Community Investment | Environment

Pembina partners with Project Forest to plant thousands of trees

Pembina is pleased to announce a new partnership with Project Forest to support in their mission to plant trees with a $225,000 investment, funding four projects over the course of three years.
Trees have significant environmental benefits for our planet including absorbing CO2, helping regulate the local climate, producing oxygen, improving soil quality, and attracting wildlife.

That’s why Project Forest, a non-profit organization based in Alberta, focuses on rewilding local landscapes and converting under-utilized land or non-productive agriculture land to lush forest. 

Pembina’s first project is the Golden Ranches Conservation Area located within the Beaver Hills UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, just 30 minutes east of Edmonton. This project is a collaborative effort with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Alberta Conservation Association (“ACA”), Alberta Fish and Game Association and Edmonton and Area Land Trust and has the potential to remove over 142 million pounds of COfrom the air over a 150-year timeline.

 On June 16, 2022, 12 Pembina employees volunteered at the Golden Ranches Conservation Area. Project Forest familiarized volunteers with the seedlings they planted and why specific species were selected.

A full planting demonstration was provided along with how to identify and pull noxious weeds. In total, 540 trees were planted. Nolan Palmquist, District Manager for Pembina’s Mamawi operating area, expressed his gratitude: “We got to play an important part in a large effort to help reduce our carbon footprint in a sustainable way while supporting Pembina’s commitment to Project Forest.” Volunteers also had the opportunity to explore Golden Ranches and learn more about the project, the benefits of forests, and the role they play in the local landscape. 
Highlights of Pembina’s 2022 Project Forest contribution in Camp Creek:
Highlights of Pembina’s 2022 Project Forest contribution in Camp Creek:
  • Project Forest works in close collaboration with ACA to achieve the shared goal of planting 57,960 seedlings by fall 2022
  • Pembina’s contribution will support the planting of 12,500 seedlings (21% of the total project)
  • Carbon modeling suggests that ~5,921 metric tonnes of CO2 will be removed due to Pembina’s investment
  • The ecological benefits of this project include improvements to animal habitat and landscape, as well as carbon sequestration.
Another project Pembina is supporting through Project Forest focuses on collaborating with Indigenous communities and what ecological reconciliation means to them. Pembina’s investment in the Swan River Ecological Reconciliation project will plant approximately 69,000 seedlings on 34 hectares of marginal hay land within Swan River First Nations’ Reserve (SRFN) lands.

Many Indigenous communities are leaning on their deep connection to the earth helping them to form a natural alliance with non-profit, conservation-based organizations, like Project Forest, to restore their traditional lands much closer to what they used to be. This repair to damaged lands, or ecological reconciliation, can only move forward ethically and honestly with the full involvement of the people on whose land the work is happening.

A study conducted by SRFN identified the food bearing, medicinal and culturally significant tree and shrub species that will be planted in the project area in the spring of 2023. Approximately 47,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (which equates to over 10,000 gasoline powered cars driven for one year) will be sequestered once the trees reach maturity. Habitat and landscape connectivity for wildlife will improve and soil erosion and sedimentation will reduce, improving water quality in the Swan River.

“Success to me means taking my grandkids and great grandkids to the forest we’re planting with Project Forest,” says Dustin Twin, Council member for Swan River First Nation. “We will walk on the trail, sit with our ancestors’ spirits, and pick berries. It’s a feeling of security, of knowing my community can take care of themselves.”

Pembina is currently exploring new projects with Indigenous communities across its operations, which our funding will support in future years. We look forward to collaborating with Indigenous communities on these projects which will help us to understand the importance of their traditional territory and unique culture. 
“Pembina’s support of both the Project Forest – Golden Ranches and Swan River Ecological Reconciliation projects is industry leading and has been monumental in the success of these projects! We can’t wait to continue to grow and strengthen our partnership over the coming years.”
Mike Toffan, Founder and Executive Director of Project Forest.