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Foundation marks 20th anniversary with capacity building grants

TORONTO, Jan. 18 /CNW/ - Four Canadian environmental charities have been awarded funding grants to support capacity building from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF), recognizing excellence in the not-for-profit sector.

TD FEF received nearly 200 applications for the grants, which were created to celebrate the Foundation's 20th Anniversary and to support the need for this type of funding by environmental charities in Canada, something that was strongly communicated by these organizations during the Foundation's cross-country community forum tour last year. One $5,000 grant was awarded in each of the following categories: fundraising, volunteer engagement, innovation and organizational leadership.

"Capacity building is integral to the development of a sustainable and effective charity - and the number of applications we received truly demonstrates the tremendous demand for this kind of support in the non-profit sector," says Mary Desjardins, Executive Director, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. "We're proud to support the development of environmental charities to help them to make an even greater difference to Canada's environment."

Charities receiving the TD FEF 20th anniversary grants include:

Stanley Park Ecological Society (Vancouver, BC) - Fundraising

The Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) promotes awareness of and respect for the natural world by playing a leadership role in the stewardship of Stanley Park through collaborative initiatives in education, research and conservation. SPES developed a community art project designed to construct an environmentally-sustainable cob house in Canada's most famous urban park. The house is used to sell organically-grown popcorn and the proceeds from 100% donated kernels have since raised over $100,000 in funds for SPES's education and conservation projects.

Burns Bog Conservation Society (Delta, BC) - Volunteer Engagement

The Burns Bog Conservation Society aims to protect the world's peatlands by educating people on the importance of Burns Bog, one of the world's largest undeveloped ecosystems in an urban area. It advocates for ecologically responsible governance of Burns Bog and other peatlands and provides opportunities for people to interact with the area. Ninety percent of the Society's office volunteers are people with special needs. The Society creates an environment of comfort, confidence and learning. Volunteers are given important tasks that challenge them and give them a sense of accomplishment.

Nova Scotia Nature Trust (Halifax, NS) - Innovation

Nova Scotia Nature Trust aims to protect the province's outstanding natural legacy through land conservation. The Trust has done groundbreaking work in conserving private land, opening new doors for land preservation across Canada, and significantly advancing the capacity of the land trust sector to impact conservation. Among other innovative initiations, it created a conservation property tax incentive in Nova Scotia, the most progressive in the country. The Trust's leadership resulted in a $23 million land acquisition fund for the province, addressing the long-term funding barrier to land conservation. Other land trusts are now using this model to encourage similar action by their own provincial governments.

Everdale Environmental Learning Centre (Hillsburgh, ON) - Organizational Leadership

The recipients of this award are the two founders and leaders of Everdale, Gavin Dandy and Karen Campbell. Gavin is a visionary and recently launched the first ever certification program for new famers in the province. His work has been recognized internationally, including a recent visit to their farm from the U.N. and consultancy with the federal government about sustainable land use. Karen has played an integral role in spearing farm-based education in Ontario. Her work includes teaching thousands of children and farmers, and creating the first-ever organic farm-based summer camp in Ontario.

"Our thanks to TD FEF for supporting Everdale with this grant," says Brendan Johnson, Executive Director, Everdale. "We plan to use this funding to increase the capacities of our award winning educational programs, which will contribute to the advancement of our organization as we work to make Ontario a more sustainable place."

How recipients were chosen:

To be eligible to receive a grant, the applicant organization needed to be a registered Canadian charity with an environmental focus. Recipients were chosen because they displayed a unique flair for developing creative and sustainable engagement and leadership strategies.

About TD FEF:

Since 1990, TD FEF has provided more than $53 million in funding to over 19,000 grassroots environment and wildlife projects across Canada. Thousands of donors give to TD FEF on a monthly basis and TD Bank 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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