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TD Friends of the Environment Foundation donates $140,000 towards Friends of Fish Creek's Learning Naturally Program

CALGARY, April 22 /CNW/ - More kids in Calgary will be able to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty as well as learn important environmental and historical information about Alberta, thanks to a $140,000 donation from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF), which was officially announced today at the TD Canada Trust branch in Deer Ridge. The much-needed donation will go directly towards supporting the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society's Learning Naturally Program.

The Learning Naturally Program originated in 1998 in an effort to serve students who would otherwise not be able to access environmental education programs in Fish Creek Provincial Park.

The program gives school children the opportunity to participate in a full day of activities where they experience Alberta's history through guided hikes, storytelling, scientific observation and hands-on exploration of nature.

"Protecting, preserving and educating our next generation about the environment and our cultural heritage is so important," said Nancy Leary, DVP Calgary South District, TD Canada Trust. "Every year, over 6,000 students participate in the Learning Naturally Program, and now because of this donation, children will continue to have the opportunity to experience this unique program."

"We're thrilled to be lending our support to Friends of Fish Creek's Learning Naturally Program," said Mary Desjardins, Executive Director, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. "When it comes to building a greener future - it starts by investing in our young people. The best way for children to learn and to really develop an appreciation for the environment is to get outside and experience nature firsthand - and that's exactly what this program provides and why we're proud to partner with Friends of Fish Creek."

"The funding from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation is a tremendous gift and will help contribute to the longer term stability of the Learning Naturally Program, said Debbie Cole-Gauer, Executive Director, Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society. "On behalf of the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society, I'd like to extend our sincere thanks to TD FEF for their support and generosity."

The Calgary TD FEF Chapter recently announced it hit a $2 million funding milestone - just in time as the Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary.

"Reaching the $2 million milestone in our 20th year is very exciting for us, and we're honoured to be a part of more than 385 innovative, grassroots environmental initiatives in and around our city," said Andrew Gartner, Calgary TD FEF Advisory Board Volunteer and 19-year TD employee. "We believe that developing sustainable, active partnerships with local organizations and community groups is essential to ensuring our support makes a tremendous impact on the environment in our community."

The types of projects supported by TD FEF include (but are not limited to):

<< - Wildlife rehabilitation - Education programs for children - Environmental cleanups - Tree planting campaigns - Conservation and recycling initiatives - Urban renewal >>

TD FEF encourages non-profit organizations with a Charitable Registration Number, First Nation communities, municipalities and schools to apply for funding online at

<< About The Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society: -------------------------------------------------------- >>

The Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society (the Friends) was established as a Registered Charity in 1994. The Friends mission is to protect, preserve and enhance the diverse natural and human heritage found in Fish Creek Provincial Park. The Friends organize most of the volunteer opportunities in the Park and offer a variety of environmental educational programs.

<< About TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF): -------------------------------------------------------- >>

Since 1990, TD FEF has provided more than $50 million in funding to over 18,400 grassroots environment and wildlife projects across Canada. In 2009, TD FEF provided more than $4 million in support of nearly 900 projects. Thousands of donors give to TD FEF on a monthly basis and TD Bank Financial Group contributes in excess of $1 million annually. TD also covers the management costs of running TD FEF, which guarantees 100 per cent of every dollar donated goes directly to funding environment and wildlife projects in the community where the donation was made. For more information on how to donate and get involved in your community, visit

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