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Remembering Alan Scarth (1922 – 2021)

Posted on September 3, 2021

Dear FortWhyte Alive community,

It is with much sorrow that we acknowledge the death of Alan Scarth.

Those of you who are familiar with the story of FortWhyte Alive will know Alan as a man who helped form the organization that you know today. We owe much to his visionary legacy.

Please join us in celebrating Alan’s life and continuing his work to fight the climate crisis.

Liz Wilson,
FortWhyte Alive
President & CEO

Quote on image: "A man's reach should exceed his grasp. Or what's a heaven for?"

It takes a true visionary to carve a legacy like that of Alan Scarth. His indelible marks can be seen across Manitoba - but, especially so at FortWhyte Alive. 

Undeniably intelligent in his foresight and uncompromising in his dedication, Alan is remembered as an ambitious advocate for the environment who fought tirelessly to build the business of environmental education. 

He was ahead of his time in understanding the gravity of climate change. As the world around him grew increasingly disconnected from the natural world, he worked to ensure that somewhere existed for future generations to stay connected to the land. 

Along with a passionate group of friends, Alan helped to reclaim an exhausted Canada Cement clay quarry into the 660-acre centre for education and recreation that FortWhyte Alive is today. He laid the foundation for this place and his vision for connecting people with nature remains our ethos.

Black and white image of Alan Scarth and Sam Fabro at FortWhyte Alive.

Alan Scarth with Sam Fabro at FortWhyte Alive.

His leadership and mentorship of Bill Elliott, FortWhyte Alive’s founding Executive Director, was instrumental in our growth. Constantly encouraging others to reach beyond the status quo, he pushed Bill to seek iconic opportunities and envision a future for the centre that broke new ground. This lasting leadership impact furthered the original vision of FortWhyte Alive that was so revolutionary 55 years ago. 

A humble and selfless man, Alan would probably cringe at all this praise and recognition, but credit is due for his steadfast commitment to shaping this community. He was quick to move forward, never lingering on accomplishments, but constantly striving to do more. 

And it is with that drive as a model that we continue to build on Alan’s legacy – towards his vision of taking responsibility and fighting the climate crisis.

As we celebrate his life and mourn his death, we are thinking of his family and sending condolences to those who were closest to him. 


Donations may be made in his memory to the Alan Scarth Climate Change Endowment Fund at FortWhyte Alive: