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Vancity goes wild on Vancouver Island

Vancity goes wild on Vancouver Island
$10,000 grant awarded for Buy BCwild initiative

Victoria, June 11, 2009 – What does foraging for nettle and clover in the forests of Vancouver Island have to do with Canada’s largest credit union? Actually, lots. Vancity recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the Centre for Non-Timber Resources for their Buy BCwild initiative. The grant is one of six grants totaling $50,000 that Vancity is distributing in the latest wave of Vancouver Island grants.

The goal of the Buy BCwild project is to make the public aware that many wild foods found in BC’s forests – such as certain mushrooms, berries, or maple sap – are safe and delicious to eat. And since no unnatural fertilizers or sprays are used, responsible harvesting of wild foods has a low environmental impact.

“The Buy BCwild initiative shares Vancity’s commitment to doing our part to protect our natural environment,” says Danella Parks, the manager of community investment at Vancity’s Victoria Community Branch. “When you appreciate the wild foods that are growing in our forests, you start to recognize the value of BC’s forests in a whole new way.”

Parks recently jointed a team from the First Nations community as they foraged through the woods on Vancouver Island searching for nettle and clover. The wild ingredients were used to make a homemade tea. “It was an incredible experience. I’m proud to work for an organization like Vancity where we’ve made a long-term commitment to improving the wellbeing of our communities and the environment.”

In the last six months, Vancity has distributed $612,867 to community organizations across BC in the form of community project grants. It is one part of the credit union’s community investment program, which is funded from a proportion of Vancity’s annual profits. Since 1994, Vancity has given back close to $150 million in Shared Success dollars, with membership dividends now standing at over $100 million and over $50 million in grants to community organizations.

The five other grant recipients are the Edward Milne Community School Society in Sooke; Solid Roofs and Autonomous Roots Housing Co-operative in Victoria; Bridges for Women Society in Victoria; the Victoria Community Health Cooperative; and the Greater Victoria Volunteer Society.

Additional information for local non-profit groups, including how to apply for future community project grants, can be found at Vancity’s next granting deadlines for 2009 are June 15 and September 30, 2009. Vancity funds one grant application per organization in a given calendar year.


Photos of the latest community project grant recipients are available upon request.

Media enquiries:
Communications, Vancity
Phone: 778-837-0394

Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union, with $14.1 billion in assets, 410,000 members, 61 branches throughout Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria, and 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: