Capital Region environmental orgs and First Nations get climate action grants

Capital Region environmental orgs and First Nations get climate action grants
Photo: Gorge Waterway Nature House/Facebook
Gorge Waterway Nature House

The Victoria Foundation (VF) will distribute $550K in grants to 14 organizations in the capital region that are addressing climate change through nature-based solutions. Recipients of the nature-based climate action grants include 12 non-Indigenous environmental organizations and Sc’ianew (Beecher Bay) and Tsawout Nations.

Jamie Clifton-Ross, VF spokesperson, explained to Capital Daily that the one-time grant was made possible through a generous legacy donation made anonymously by a donor whose priority it was to reach grassroots organizations caring for the environment.

To be eligible for VF funding, organizations must be registered charities or they must partner with an organization with charitable status. The VF’s support is typically broader in scope. But the criteria for this particular grant, in keeping with the donor’s wishes, is being specifically directed to organizations doing nature-based climate action work such as ecological restoration, land conservation, biodiversity, and the protection of species at risk.

The VF began its work in 1936 and is one of 200 community foundations across Canada. The Toronto and Calgary foundations are some of the largest–Vancouver Island has several smaller ones. Established in 1921, the Winnipeg Foundation is the oldest.

“We support non-profits in the capital region and work with donors to help connect them to the causes that they care about,” Clifton-Ross said. “We do this through endowments and lots of other ways of giving.”

Victoria Foundation funding is initiative-centered rather than project-centered, and is based on the trust-based model of philanthropy that recognizes organizations know what’s best for them and how they can best serve their communities through the work they are already doing.

One of the climate action grant recipients is the Gorge Waterway Action Society (GWAS) salt marsh restoration initiative. Executive director Brad Procter said he was very grateful to the VF for its support and that the funding “will support the restoration of the salt marsh ecosystem in Esquimalt Gorge Park. Through removal of invasive species, the planting of native riparian species, and creation of interpretive signage, a functional habitat and place of learning will be created. The restoration will benefit the community through flood mitigation, lessening erosion, water filtration and increased biodiversity by attracting native pollinators, fish, birds, and other wildlife.”

For more information on the Victoria Fund grants program click here and for a full list of its climate action grant recipients click here.

By Sidney Coles, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

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