And that’s a really good thing.

When you think about Alberta forests, the Golden Ranches Forest probably doesn’t come to mind. There’s a reason for that. It doesn’t exist, yet.

Project Forest’s first rewilding initiative is happening now. A sprawling 55 hectares at Golden Ranches in South Cooking Lake is home to this ambitious venture (Interested in partnering with us to capture carbon naturally in Alberta? Click here). 

Project Forest – Golden Ranches is located within the Beaver Hills UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The area has rich Indigenous and ecological histories dating back to long before settlers first arrived in Canada. It was home to the first conservation and reforestation projects in Alberta, resulting from forest loss to logging and fires.  In 2008, the Edmonton & Area Land Trust partnered with the Alberta Conservation Association, Alberta Fish and Game Association, and the Nature Conservancy of Canada and various corporate donors to obtain the land. Now, the grasslands in the area provide habitat for ground nesting birds, and the forested areas provide cover for large mammals. 

The Golden Ranches site includes nearly 8 kilometres of North Cooking Lake shoreline, and 55 hectares of that is now land slated to be afforested by Project Forest, with help from our partners.

The site can accommodate up to 110,000 seedlings. Our team of foresters have built a site-specific plan. The trees we plant will be native to the area. That way—and with the proven expertise of our foresters—they won’t just grow, they’ll thrive. As the forest matures, you will be able to spot white spruce, lodgepole pine, trembling aspen, willow, and tamarack. Together, they’ll form a diverse habitat for animals and other plant life. 

In its lifetime, one tree alone can potentially clean 1,300 pounds of CO2 from the air. Now think about what 110,000 trees can do. Actually, don’t. We’ll do the math. 

Project Forest – Golden Ranches has the potential to suck 143,997,131 pounds of CO2 from the air*, storing it in the wood and soil for the lifetime of each tree.

So, when we say this forest is going to suck, we mean it. This isn’t just being environmentally responsible. It’s a clean solution that will make a positive impact on the air we breathe for generations.

Only 30 minutes from Edmonton, Alberta’s newest forest will be easily accessible to the businesses that support it. You can check out our video on Project Forest – Golden Ranches here.

The Project Forest Movement is Growing

We’ve also launched our Forests Suck campaign online, and across our social media channels. We’re calling on Albertans to help us rewild the province. 

While we’re partnering with local businesses to fund forest creation, we want to give every Albertan the chance to get involved. Is there a business or business owner you’d like to see become a Project Forest partner? If so, tag them below. For every business you tag—in partnership with Tree Time Services—we’ll plant one tree at the Project Forest – Golden Ranches site. We are ready to plant up to 2,000 trees, so get out there and start tagging. 

The campaign will run until December 31. If you see it in the wild, rewild it and let us know. 

A Forest-Sized Thank You

To all our partners, thank you. To anyone who has helped get the word out about Project Forest, thank you again. The interest we receive, and the passion Alberta businesses show for our initiative are clear signs that we’re on the right track. 

For more on becoming a Project Forest Partner, click here. With your help, we can rewild more of Alberta’s landscapes. We can create cleaner air right here at home. Join our community of companies that care about the environment.

Let’s rewild Alberta together. 

*Based on a 150-year projected timeline.