Airdrie Echo - By Kelsey Yates
Multimedia Journalist

Local conservation group, Nature First, recently unveiled their new logo since they reached official society status.

"It's exciting to finally get society status, since you really can't approach fund­ing or grants without it;' said Fred Burley, Vice President of Nature First.
"Now we can move for­ward, and people know that we are legitimate." Burley has lived in Airdrie for 24 years and believes people in Airdrie will be eager to help out and fund­raise to secure a future park in Airdrie.

"Everyone I've talked to so far has been really engaged in this initiative," he said. The group.hopes to desig­nate a large portion of the 12 Thousand Acre Plan as a nature Reserve, with the potential to receive provin­cial park status.

"We don't want to have any regrets and be looking back thinking that we could have saved this if we'd done something sooner," said Burley. "Forty years from now, I'd like people too be able to see the same wildlife we have now, but in a better setting. The Inglewood Bird Sanctu­ary is amazing, and I think we would do something like that on a grander scale. It will be a tourist attraction, and an area of pride for local citizens"

Local artist and graphic designer Glen Collin designed the new logo for Nature First, which features a setting sun and a blue heron in flight. Collin has lived in Airdrie since 1988 where he's raised a family, often taking the time to go fishing and camping. His inspiration for the design was the memory of blue herons that used to be visible in Nose Creek Park, and he said the bird in flight is symbolic of local wildlife disappearing.

"Airdrie is just a great place to add some green space to be close to nature;' said Collin, who is now also a board member with Nature First.
"I've always wanted to preserve that and being an artist I've always found myself immersed in nature"

John Whitrick, the official website designer for Nature First, was also eager to get involved with the initiative for his two grandchildren - Alivia and Laykan, who are ages five and seven.

"I wanted to be involved because of the way nature is just disappearing all the time. If we don't do something now, it will be too late" he said. "I want my grandchildren and their children to have some of the fun experiences you can have in nature. You don't really hear frogs around here anymore, which was a great thing and I miss that from growing up"

To learn more or.become a sponsor, please visit nature­firstfoundation.ca.

The first 100 people to buy a membership will receive a personalized certificate and become founding members once the park opens.

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