Join us

Vancity enviroFund™ distributes over half a million dollars

Vancity enviroFund™ distributes over half a million dollars to innovative organizations working on environmental issues

December 7th, 2011 - Vancouver, BC - Fifteen innovative organizations working on local environmental issues will gather this evening at a celebration at the Vancouver Maritime Museum to honor this year's Vancity's enviroFund™ recipients, who together will receive more than half a million dollars. Vancity enviroTM Visa* cardholders were asked to vote on which environmental areas they wanted to support this fall, and ecosystem preservation and restoration emerged as a clear topic of interest.

"We want to make a positive impact where we work and live, that's why we created this fund. Our members and these organizations share a common goal; to protect our natural environment so that it remains healthy and vibrant. It's because of the support from our members this fund has been so successful," says Jean-Marc Handfield, Vice President Visa and Payment Solutions. "We do things differently at Vancity and this is a great example of how we can all put money to good by making a choice of where our money goes."

Each year Vancity provides at least five per cent of annual enviro Visa profits towards community projects that make an impact by helping to address local environmental concerns. The fund was created in 1990, and since that time almost $4 million has been distributed to 130 organizations in communities throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Greater Victoria.

David Berge, Senior Vice President Community Investment at Vancity suggests, "The enviro Visa card is excellent for people who want to support organizations that are passionate about the environment. We are proud to be associated with organizations that are aligned with our vision of building healthy, sustainable communities that grow and prosper in neighborhoods throughout British Columbia."

2011 enviroFund™ grant recipients this fall include:

A Rocha Canada

Restoring Streamside Habitats for Salmon and Wildlife ($40,000)
The Little Campbell River is one of the province's most endangered rivers. This project will rehabilitate existing habitat and make it easier for salmon, birds and other wildlife to thrive.

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

Protecting Sensitive Ecosystems on Bowen Island ($40,000)
To work to protect sensitive ecosystems on Bowen Island.

David Suzuki Foundation

Protecting our Bluebelt/Greenbelt ($40,000)
This project will analyze Metro Vancouver's regional growth strategy, and identify best practices for urban planning and resource management in ecologically sensitive areas throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.

Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust

Establishing Grasslands on the Lower Fraser ($50,000)
This project will help local farmers restore the ecological function of grassland habitat by establishing and maintaining up to 550 acres of grassland set-asides in Delta and Richmond.

Dogwood Initiative

Imagining a Sustainable Region ($20,000)
The goal of this project: educate Victoria and area residents about land use policies, and motivate them to collaboratively develop policy recommendations that support sustainable economic, social and environmental initiatives.

Fraser Basin Council Society

Taking Care of Cultus Lake ($40,000)
Visited by millions every year, Cultus Lake is one of the most popular recreation destinations in the Lower Mainland. There's just one problem: all that activity can make the lake and surrounding habitat a dirty place for wildlife. This project aims to provide the lake with some much-needed clean-up, and reverse the declining health of the area's watershed.

Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team Society

Protecting Rare Ecosystems in our Communities ($32,000)
This project will facilitate communication among local stakeholders as they work to protect rare Garry Oak ecosystems and threatened species in and around Greater Victoria.

Georgia Strait Alliance

Connecting Communities to a Healthy Strait ($30,000)
This project will create an online, interactive resource guide and directory of environmental issues related to BC's most heavily-trafficked coastal waterway, to help communities protect its biodiversity.

Habitat Acquisition Trust

Ayum Estuary: A New Tool for Conservation ($40,000)
This project will protect the fragile marine ecosystems around the Ayum Estuary, which supports a wide range of marine birds, mammals, fish and Olympia oysters—all of which were severely damaged by industrial activity during the past century.

Langley Environmental Partners Society

Bertrand Watershed Education Team ($40,000)
Bertrand Creek is home to Coho salmon, and two endangered species of resident fish. This project will educate private landowners on properties adjacent to the creek about methods of protecting and enhancing threatened habitat.

Mayne Island Conservancy Society

Mayne Island Community Stewardship Program ($50,000)
This project will work to educate residents about how to keep Mayne Island vibrant, through ecosystem stewardship, habitat restoration, collaboration with government and private landowners and other worthy conservation efforts.

South Coast Conservation Program

Conserving Biodiversity on BC's South Coast ($25,000)
By developing fun, educational events that engage the public in measuring ecosystem diversity, this project will highlight the importance of conservation and develop strategies to protect the sensitive ecosystems in Harrison Hot Springs and Stanley Park.

Stanley Park Ecology Society

Stanley Park Bog Restoration and Related Action ($50,000)
The Beaver Lake watershed in the heart of Stanley Park is one of only three remnant salmon streams in Vancouver. This project aims to remove invasive flora and restore the bio-diverse wetland to its natural state.

Ustlahn Social Society

Ustlahn Indigenous Plants Restoration/Propagation ($48,000)
This project will remove invasive species and restore destroyed habitat around the Capilano Estuary. Indigenous fruits and vegetables traditionally used by the Squamish Nation will also be planted, to preserve these culturally important species.

West Coast Environmental Law Research Foundation

Resilient, Responsive Communities: Building the Legal Framework ($40,000)
This project will develop specific legal strategies to help address the issues of climate change adaptation and watershed management in Metro Vancouver and Greater Victoria.

About Vancity enviroFund™

Each year Vancity provides at least five per cent of annual enviro Visa profits towards community projects that make an impact by helping to address local environmental concerns. Through daily purchases with a Vancity enviro Visa, cardholders make an incredible difference in our communities by supporting not-for-profit groups throughout our operating area. Cardholders can also get involved with these groups by attending workshops held by the recipients, volunteering, or by donating their reward points to the Vancity Community Foundation.

Please visit to learn more.

About Vancity

At Vancity we make you good money by putting money to good. Good Money™ is changing how we see wealth; its members helping members meet their financial goals, no matter how big or small. Since 1994, we've invested over $194 million of our profits in our members and the communities we serve. Vancity is a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values—a network of the world's leading sustainable banks sharing a commitment to achieving triple-bottom-line impact through responsible banking practices. Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with over $15.5 billion in assets, more than 418,000 members and 59 branches throughout Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria and Squamish. | @vancity.

enviro™, enviroFund™, Make Good Money™ and Vancity™ are trademarks of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union.

* Visa Int./Vancity, Licensed User.


Who to contact

For more information or interviews please contact: