Published on December 22, 2021

A 2021 Spruce Up Wrap Up

While offered in a modified format, Spruce Up St. Albert programming returned April through October after being put on hold in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

From cleaning up litter to beautifying garbage cans, Spruce Up St. Albert activities – presented by TD – are designed to not only promote environmental awareness, but also encourage resident participation and positive change.

“Getting involved helps keep St. Albert looking its best – a place where you live and want to spend your time,” says Jen Grant, Spruce Up St. Albert organizer. “With a variety of options for participation, at any skill level, it provides a way for everyone, from young children to seniors, to connect and give back to the community.”

A beloved annual clean up and beautification community program, Jen considers the 2021 season a huge success. “While we made careful programming modifications that aligned with provincial public health measures, all of our activities were outdoors, so our participants felt safe and were ready for some fun in the fresh air,” she says. “As a result, we had a great uptake of volunteers.”

The 2021 Spruce Up wrap up highlights are as follows:


Clean and Green RiverFest

While traditionally held the second week of May each year, in 2021 this event – intended to increase wildlife habitat along the Sturgeon River – was held in September. Over 115 participants collected over 80 bags of litter and planted around 440 trees and shrubs along the banks of the river. Garbage bags, gloves and other supplies were provided as well as a St. Albert Centre-sponsored pre-packaged lunch.

Naturalization sign

Garbage Can Design Contest

An initiative intended to help beautify the city, 14 school groups of children and youth painted garbage cans with the theme “2030 – St. Albert’s Future Environment” in mind. With more than 1,100 votes cast, St. Albert Nature School was declared the winner!

Photo of first place - St. Albert Nature School

School & Neighbourhood Cleanups

At any time of the year, an individual, group or school can organize a clean up of their neighbourhood, nearby natural area or schoolyard. Although fewer schools took part in 2021, the number of participants in the program was well above what was expected. In total, 3,100 people from 12 schools participated in spring and fall cleanups. Another 150 residents signed up for neighbourhood cleanups this past year.

bag from schoolyard cleanup

Partners in Parks

Whether a trail behind a house, cul-de-sac island, or local park or playground, Partners in Parks residents adopt a public greenspace for the season. Partners can choose to pick up litter, weed, water, plant or mow this public space. In 2021, the Partners in Parks program resumed with great success! In total, 124 public sites were adopted by 179 partners and logged over 1,000 volunteer hours.

planting a small tree

Weed Warriors

As the City is committed to protecting and restoring biodiversity in its natural areas, Weed Warriors offers a hands-on, educational workshop that strives to enhance the environment by teaching students and other members of the community how to identify and safely remove invasive plants from city greenspaces. Events held in June and July attracted over 80 participants. 

person removing an invasive weed

Arbor Day

Designed specifically to get Grade 1 students excited about trees and the environment, Arbor Day is an annual event held across Canada and other countries around the world. Through virtual presentations and in-class activities, all St. Albert Grade 1 and 2 (for students who missed the event in 2020) classes were invited to celebrate during the month of June. In total, 18 schools across the city participated in a day of learning about the role trees play in their daily lives. Nearly 730 seedlings were delivered to Grade 1 students and 840 to Grade 2 students.

kids outside in forest

kid drawing leaves on paper

For more information, to get involved, and to view Spruce Up St. Albert’s 2021 wrap up video, please visit Spruce Up St. Albert

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Last edited: January 12, 2022