The Conservation Halton Foundation Gala is held to raise funds for projects and programs that protect the natural areas in our watershed, create opportunities to connect with nature, educate our children about the environment and inspire stewardship in our communities.

Friluftslive was held in an industrial warehouse, surrounded by a beautiful landscape, with elements of nature integrated into every aspect of the event until the lines between “inside” and “outdoors” were blurred.

The main feature of the event was the indoor forest with more than 1,000 trees, shrubs and other plants with walkways for wandering. Many of the trees that made up the indoor forest were as tall as 40 ft with some even touching the ceiling of the warehouse.

The indoor forest was intended to be a visual representation of climate mitigation and adaption, but it was more than just a statement. The trees were used during the auction at the event to raise funds for tree planting. Each of the trees will be plated on Conservation Halton properties to restore forests effective by invasive species.

Jerry Engstom from Sweden was there to talk about the Scandinavian concept of friluftslive and how it has influenced community engagement. Friluftslive means literally “free air life” but a more meaningful definition is a lifestyle that is focused on being outside with a culture that encourages a deep connection with nature.

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