Celebrating Earth Day in Calgary

It is no secret that the natural world inspires us here at Zen Travellers and what better way to show it than by celebrating Earth Day and supporting causes that aim to protect it.  That is why on this Earth Day 2017 in Calgary, we are challenging ourselves to climb the staggering 1,188 stairs in the Bow Tower to raise funds for the Alberta Wilderness Association’s conservation efforts.

Moose in Kananaskis Country
Protecting wildlife like this Moose in Kananaskis Country, Alberta

We love a good challenge here at Zen Travellers, especially one that combines active adventurous pursuits with charitable causes. After last year’s Great Cycle Challenge where together we cycled over 1000km in the month of June and raised almost $1,300 for the SickKids Foundation, we decided that we would aim to complete some sort of charitable challenge every year.

Climbing The Bow Tower for Earth Day

Since we’re also aiming to chip away at our Alberta Bucketlist this year, the Climb and Run for Wilderness enables us to achieve two goals at once. Through it, we can accomplish our charity challenge for the year and also cross climbing to the top of the tallest building in Calgary off our list. The Bow is an impressive, energy-efficient building that dominates Calgary’s skyline and has helped to revitalize Calgary’s East Village neighbourhood. Completed in 2012, the building has quickly become a landmark to be appreciated by locals and tourists alike.

Calgary Skyline dominated by The Bow
Calgary Skyline with the Bow Tower on the right.

Protecting Alberta’s Wildlife

Alberta’s wildlife is spectacular and never to be taken for granted. I shudder at the thought of a spring without birds singing, or a fall without rutting elk, or a winter without snow-covered trees. But our ever-expanding cities and insatiable appetite for energy and consumer goods leads to increased human encroachment into critical habitats for many iconic Alberta plants and animals. In light of these pressures, conservation efforts are essential to ensure these species’ survival and for us to maintain a more Zen relationship with nature.

Great Horned Owl in Water Valley Alberta
Great Gray Owl in Water Valley, Alberta

That said, all is not hopeless for the wilderness of Alberta. A recent article in the Edmonton Journal explained how the once critically endangered osprey have made a full recovery thanks to conservation efforts by organisations like the Alberta Wilderness Association. Still, the article finishes with a call to do more for Alberta’s endangered plants and animals, and that is why we’re biking downtown and climbing the steps of the Bow for Earth Day 2017.

Mount Temple in Banff National Park
Mount Temple in Banff National Park

If you are inspired by any of this, please consider sponsoring our climbs (either/or it all goes to the same place!) or joining us. If those aren’t options for you, there’s always other ways to help by getting involved in conservation efforts in your own community.

Coincidentally, it is also Poutine Week in Calgary so we’ll likely reward ourselves with a big plate of gravy cheese fries when we’re done. Poutine Week dishes support Mealshare, an organisation that donates a meal for every meal purchased, meaning it’s yet another win-win that we can get behind!

We’ll update this post with pictures and the (hopefully not too painful…) details of our climb and a breathtaking view of Calgary from the top! Also,

In the meantime please enjoy an old Earth Day post celebrating some of the most awe-inspiring sunrises and sunsets that we’ve seen during our respective adventures in the post below:

Best Sunsets and Sunrises for Earth Day 2015

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