting impacts that ripple throughout our community is at the heart of Strathcona County’s Community Grants program. Applications are now open for the 2024 grants, the deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 1, 2024. You can learn more about the Community Grants and apply at strathcona.ca/CommunityGrants or call 780-464-4044. To learn more about ARAS and how to get involved, visit ardrossanag.ca.


Last updated: Thursday, April 18, 2024
Page ID: 51545