Cleaning our air, one orchard at a time

On Sunday, August 9th, two Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) properties received 55 orchard trees. With the help of REAP and Enactus Calgary volunteers, nine local businesses, tenants and agencies, like CUPS and the Alex, Acadia Place and Abbeydale Place were successfully beautified and transformed into sustainable orchards, with the possibilities of fresh fruit in the summers to come.

Marina Mellino of the Calgary Homeless Foundation was there to plant trees with REAP Calgary and tenants. “I was so proud to participate, “she shares of her experience on Sunday, “there was lots of passion and care for community in this project and I can’t wait for next year’s planting!”

REAP, the non-profit organization responsible for Sunday’s planting, helps locally owned business that care about the community and the planet contribute to creating healthy and prosperous communities. With the help of the Naaco Truck, Leela Eco Spa & Studio, Conscious Brands, Nya Sustainability Consulting, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Yummi Yogis and Greengate Garden Centres as well as Enactus Calgary, orchard trees were purchased for planting at the Calgary Homeless Foundation sites.

Stephanie Jackman, Founder & President of the REAP Business Association is proud of the Community Orchards project and the generous donors who participated. “Thanks to the leadership of The Naaco Truck who brought us this opportunity, Community Orchards help REAP businesses to reduce their environmental impact by creating lasting assets for Calgary communities in need. We’re proud to have facilitated the donation of 200 trees for the creation of eight orchards since 2013.”

The impact of a day like this one are staggering. In addition to beautifying the communities, on average these two orchards will remove 8 tonnes of CO2 from the air, filter 102 litres of storm water and improve the quality of 20 kilograms of air each year. Tenants of each building will also receive a care and recipe book that will teach them about the trees planted and how to incorporate those goods into everyday cooking.

Thank you to REAP and Enactus Calgary as well as all the volunteers, business, tenants and agencies who made this year’s tree planting such a success. We’re already planning for next year and are excited about the possibilities!

For more information about the REAP Business Association and the Community Orchards project please visit