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Plant Trees Today to Help Restore Tomorrow

Together, we are planting 1 million trees & kelp in Canada. Verified by veritree

Help restore Canada’s outdoors!

We are currently facing one of the most urgent and complex challenges of our time, climate change. Today, millions of people are already exposed to the effects of biodiversity loss and damaged ecosystems. There has never been a more crucial time for us to take action.

At Atmosphere, we pride ourselves in facilitating the connection between our communities and the outdoors. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to access and enjoy Canada’s outdoor playground. This is why we are so excited to announce that we have pledged to plant 1 MILLION TREES and KELP to help restore and rewild Canada’s forests and oceans, from coast-to-coast!

Forests play a crucial role in fighting climate change and sadly, the world has lost one-third of its forest - an area the same size as the whole of Canada! This commitment helps to rebuild and safeguard Canada’s beautiful outdoors so that future generations can continue to connect with, and enjoy, the benefits of nature for years to come.

Join the Cause and Donate In-store!

We are stronger together! Join the cause by donating in-store during check out at any of our Atmosphere locations. Your support will contribute to planting 1 million trees and kelp across various planting sites in Canada. This commitment helps to rebuild and safeguard Canada’s beautiful outdoors so that future generations can continue to connect with, and enjoy, the benefits of nature for years to come.

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Restoration After Wildfire: Reforestation Efforts in Canada

In the face of devastating wildfires, Atmosphere is partnering with veritree to restore forests in Williams Lake to rebuild essential biodiversity and support local communities.

Wildfires have become an increasingly common occurrence across Canada and the globe, causing immense devastation to natural ecosystems and posing significant threats to human communities. For context, during an average wildfire season in Canada, 24,600 sq kms of land will typically burn.  As of late July 2023, four times that amount, over 100,000 kms has already been ablaze. That’s larger than the entire footprint of the Province of New Brunswick (73k square kms), more than the entirety of Lake Superior (82,000 square kms) and for Pacific Coasters, that would be equal to approx. 3 x the size of Vancouver Island! 

One of the primary drivers of wildfires is climate change. Rising global temperatures have led to more prolonged and severe fire seasons in many regions. Higher temperatures can cause vegetation to dry out, creating ideal conditions for wildfires to start and spread. Unfortunately, Canada has, on average, warmed twice as fast as the rest of the world in recent years, largely as a result of a loss of snow and sea ice, making it more susceptible and at-risk.

In a typical season, approximately half of wildfires are caused by lightning, the other half are generally caused by humans. This includes activities, such as campfires left unattended, discarded cigarettes, industrial activities, and arson.  

Wildfires are a natural part of many ecosystems and can play beneficial roles in maintaining ecological health. These fires are often referred to as "natural" or "prescribed" fires. When these fires burn through the forest, they release nutrients that were locked in dead vegetation back into the soil. This nutrient cycling can enrich the soil and support future plant growth.

However, it's essential to differentiate between natural or prescribed fires, which are a part of the ecosystem's natural processes, and wildfires caused by human activities, which can be destructive and dangerous.

First and foremost, we can prevent wildfires by following fire regulations and best practices. This means obeying fire bans, properly extinguishing campfires, being cautious with equipment that may generate heat or sparks, and never throwing cigarette butts or smoking materials on the ground. We can also educate ourselves and our community to stay informed about fire conditions, prevention practices and safety measures. 

On a more global level, we need to address climate change to reduce the frequency and the severity of wildfires.  This means reducing our carbon footprint by using energy more efficiently, engaging in sustainable practices, participating in climate-advocacy, and supporting clean energy policies. 

Once the flames have been extinguished, the aftermath of a wildfire can leave landscapes barren, vulnerable to erosion, and devoid of essential biodiversity. In the face of these challenges, post-wildfire restoration efforts play a vital role in rehabilitating affected areas and fostering resilience. 

As such, Sport Chek has committed to helping reforest a post wildfire site in Williams Lake, Canada. Following the devastating wildfires that swept through over 1.3 million hectares of land in this region, during the summers of 2017, 2018, and 2021, the affected area of Cariboo faces significant challenges in rehabilitating its ecosystems. The wildfires inflicted severe damage, killing the forest and scarring the soil, impacting the habitat and food sources of local wildlife, and threatening the traditional hunting grounds and food sources of Indigenous communities.

To address this, we’re helping to support reforestation in the area in collaboration with our restorative partner, veritree and their planting partner, Zanzibar. For this project, various tree species will be planted to re-establish the forest and assist in natural regeneration. By participating in this restoration effort, we can help the local communities rebuild their livelihoods, while also aiding in the recovery of the environment and wildlife.

We invite you to visit our Impact Hub at https://sportchek.veritree.com/

Trees In Our Forests

Acadian Trees

Red and White Spruce, Red and Jack Pine, Sugar and Silver Maple, and White Cedar trees are some of the more than 60 different species that can be found in Acadian forests. Today, over 99% of original old Acadian forests have been lost. These forests provide critical habitat for many different mammals, and are important areas for breeding bird populations. In addition, Acadian forests, when allowed to mature and diversify, are incredible carbon reservoirs.

Kelp

Kelp is considered as a foundation species the whole ecosystem depends on. Critical kelp forest in the West Coast of North America has been declining due to climate change.

The species of kelp being planted include bull kelp, sugar kelp, and winged kelp. Kelp forests are excellent carbon sinks and provide crucial habitat for many species, such as salmon and otters.

Interior Douglas Fir Trees

Natural regeneration after severe fires can take 40-50 years. In some cases, natural forest regrowth will not be possible and the area may be replaced by a bushy shrubland and the original forest will be lost for good. Tree species are chosen for their ecological suitability as well as ability to withstand shifts in climate with increased global temperatures. This includes the following tree species: Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, hybrid spruce, and western larch.

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VERITREE FAQ

SportChek and Atmosphere are working with veritree, a technology platform that connects verified restoration projects with sustainably minded companies, and their Canadian planting partners, to take restorative actions. veritree’s platform collects ground-level data throughout the lifecycle of a project, from seed to tree, to verify the impact of our efforts in real-time.

We’re helping to reforest and rewild different sites across Canada, from coast-to-coast. Specifically, we are supporting the following projects (from East to West):
  • New Brunswick – Reforestation of a former logging site
  • Quebec – Ecological restoration
  • Ontario – Landscape rehabilitation
  • Alberta – Post-wildfire restoration
  • British Columbia – Post-wildfire restoration 
  • British Columbia – Kelp seaforesation off the Sunshine Coast

SportChek and Atmosphere have committed to plant 1 Million trees and kelp. The split will be roughly 50% trees and 50% kelp. 

By partnering with veritree, we will be working with some of the leading planting partners across Canada. Each planting site that we will be supporting has different planting windows depending on the species of tree or kelp being planted and the local climate. Typical planting projects can take 12-18 months to complete. All of SportChek and Atmosphere’s trees and kelp will be planted by the end of 2023.

As soon as the trees are planted, and the planting information has been verified to be complete and accurate by veritree, our company’s Impact Hub will be updated to reflect the completed planting session. You can visit our Impact Hub at https://sportchek.veritree.com/

Nature is one of our greatest allies when it comes to fighting climate change. Restoring nature through tree and kelp planting can benefit our planet, ecosystems, and local communities. Trees and kelp act as carbon sinks, i.e., they absorb and store carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. In addition, trees can help prevent soil erosion, provide habitat for animals, enhance biodiversity, and provide fuel and income for people and communities.

The cost of planting a tree varies due to many factors including, species, soil condition, location, and climate. The average cost for the 1 million trees that SportChek and Atmosphere are planting is approximately $2.50. This cost also takes into consideration that the trees are being verified, quantified, and sustained.  

All monetary proceeds collected for trees will be put towards Sportchek and Atmosphere’s restoration efforts via their partnership with veritree.