Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area (ASCCA)
The Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area (ASCCA) consists of 4,800 acres of rolling foothills land. It was donated by Ann and Sandy Cross for the protection of wildlife habitat and conservation education. Located just southwest of the City of Calgary off Highway 22X, the ASCCA is open to hikers by registration only.
Sandy Cross was the son of A.E. Cross (one of the Calgary Stampede’s 'Big Four') and Helen Rothney Macleod. Sandy started purchasing land south of Calgary in 1945 for what would become Rothney Farm and eventually the Cross Conservation Area. In 1987, Sandy and his wife Ann donated nearly 2,000 acres of their land to the Province of Alberta. At the time, it was the largest private land donation in Canadian history and was operated by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
In 1991 Belvedere House, the education centre, was built. In 1996, Ann and Sandy Cross donated an additional 2,800 acres of land, bringing the total size of the ASCCA to 4,800 acres or 12 square kilometers. Also in 1996, the Sandy Cross Conservation Foundation was created to manage the newly enlarged expanse of land. The name was legally changed to the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area in 2008.