Ucluelet Local Food Society’s Lorna Watson, centre, celebrates the opening of Ucluelet’s first community garden last spring. The District of Ucluelet received CBT grant dollars in 2017 to help develop the garden project located at Edna Batchelor Park. (Westerly File Photo)

Community funding opportunities open up for local nonprofits

Clayoquot Biosphere Trust granting streams and Co-op Community Spaces are accepting applications.

The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust’s annual granting cycle is underway.

Multiple granting streams are available for local projects that boost the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region, and a full rundown of funding opportunities can be found at clayoquotbiosphere.org/discover-our-grants/.

Applications for grants up to $5,000 in the Arts & Culture, Youth & Education, Community Development, Research & Education streams are due Feb. 28. Funding proposals in the Vital Grants and Biosphere Research Award categories are due Mar. 7.

“It’s exciting to see organizations and communities working together to achieve all aspects of sustainability. We’re looking for ideas to come forward from communities, organizations, and individuals,” said the CBT’s executive director Rebecca Hurwitz.

In 2018, the CBT provided over $245,000 in grants to more than 60 projects and scholarships, notes Hurwitz.

“We have a similar budget for this year,” she said.

Vital Grants, a new stream of partnership funding that was launched last year to address regional priorities and complex challenges, will once again be offered.

“We’re really excited to offer that program again this year. Last year we had four awards and we’re expecting a similar number of awards this year with an $80,000 budget,” said Hurwitz.

We’re focusing on partnerships because we believe it’s important for folks to work between communities, between organizations, and between cultures in order to address our greatest needs.”

CBT will also launch a new stream of funding in the spring called ‘Neighbourhood Green Grants’, according to Hurwitz.

“It will build on the success of the Neighbourhood Small Grants funding and apply that to a environmental sustainability focus.”

Co-op Community Spaces is now accepting grant applications from registered nonprofits or charities interested in building new green spaces, community gardens, interpretative centres or playgrounds for their neighbourhood.

Capital funding between $25,000 and $150,000 is available per project. Community Spaces funding categories include Recreation, Environmental Conservation, and Urban Agriculture.

“It’s free money. There is $2 million worth of funding to be had. For example, Victoria won $75,225 for a floating boardwalk,” said Ucluelet Co-op general manager Laurie Gehrke, adding that Victoria applied in the Environmental Conservation category.

The Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary in Victoria is home to many native plants and animals and features more than 1,000 feet of floating boardwalks, which are used as outdoor classrooms, notes the Community Spaces website. The Nature Sanctuary installed a new aluminum boardwalk to increase safety and allow the organization to deliver more educational services.

“We encourage anyone in our communities that run a nonprofit organization that fall into those funding categories to apply,” she said.

“We’re encouraging everybody. Get on [the website] and start writing your grant now.”

Qualified organizations are encouraged to visit communityspaces.ca to apply.

Deadline for grant submissions is Mar. 1, 2019.

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