Join us

Vancity enviro Visa helps local environmental initiatives with largest grant total ever

Vancity enviro Visa helps local environmental initiatives with largest grant total ever

Close to $400,000 in enviroFund™ grants distributed

Vancouver, April 13, 2010: Thanks to Vancity enviro Visa* cardholders, Vancity is  distributing $398,000 in grants to 10 different Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island non-profit environmental organizations through the Vancity enviroFund™ program.

Celebrating its 20th year in operation, this marks the largest grant total in the program’s history, with grants ranging from $15,000 to $50,000. The grants are awarded to groups working on innovative environmental projects to make a difference in their communities.

The Vancity enviroFund is funded by Vancity enviro Visa, which donates at least five per cent of annual profits from Visa card products to the program. Each year, enviro Visa cardholders have the opportunity to vote on the issues that the program will support. For the 2009-2010 year, the key areas chosen are: Consumption and Waste Reduction, Sustainable Agriculture, and Ecosystem Preservation and Restoration.

“By choosing a Vancity enviro Visa card, cardholders make an incredible difference in our communities, and help support the important environmental work of these non-profit groups,” says Jean-Marc Handfield, Vice-President, Vancity Visa. “A big thanks to our Vancity Visa cardholders and members for the program’s success over the last 20 years.”

The voting period for the 2010/11 enviroFund grant issue areas is now open online, until Sunday May 16, 2010. Our enviro Visa cardholders are encouraged to cast their vote on the environmental interests they would like to see supported in the coming year at

The 2009 – 2010 grant recipients are:

  • David Suzuki Foundation$45,000 to fund Healthy Salmon, Healthy Communities, a project dedicated to protecting the critical habitat in Canada’s largest salmon-producing river, the Fraser, through education and empowerment.
  • Delta Farmland & Wildlife Trust - $45,000 for the Integrating Wildlife and Sustainable Farming initiative that includes working with local farmers to establish Grassland set-asides that will support wildlife, while also improving the fertility of agricultural soils.
  • Dogwood Initiative - $15,000 to support the Protecting our Wild Coast program that aims to protect important forest ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island, including at-risk wildlife habitat, recreation and renewable resource areas.
  • DRS Earthwise Society - $20,000 to the Earthwise Farmscape project that will showcase sustainable farming techniques at the Earthwise Farm that lessen the impact of farming on the natural environment.
  • Environmental Youth Alliance - $50,000 for the Backyard Bounty project that helps to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, food waste and the consumption of fossil fuels through a local approach to food systems.

  • Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS) - $48,000 to fund the Seed to Plate: Action for Local Food project that educates Langley residents on how to grow their own food and increase food self-reliance.
  • Stanley Park Ecology Society - $48,000 will go towards funding the Stanley Park State of the Park Report that will serve to identify the pressures and issues affecting the Park’s current ecological health and determine ways to restore its integrity to preserve for years to come.
  • Strathcona Business Improvement Association (SBIA) - $48,000 to fund the SBIA Materials Exchange Network. Representing more than 400 businesses in a variety of sectors, the goal of the Network is to work with these businesses to help reduce the amount of waste they produce.
  • Victoria Compost and Conservation Society - $29,000 to the Backyard Farming: Sustainable Living and Urban Gardening Skills (SLUGS) for Youth program. This engages and trains youth ages 15 to 18 on organic backyard farming skills to help them gain the skills and confidence that will empower them to make real changes.
  • Your Local Farmers Market Society/ Vancouver Farmers Markets - $50,000 will fund the Winter Food in Vancouver initiative which will see the establishment of a weekly Winter Farmers Market, creating greater public access to local food and reduce food miles by promoting local eating throughout the year.

About the Vancity enviroFund™

Since the enviroFund program began in 1990, over $2.7 million has been awarded to local groups and supported community initiatives that address local environmental issues in a positive, constructive and creative manner across the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Greater Victoria. The enviroFund grows through donations made by Vancity based on a minimum of five percent of enviro Visa card profits, and individual donations. For additional information, including details on how local non-profit groups can apply for future enviroFund grants, please visit

About Vancity

Vancity is Canada’s largest credit union, with $14.4 billion in assets, more than 414,000 members, and 59 branches throughout Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria and Squamish. Vancity is guided by a commitment to improving the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.


*Visa Int. /Vancity, Licensed User.
™Vancity enviroFund and enviroFund are registered trademarks of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union.


Media Contact:
Vancity Media Relations
Stephanie Vicic