MEC announces $600,000 in community grants for outdoor recreation and environmental initiatives in Canada

58 projects across the country benefit from the Co-op's donations

VANCOUVER, Nov. 29, 2011 /CNW/ - Mountain Equipment Co-op™ (MEC) has announced the fall recipients of its community grants program, with 58 community-based environmental and outdoor recreation projects awarded a total of $604,389. These grants are announced twice each year, with over $1.3 million invested by MEC for 2011.

"There are many inspiring initiatives underway in Canada, helping to protect our important outdoor places and enabling people to get outside to enjoy them. As an outdoor retailer we are deeply committed to supporting this community, and grants are one way of doing that." said MEC director of sustainability Esther Speck. "We've invested $18.6 million since the program was introduced in 1987. One per cent of every purchase is invested in community contributions, thanks to MEC members who make this possible."

The community grants program offers funding for projects under the categories of environmental conservation, advocacy, education, and outdoor recreation. Twice each year, formal applications for grants are reviewed by regional and national committees made up of MEC members and staff, who select the projects that receive support.

The awarded grants for fall 2011 range in dollar value from $500 to $55,000. Some highlights include:

  • $20,300 to The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ontario, for research into the size and distribution of a population of threatened Grey Fox on Pelee Island - the first time the animal has been studied in Ontario.
  • $14,000 to the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC) to develop a pocket map of North Shore cycling routes.
  • $5,000 to the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation for their bluff eco-system stewardship project, raising awareness about why caring for bluffs is important
  • $12,900 to the Friends of Kananaskis Cooperating Society for a volunteer engagement program aimed at giving the community a chance to participate in stewardship and improvement of the park.
  • $3,000 to Whitewater Ontario to support establishing and maintaining access to Ontario's whitewater paddling destinations for the paddling community.
  • $10,000 to Cycling Nova Scotia to develop its capacity to effectively mobilize the cycling community to engage and achieve progress in bicycle related policy and infrastructure in the province.

The community grants program is part of the retailer's continued support for outdoor recreation and environmental conservation in Canada. As a member of 1% For The Planet, MEC is committed to investing one percent of total sales every year to environmental initiatives.

Environmental and outdoor recreation groups can apply online for the next round of community contributions support at mec.ca/sustainability. The deadline for spring 2012 grants is March 10, 2012.

About MEC

Currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, Mountain Equipment Co-op is Canada's leading retailer of clothing, gear, and services for outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, and paddlesports. MEC has more than three million members throughout Canada, whom it serves through 14 destination stores in six provinces as well as mec.ca. Widely recognized for its commitment to sustainability, MEC is a member of 1% For The Planet and supports various outdoor recreation and environmental initiatives through its community grants program. Anyone can join MEC and become part-owner in the Co-op, by purchasing a $5 lifetime individual membership. More information about MEC is available at www.mec.ca.

SOURCE MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT CO-OP

For further information:

Deborah Robinson
Public Relations Coordinator
604.707.3355 (direct)
deborah.robinson@mec.ca

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MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT CO-OP

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