Community groups across the South Nation Watershed united throughout April and May to make the area where they live, work and play a little cleaner.
Through a partnership with the City of Ottawa’s Clean Up the Capital Initiative, Unsmoke Canada and the Findlay Creek and Greely Community Associations, South Nation Conservation (SNC) also helped provide free trees and shrubs to volunteers who helped clean up local communities and the Leitrim Wetland. Clean-ups at High Falls Conservation Area in Casselman and the W.E. Burton Conservation Area in Russell were also highly successful, with many families coming out to help clean up their favourite community spaces.
Clean-up activities helped tackle waste that was revealed in the spring melt. Residents are encouraged to check social media and websites of their local community groups annually to participate in a nearby cleanup.
Funding for community clean-ups is available through SNC’s Community Environmental Grants Program which has awarded over $50,000 to community groups and non-profit organizations since 2015. Applications are currently being accepted and funding is made available through partnerships with municipalities and SNC fundraising initiatives. The program has traditionally supported community events across SNC’s Eastern Ontario watershed jurisdiction that promote recreational use of rivers, protect the environment, or celebrate natural heritage.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has also supported public tree and shrub plantings and community gardens.
“We’re proud to support projects that the whole community can both learn and benefit from while protecting our local environment,” said Kelsey Smith, SNC’s Stewardship and Outreach Assistant. “Trees add infinite value to urban areas and community spaces, and people continue to visit municipal parks and Conservation Areas in record numbers, demonstrating the need for investments in these natural spaces.”
More information on SNC’s Community Environmental Grants Program can be found at www.nation.on.ca/grants, or by calling 1-877-984-2948.