100 Trees Planted to Memorialize RCAF 2024 Centennial

A living memorial of 100 trees were planted yesterday by Royal Canadian Air Cadets (RCAC) to commemorate the upcoming RCAF 2024 Centennial. A celebratory event will take place next year to recognize the centennial.


Visitors to A. D. Ross Park, located at 2816 Dallaire Ave. S.W. in Garrison Green, will see trees planted in the shape of the RCAF Roundel (symbol of the RCAF). The memorial includes 25 dwarf spruce trees surrounded by 75 densely planted maple trees in the shape of a maple leaf. Tulip bulbs, with a historical connection to the RCAF, have also been planted among the trees and will bloom next spring.

“This park was chosen for this memorial because of its suitability for planting these trees and due to the park’s close ties to the RCAF; because A. D. Ross is a RCAF Veteran,” said Alan Joiner, Parks & Open Spaces, City of Calgary spokesperson.

Maple_closeThe trees in this living memorial have been densely planted which has proven to support the successful establishment of newly planted trees in some circumstances. The trees will also benefit from enhanced soil that has been added to the park and mulch to retain moisture. Watering and scheduled weeding will take place for the next five years to support the establishment of the trees and the tulips.

Planting more trees in public spaces also supports The City’s goals to increase Calgary’s urban tree canopy by nine per cent by 2026 and 16 per cent in the future. An increased tree canopy provides more homes for wildlife, birds and insects; reduces soil erosion; keeps urban environments cooler; captures carbon and absorbs pollutants.  

“Many residents of The City of Calgary have served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, fighting for our Canadian values. Their relentless, steadfast, and noble efforts tie them profoundly to the Royal Canadian Air Force of today,” said Captain Aaron Niles, Strategic Planner and Public Affairs Officer for the RCAF 2024 Centennial Team. “May the memories of all those who have, and continue to serve in the Royal Canadian Air Force, live on in spirit through this memorial, as we continue to build towards a more sustainable future.”

Captain Aaron Niles went on to add that, “Air Commodore Ross had a distinguished career in the Royal Canadian Air Force, serving for over 30 years. He lost his right arm in World War Two when saving the lives of Canadian pilots from a crashed aircraft and was a huge proponent of the Air Cadets, wherein upon his passing in 1981, his obituary requested that donations be made to the Air Cadet League of Canada. To have this memorial be placed in A.D Ross Park, with the Cadets involved in the planting, is extremely special.”

Watch for more information next year about the RCAF 2024 Centennial recognition event at A. D. Ross Park. For more information about the RCAF 2024 Centennial, visit

Who was A. D. Ross?
The park is named after Arthur Dwight Ross, also known near the end of his career as Air Commodore Ross, who is best known for his actions in June 1944 for rescuing two aircrew from a burning Halifax bomber. He was awarded the George Cross for these brave actions. A. D. Ross dedicated over 30 years to the RCAF which took him from his hometown of Winnipeg, across eastern Canada, and into Europe in a variety of training and leadership positions. In September 1940, then Wing Commander Ross was posted to 3 Service Flying Training School in Calgary as the school commandant and supervised the opening of the school. Ross spent about a year in Calgary before being promoted and moving on to a new post.