Search or browse below to see past Field of Interest grants. You may search by recipient organization name, project name, or city. Additionally, in the sidebar you may filter the grants displayed by year, interest or grant amount.

Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources

Indigenous Watershed Initiatives and Co-Governance Arrangements:A British Columbia Systematic Review

CIER and the BC First Nations Fisheries Council (FNFC) are partnering to undertake a systematic review of indigenous watershed initiatives and co-governance arrangements to contribute to shaping the future of watershed planning and a new watershed governance regime in BC. As CIER and FNFC both work with First Nations, this idea originated from a conversation to understand and build BCFN capacity around watershed planning initiatives and co-governance arrangements. First Nations can play a critical role in the protection of water for fish and healthy aquatic ecosystems. The BC Water Sustainability Act (2014) has created an opportunity for watershed co-governance regime between the BC Government and BCFNs with their respective neighbours. This project serves to inform existing and future co-governance discussions by providing an accurate picture of the current needs and opportunities for BCFNs to advance a co-governance discussion with the Province and local governments. The FNFC intends to use this project to help build capacity for informed water decision-making among BCFNs to protect water for fish and healthy aquatic ecosystems. Through a series of activities, this initiative will identify BCFNs that are well placed and/or already interested in pursuing watershed planning and/or participating in co-governance discussions to share experiences, continue or start building relationships and/or further explore possible solutions/models for BC co-governance arrangements.

Environmental Youth Alliance

Inner-Nature: Developing a Connected Schoolyard Greening Project

THE SOIL - We will work with at least 3 classes at each of: 2 secondary & 1 elementary schools in Vancouver to pilot innovative, experiential learning in schoolyard green spaces. Our aim will be to find ways to engage students and teachers in learning about urban wildlife and creating schoolyard gardens to house a diversity of wild creatures. These programs will combine wildlife and food garden creation with citizen science programming. Our goal in the development phase of this project is to learn with youth & educators how schools can create and USE biodiverse natural spaces on their grounds. THE SCHOOL INSTITUTION - We will meet quarterly with: youth, administrators at each school, coordinators of Community School Teams, the VSB Sustainability Department, Youth Workers in the SACY program, community partners, and local alternate schools to discuss approaches for creating regular, sustainable nature access for vulnerable students. Together we will draft a template Memorandum of Understanding that the EYA can use as a framework to guide our partnerships with VSB schools and Community Hubs in the future. OUR FRIENDS IN THE VSFN - We will continue to meet with these partners to update them on our work with the school institution, and will seek to include multiple organizations from the VSFN in our work. Together we will set common goals, learn how to effectively collaborate and develop a shared narrative that we can use to broadly communicate our work.

Farm Folk / City Folk

The Smart Farm Project - Phase 2

The Smart Farm Project proposes adapting smart growth principles to small farm acreages outside the Agricultural Land Reserve in rural communities to catalyze new farms across BC. With a combination of low footprint design, progressive local planning, non-profit or public oversight, social investment and farming know-how, the Smart Farm Project leverages increased density to create affordable homes and farming opportunities, boost agriculture production and generate more jobs for the local economy at the same time. In 2013, a group of stakeholders completed Phase 1 of The Smart Farm Project-a detailed report analyzing four Smart Farm proposals on four different land holdings on the Sunshine Coast. Phase 2 of The Smart Farm Project will: 1) launch an outreach strategy to catalyze Smart Farm proposals in multiple regions across Southern BC, 2) develop the legal and financing frameworks to ensure these developments are community-owned and operated, and 3) coordinate a series of forums with local government, provincial authorities, legal professionals and farm proponents to draft a development application process that support implementation of small farm co-housing developments outside the ALR.

Don't Pocket the Potatoes: Addressing Community Garden Theft in Richmond

While Richmond Food Security Society officially manages the community garden program, we work closely with a wide range of stakeholders. While each stakeholder has shared ideas on how to address the issue of community garden theft, we have yet to form an official project team to address this thoroughly and would like to do so. What we would like to do is form a project team who will work together to research possible solutions. This will include a detailed scan of best practices in other communities, resulting in a detailed webpage where Richmond Community gardeners can learn from. We would also like to conduct a survey of gardeners, in at least 3 languages to find out their personal experience with theft and their ideas to address it. This will provide gardeners with a necessary outlet for their concerns. We would also like to compare the thefts from 2015 to physical site characteristics to determine which physical features may deter thefts. We have only been tracking garden theft data for one year, and would like to track it again in 2016 in order to get a better understanding of the scope of this problem. While we only have data for one year, we have anecdotal and media evidence (through articles in the Richmond review dating back to 2013) that this problem is ongoing.

Georgia Strait Alliance

Building community strength and resilience to oil spills in vulnerable coastal areas

This project represents a social innovation that can be executed within a medium-term timeframe and contributes to an over-arching societal shift - away from a belief system that accepts as inevitable our dependence on fossil fuels and towards a system which acknowledges the inherent risks in this dependence and works toward a clean energy future. In a time of growing concerns about global climate change and with our increasing recognition of the local impacts of oil spills, this project works from the ground up to change how communities prepare for and invest in local oil spill response and stand together to voice their opposition to projects like Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion. Kinder Morgan’s proposal would greatly increase the risk of a spill that would devastate local communities and ecosystems and significantly contribute to climate change. By working with local governments and individuals to identify and address gaps in local oil spill preparedness and response, the project will address the imbalance of resources, power and knowledge that currently prevents local governments from adequately planning for oil spills. This will increase the ability of vulnerable communities, and the people who will be most directly affected by a spill, to have a voice in creating a strengthened spill response regime which will protect and restore their local natural habitats and ecosystems and foster community resilience.

Global Youth Education Network Society

Next UP grow program

Next UP is our flagship program at genius. Next UP (NU) is an intensive seven-month leadership program for young people age 18-32 who are committed to working on social justice issues, environmental issues and climate change. Next UP began eight years ago in Vancouver and now operates programs in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Ottawa. We have 384 graduates across the country with about 120 of them in BC. After 8 years of delivering and refining the NU program we want to offer new formats and versions of the program to different constituencies over the next three years. Next UP grow will allow us to deepen the scope and impact of our work and grow our network of social change leaders. The full-length NU programs run from September through to the following May. Each fall people apply to get in to the various NU programs and at the end of each selection process 12-16 participants are invited to form a program cohort in each program city. The program is free of cost to all participants and funding dependent we can provide support for childcare and participant travel. The cohort meets 1 evening a week and 1 full Saturday a month over the course of the 7 months and participants do work to explore their own leadership styles, learn about solutions to topical issues, develop key leadership skills and receive training in an array of areas to provide them with an excellent tool kit to draw upon in their respective leadership journeys.

Heritage BC

Climate Rehabilitation of Heritage Buildings

Our goal is to facilitate investments in the conservation of non residential heritage properties through measures that connect the retention of heritage values with green rehabilitation, improved energy affordability and protection from hazards related to climate change and other risks, such as earthquakes. Opportunities for climate change mitigation include green rehabilitation efforts to improve energy efficiency and smart fuel choices that would help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with the added value of reducing operational costs for property owners, building tenants, and developers. Opportunities for climate change adaptation through the protection of heritage property from existing and future potential environmental hazards range from resilience to extreme weather events to seismic upgrades. We are collaborating with RDH Building Engineering to develop proposals for various levels of gov't &provincial utilities to place incentive funds in the Heritage Legacy Fund.Heritage BC would distribute to churches, non profits, museums, first nations,etc for energy efficiency upgrades of heritage buildings. RDH will assist in providing program design recommendations to advance the sustainability and durability of heritage properties through the Heritage Legacy Fund, in a manner that leverages other funding opportunities such as utility demand-side measures (DSM) through BC Hydro and FortisBC, emerging funding opportunities in carbon offsets and local government incentives.

Il Centro

East Van Green

Over the past year Il Centro has developed several new "food system initiatives", specifically an Italian Market (Farmers' Market), a new Community Garden and an active food security education program in partnership with Fresh Roots Urban Farm and Slow Food Vancouver. The East Van Green initiative will build upon, and connect our existing food system activities through a "zero waste" project that will utilize a state of art food "composter" and turn our organic waste into compost which in turn will be used for our community garden and Fresh Root's urban farm located at Vancouver Technical High School-across the street from il Centro. In partnership with a local recycling company (Recycling Alternative) we will establish a closed loop demonstration project that will take organic waste from our garden, catering facilities, restaurant, and the urban farm, (located at Vancouver Technical High School), and turn it into compost for local usage. By linking our community garden, catering/food services, farmers' market, and our partner's local urban farm we hope to create a food system demonstration hub that will engage, educate and promote urban sustainability, local food production, access to local food, and organic waste management. The zero waste project will, we believe, create a micro-community demonstration model that can be replicated and utilized across the city.

PHS Community Services Society

Creating Bee Space

Our mandate is to enhance community through apiculture and to connect people & pollinators. We believe in the therapeutic value of beekeeping, its ability to connect all people to community, to nature and to themselves. We bring bees into marginalized urban communities and manage them side by side with community members through our mentorship program; we create green spaces and green opportunities for training, employment and education; we diversify our ecosystem by supporting pollinators and increase our food security by pollination of local food and production of local honey. The bee hive is the centre point of our programming, out from which a spectrum of opportunity radiates. The bees are an incredibly fertile substrate for meaningful connection, green skills training and access to nature. Our programming is socially innovative in its ability to reach out and connect to those considered hard-to-reach, welcoming and supporting individuals and their communities, building bridges of communication, de-stigmatizing bees and people and taking leadership in environmental stewardship. There is a wealth of opportunity in the city for bees and people of all kinds, and our project is helping our city to realize its potential and be a model for other cities. This project will grow our ability to offer meaningful programming that builds community capacity to support native pollinators & honey bees; extend our programming to new geographies & peoples; and embeds us in our community.

Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Creating a vision for salmon in the lower Fraser River

We will approach individuals, groups, First Nations, academics, business and municipalities who understand the landscape (ecologically and politically), and can identify the geographical and political focus required for the lower river and estuary to be a vibrant region that sustain salmon, people and local economies 30-50 years from now. Creating the document will bring disconnected groups together to share ideas and identify solutions to systemic issues including: Resources – Federal government budget and resource cuts to DFO have affected science, enforcement, habitat protection and knowledge transfer at all levels. First Nations, community groups and ENGOS are left to deal with this void. Authority – More progressive Fraser River co-coordinating bodies have been dissolved. In their place, agencies like Port Metro Vancouver now drive political and economic agendas. With legislation weakened, governing bodies removed and replaced, and policy mandates like Wild Salmon Policy unimplemented, serious losses to salmon habitat are occurring. Community groups, First Nations and municipalities cannot respond adequately. Fragmentation – There is no broad coordination around conservation planning in the lower Fraser and regional collaboration is required. Beliefs –There is a mind set that environmental protection is a choice between the economy and the environment. The opportunity to envision Salmon in the Fraser in 2050 is not yet realised.


Environmental Racism Education Development Project

At a recent strategic planning session, board and staff decided to move forward with the education element of our mission. With this development grant, we will explore ways to implement the second half of the mandate outlined in our Letters Patent “ assist aboriginal peoples in protecting and restoring the natural environment for the benefit of all people within Canada by …developing and delivering education programs to advance knowledge and understanding of available legal rights and remedies.” The development project will consist of two steps: Step 1) Educate ourselves: train staff and board about the Canadian legal system regarding injunctions, judicial reviews, appeals court processes, etc; and learn from First Nations about their systems of ‘ancestral laws’; Step 2) Engage our First Nations partners in a collaborative learning process to outline a new education program that will help us meet our mandate, including: what information the curriculum needs to cover, how could the curriculum be most effectively delivered, does the proposed program meet CRA's criteria for "advancement of education". The Vancouver Foundation’s support will be used to fund Step 2. It will help move this project forward by providing funding for us to collaborate with our Indigenous partners and explore ways in which we can meet our mandate, and provide them with a service they can use to help advance their struggle for recognition of their indigenous rights and title in the courts.

Regional District of Central Kootenay

Kootenay Lake Shoreline Management Guidelines

The Kootenay Lake Partnership is producing shoreline management guidelines. Both the guidelines (captured in a document) and the process to arrive at them, are important components to changing how it is that shoreline impacts are managed, mitigated, or compensated for. The KLP has been working toward management guidelines for some time – ecological inventories, archaeological studies, GIS mapping etc. – and only recently has the KLP approached the shoreline management guidelines as the beginning, not the end. The development project is the completion (integration and production) and public outreach of the shoreline management guidelines. To do this now requires assembling the datasets from all the individual studies that were completed for the lake. Integrating these means creating an index of various parts of the shoreline using a 5 category system of very high to very low ‘overall’ value. This will form the basis of directing activities by decision makers. The production component will entail the visuals, text and mapping of the datasets in a coherent way. The process that is important here is assembling the ‘partners’ which are signatory to the KLP and creating a streamlined approach to service delivery, compliance and enforcement, legislative changes, and public outreach.

Salal Foundation

Beyond Coal Canada

Beyond Coal Canada is a collaborative project to oppose the export of US thermal coal through Canadian ports aimed at averting accelerated climate change for the benefit of future generations and the natural world. Beyond Coal Canada is the Canadian partner in the Power Past Coal coalition that is opposing the transshipment and export of coal from Montana’s Powder River Basin. When Fraser Surrey Docks and Lafarge Quarries first proposed their coal transshipment project in 2012 most observers thought permits would be issued within months and predicted our odds of defeating the project were slim. Our primary goal was to delay approval and construction. Three years later, the proposal is stalled, with important permits in limbo, widespread municipal opposition, organized and grassroots opposition, and a number of lawsuits working their way through the courts. The changed political circumstances have opened up promising new paths to victory, as well as new options for building a foundation to prevent future coal export expansions.

School District #23 - Central Okanagan

Fascieux Creek and Habitat Restoration - Phase 2

The project entails daylighting and naturalizing Fascieux Creek for 3 reasons: to protect the Western Painted turtles nesting on school property (blue listed species); to provide almost 1000 students a year a natural, living “classroom” and to return the creek to its natural state. Phase 2, for which we are requesting funds, is to finish the last of a 2 phase project begun in 2014. This project was conceived in 2010 by students and parents who still sit on the planning committee because of their passion for education and environmental protection though their kids are grown. Community members joined who were drawn by subsequent students’ passion for wildlife protection. This project is a grass roots effort that will take 5 years to complete because of its scope and the fact that the students and Green Parent Committee had no power or authority to make decisions about land owned by the School District. And while the District supports the project, they can only provide in-kind help, no cash. This meant that a handful of community volunteers with no real decision making ability had to do everything necessary to forward this major project - all while working with but outside the confines of the school and School District. However, once complete, the students of KLO Middle School and Kelowna will have a creek with wetland, wildlife and habitats in their backyard where they can learn about environmental stewardship and how a small group of people really can bring about change.

SeaChange Marine Conservation Society

The Restoration of SNIDCEL Shores

SeaChange Marine Conservation Society will restore nearshore and marine habitats within Tod Inlet, an area of great significance to local Saanich First Nations and visitors from around the world. The site has been damaged by historical limestone mining activities and the dumping of waste products from the historical cement operation (now known as Butchart Gardens). The nearshore marine environment will not recover from these impacts unless the nearshore is replenished with suitable sediment and replanted with riparian vegetation. This will happen through the long-term engagement of groups and individuals in the local community. Community events and a restoration forum will disseminate lessons learned from this pilot throughout the Capital Regional District (CRD). This project will restore lost nearshore marine habitat due to historical industrial impacts as well as slow the effects of erosion from rising sea levels without constructing seawalls. First Nations have a stake in these projects, as many of their middens and archaeological sites are located on or near marine nearshores within the Inlet. If this beach nourishment project succeeds over time, it may help other communities restore damaged intertidal environments that are also affected by rising tides. Beach nourishment has not been piloted on small scales within the Capital Regional District (CRD).We intend to organize a community event to share the progress of all the restoration within the site and to share others' s

SFU - Centre for Dialogue

Expanding renewable energy in BC through Climate Action Plan 2.0

In May, the Government of British Columbia created a new climate leadership team to recommend policies that would help ensure it meets its legislated 2020 and 2050 greenhouse gas reduction targets. The team’s recommendations, due in December, will form the basis of what the government is calling its Climate Leadership Plan—a set of policies to be included in the 2016 budget. The province understands that new policy will be needed across the economy to achieve its targets; this newly opened policy window offers an excellent opportunity to boost clean and renewable energy development and deployment in the province. The province has been clear that it needs the public to ask for climate solutions now; this is key in that there has been little to no political space open for such a discussion over the past three years. We believe that an immediate, targeted communications and engagement effort can help ensure that the Climate Leadership Plan fully delivers on its potential. We intend to build the evidence base and communicate the benefits of a prosperous low-carbon provincial economy. We will do this by developing and amplifying economic arguments, insightful analyses, and good-news stories about the development and deployment of clean energy. We aim to develop a positive, engaged, and geographically diverse constituency to inspire and inform a suite of strong new climate policies. We will then convey this feedback to government via a series of briefings.

Sierra Club of British Columbia Sierra Club BC

From the Ground up: Empowering BC communities to protect coastal temperate rainforest

Forested watersheds on Vancouver Island and BC’s South Coast are being heavily logged with negative impacts to water quality and availability, wildlife habitat, carbon stores, local economies, and our collective resilience against climate change. Only approx. 8% of the forested area of Vancouver Island and 6% of the forested area of the South Coast are protected and most of the productive old-growth has been logged. Regulations requiring the forest industry to self-monitor are ineffective at maintaining ecosystem health. Community members have become increasingly disconnected from the state of the forests in their region due to a lack of information and options for meaningful input. One of the ways to convince provincial decision-makers to implement conservation policy solutions is when they are pressured to do so by a diverse network of citizens; and the public will only get involved when they understand the impacts of forest practices in their backyard. To this end, the social innovation we are testing is to empower communities with localized information on forest health, to motivate people to monitor logging impacts in their watersheds and build support for improved forest practices. Through localized maps, public events, strategic communications, and a ‘gumboots on the ground' strategy to get people out monitoring watersheds, we will raise public awareness of the importance of forest conservation for wildlife habitat, a diverse economy, carbon values, and clean water.

Strawberry Isle Research Society

??aa?aas [Tla­-aas: meaning outdoors] Youth Stewardship

The project will include a beach cleanup, eelgrass mapping and monitoring, eelgrass diversity beach seine, and shellfish collection (mussels, clams, and crabs) intended for testing of contaminants. Each activity will involve an instructional clinic where the participants will learn the skill needed to carry out that aspect of the monitoring project, which will include scientific note taking, transect surveys, GPS mapping, and species identification. There will also be a take home sheet, which will feature the organisms involved in that day's activity with information on the organisms' life history, traditional uses, and its Nuu­chah­nulth, scientific, and common name. All of the information gathered will be made into a report booklet and housed within the new library at Opitsaht, as well as distributed to our project partners and sponsors.

Tides Canada Initiatives Society

Green Legacies 2.0 Guide – Laying the Groundwork for Secure & Affordable Land Access for Agriculture

British Columbia faces significant challenges related to secure and affordable land access for food production, especially for a new generation of farmers interested in building alternative and sustainable food networks that utilize environmental best practices to enable regional food security. This project will provide key context and essential information to potential donors and professional advisors about important forthcoming work and the need to establish a sustainable food future in British Columbia. Farmers face challenges around the transfer of land from one generation to another. 50% of today's farmers will be retiring in the next ten years. Research by the Community Farms Project and the Farmland Access for Food project has identified an urgent need for innovative land access and governance models. We are in the process of developing an updated and revised edition of our original Green Legacies Guide, published in 2002, ( which will have both a print and online edition. We require funding in order to develop a new section on the foodland/farmland initiatives in BC so as to ensure donors and professional advisors are aware of this vital work. Once models are put in place by the foodland / farmland community, the details of the gifting and succession options will be incorporated into future updated editions.