OTTAWA, Ont.-- CN says it will extend its CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up program for another three years owing to a strong response from many Canadian communities to the program's inaugural 2012-13 launch. CN will provide grants of as much as $25,000 apiece in matching funds to more than 100 Canadian communities in 2014-16 to help green public properties. Since CN initiated the program in 2012, community support of the program has been strong, with nearly 200 communities applying for funds. A total of 55 applications have been approved.
"We are honoured by the breadth of interest being shown in the program by communities across Canada," said Sean Finn, CN Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services, and Chief Legal Officer. "The projects we're seeing are outstanding for their scope and creativity. What is especially impressive is the connection being made between CN and these communities - we're all learning that greening and sustainability are objectives we have in common and can work together to achieve.
CN's EcoConnexions From the Ground Up program will continue to invite applications for tree planting and other green spaces programs each year in communities across its network. Planting trees and improving green spaces in these locations will not only help beautify these areas, but will also provide natural noise and visual barriers, help purify air, provide shade and habitat for songbirds, and decrease soil erosion.
CN works in partnership with two prominent national organizations on the program. Tree Canada has a 20-year reputation for empowering communities to develop and maintain healthy urban and rural forests. Communities in Bloom is renowned in communities across Canada for its work in enhancing green spaces. These have worked with CN in developing and implementing the program to ensure quality greening projects established across the country.
"CN has led the way in connecting Canadians for close to a century," says Tree Canada President Michael Rosen. "We have already seen our national landscape improve through the opportunities provided to municipalities and Aboriginal communities through From the Ground Up. Tree Canada is proud to be a part of this fantastic initiative."
"The projects undertaken in 2012 and 2013 have exceeded our expectations," said Raymond Carrière, Founding President of Communities in Bloom. "Not only has the From the Ground Up program enabled communities to create green spaces, it has also demonstrated sustainability such as creating environments to learn about urban forestry and composting, provide play areas in much needed areas, establish natural buffer areas, and much more.