November 7

Vancity spreads the green: $265,000 in local Vancity enviroFund™ environmental grants distributed

Vancouver, Nov. 7, 2007 – Vancity is distributing $265,000 to 10 non-profit organizations through its annual enviroFundTM program. The grants, ranging from $6,000 to $40,000 will go towards groups working on imaginative solutions to environmental issues in their communities.

This year's recipients include:

  • Bowen Island Conservancy - $20,000 to create the Fairy Fen Nature Reserve in order to permanently protect and manage the biologically diverse wetlands complex in the Bowen Island Cover to Cape Greenway;
  • Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm - $24,090 for a program to showcase sustainable agriculture techniques that can reduce the negative impact of the food system on climate change and the environment;
  • Check Your Head: the Youth Global Education Network - $24,090 for the Sustainable Schools Program, which will build the capacity of young people in Vancouver schools to tackle local environmental issues;
  • Chilliwack River Action Committee - $24,090 for a project to help fund the stabilization work necessary to protect fish habitat in the Chilliwack River watershed;
  • David Suzuki Foundation - $24,090 to fund an education and outreach campaign to build public support for protecting the biological richness in the province;
  • Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust - $35,000 to promote sustainable farm management practices that can help provide crucial wildlife habitat in the Fraser River delta;
  • Environmental Youth Alliance - $6,000 to begin the process of establishing a biodiesel research, training and public education facility;
  • Langley Environmental Partners Society - $31,500 for a plant salvage program working to preserve local genetic diversity in the Langley community;
  • SeaChange Marine Conservation Society - $36,140 to help conserve and protect valuable shoreline habitat in the Sannich Peninsula and Inlet;
  • Stanley Park Ecology Society - $40,000 to help restore the ecosystems and wildlife habitat in Stanley Park severely impacted by the extreme windstorms in 2006.

The enviroFund is funded by Vancity Visa*, which donates five per cent of its annual profits from its suite of Visa card products to the program. Each year, enviro Visa cardholders vote on the issue areas enviroFund will support. This year's issue areas included, Air Quality and Alternative Transportation; Watershed, Wetland and Marine Ecosystem Restoration; Wildlife Preservation and Habitat Restoration, and for the first time, Renewable Energy.

“Vancity has a long history of giving back to communities and we strive to provide our members with innovative products and services that can affect positive change,” says Vancity Board Chair Patrice Pratt. “The Visa enviroFund program is a great way for our members to have a say in the environmental issues that matter most to them, and we are proud to support all of this year's grant recipients.”

Since the program started in 1990, more than $2 million has gone to support environmental projects for more than 60 local non-profit organizations. For additional information, visit www.vancity.com/grants or call 604.877.7620.

Vancity is actively involved in supporting local environmental and climate change initiatives. The credit union will be carbon neutral by 2010 and provides its members with innovative ways to address climate change through green products like the Clean Air Auto loan for Hybrid vehicles and loans for energy efficient home renovations. Vancity also supports community organizations working on environmental projects through its community grants, green building grants and the enviroFund program.

Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $12.3 billion in assets, more than 383,000 members, and 57 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria, as well as two Squamish Savings branches. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. For further information, visit: www.vancity.com.

™enviroFund is a registered trademark of Vancity.
* Visa Int./Vancity, Licensed User.

For additional background information:

www.landfood.ubc.ca/ubcfarm
www.checkyourhead.org
www.fishingwithrod.com/crac
www.davidsuzuki.org
www.deltafarmland.ca
www.eya.ca
www.leps.bc.ca
www.seachangelife.net
www.stanleyparkecology.ca