HSBC's support for Evergreen's community and youth outreach allows kids to connect with nature

VANCOUVER, June 27, 2011 /CNW/ - Across Canada, over a thousand children and youth who rarely get a chance to climb trees or feel the grass under their feet will be getting an opportunity to connect with nature.  A donation of $400,000 over two years from HSBC Bank Canada, and an additional one-time donation of $200,000 from HSBC Holdings plc in the U.K., will support the Evergreen Common Grounds program nationally, HSBC-Evergreen Youth Action Series nationally and the HSBC Student Bursary Program at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto.

In Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, some 200-250 high-needs and at-risk youth will experience nature first-hand through workshops and plantings, learning everything from urban agriculture to water conservation through the HSBC-Evergreen Youth Action Series.

In Vancouver and various Canadian cities, the Evergreen Common Grounds program engages community volunteers to restore and improve the health of local environments. Volunteers help advance the biodiversity of numerous parks and habitats which affects biological change, increases habitat and creates a positive ecological difference.

"By supporting environmental organizations such as Evergreen, HSBC is able to connect with nature and contribute to revitalizing the urban environments that we live and work in," said Sandra Stuart, Chief Operating Officer, HSBC Bank Canada. "Both HSBC and Evergreen have a commitment to the environment and our $600,000 donation to Evergreen will help engage volunteers, educate youth and restore natural habitats in cities across Canada."

Canadian children spend an average of 44 hours a week in front of a computer or TV screen, and contact with nature is rapidly declining. With 86% of Canadians concerned that young people growing up in big cities are losing touch with nature, youth programs like those at Evergreen are crucial.

"Research and our experience shows that education through connecting with nature builds healthy and confident young minds," explained Geoff Cape, Executive Director of Evergreen. "This donation from HSBC will go a long way in allowing us to give high-needs kids with no backyards the chance to experience nature."

Fifty HSBC Bank Canada employees, family and friends saw their donation at work first-hand, when they joined the Evergreen team at Jericho Park recently to plant more than 475 shrubs, ferns and wildflowers to help restore the park's natural habitat.  The volunteers also enjoyed a nature walk where they learned about the history of the park and its natural state.

About Evergreen
Evergreen is a national not-for-profit organization that makes cities more livable. By deepening the connection between people and nature, and empowering Canadians to take a hands-on approach to their urban environments, Evergreen is improving the health of our cities—now and for the future.

About HSBC
HSBC Bank Canada, a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc, has more than 260 offices, including over 140 bank branches, and is the leading international bank in Canada. With around 7,500 offices in 87 countries and territories and assets of US$2,455 billion at 31 December 2010, the HSBC Group is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organizations.

Image with caption: "Sandra Stuart, Chief Operating Officer, HSBC Bank Canada, along with Evergreen staff and 50 HSBC employees, family and friends celebrate HSBC's $600,000 donation to Evergreen with a day of planting native shrubs, ferns and wildflowers in Jericho Park, Vancouver. (CNW Group/Evergreen)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110627_C9529_PHOTO_EN_01.jpg

Image with caption: "To prepare for tree planting, Nigel Fernandes, HSBC Bank Canada, and daughter Nadine pull English ivy, an invasive species to the natural habitat of the Jericho Park area. (CNW Group/Evergreen)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110627_C9529_PHOTO_EN_02.jpg

SOURCE Evergreen

For further information:

Anthony Westenberg
Evergreen Communications
416-596-1495 ex. 332
awestenberg@evergreen.ca

Ernest Yee
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
HSBC Bank Canada
604-641-2973

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