Going green in Vancouver just got easier with new $2 million Greenest City Fund

The City of Vancouver and Vancouver Foundation today announced an innovative partnership that will help Vancouver become the greenest city by 2020, with both organizations contributing $1 million each to create the first-ever Greenest City Fund.

The unique feature of the Fund is that it will actively involve the entire community in Vancouver’s greenest city goals, by supporting ideas generated and implemented by the community.

Over the next four years, the $2 million Greenest City Fund will support youth-led initiatives, neighbourhood-based projects created by residents, and green programs developed by charitable organizations.

“It’s not easy being green,” said Gord MacDougall, Chair of the Vancouver Foundation Board. “And it’s not easy becoming the world’s greenest city. It takes effort. It takes a willingness to try new things. Sometimes it even takes a bit of extra money. Most of all, it takes the commitment and involvement of the entire community.”

“With this Greenest City Fund, we not only team up with the Vancouver Foundation, we also get to collaborate with residents and community organizations on our goal to become the greenest city in the world,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Our aim is to stimulate green innovation, encourage local solutions, and build new community connections, and I’m thrilled that the City is teaming up with the Vancouver Foundation to make this project happen.”

The Fund is the result of a March 2009 report developed by the Greenest City Action Team. That report made a series of Quick Start recommendations, including the creation of a fund that would enable the City to combine its resources with other organizations and individuals to support community-based green projects.

Vancouver Foundation, Canada’s largest community foundation, offered to partner and contribute an equal amount to launch the Fund. The Foundation will also administer the grants with the help of community advisory committees.

The Fund will support projects that address one or more of the following Greenest City Action goals:
• Local Food: Increasing local food supply
• Climate and Green Buildings: Reducing energy use
• Green Transportation: Enabling active transportation
• Zero Waste: Increasing composting, re-use and recycling
• Access to Nature: Increasing the urban forest, creating habitat and natural spaces
• Clean Water: Conserving drinking water
• Green Economy: Supporting social enterprises and greening businesses

The funds will be allocated in three separate granting programs:
• Greenest City Generation Green Grants (for youth)
• Greenest City Neighbourhood Small Grants (for residents)
• Greenest City Community Grants (for charities).

The Greenest City Fund will officially launch on April 25.

Find out more at:  www.vancouverfoundation.ca/greenestcity