Wal-Mart Evergreen Green Grants help 65 Canadian community groups bring nature back to their cities



    TORONTO, June 3 /CNW/ - As part of Canadian Environment Week and the
annual Wal-Mart Evergreen Green Grant program, 65 local community groups will
each receive funds of up to $10,000 for community projects supporting urban
naturalization and the local environment. These Green Grants, sponsored by
Wal-Mart Canada and led by Evergreen, support the restoration and stewardship
of community green space in Canada.
    In its fourth year, Green Grants is the largest corporately-funded
program of its kind in Canada, and is part of Wal-Mart Canada's $3.9 million
commitment to Evergreen, a not-for-profit organization that makes cities more
livable by deepening the connection between people and nature. Since 2005,
Wal-Mart Canada and Evergreen have provided approximately $1.3 million in
grants to more than 205 projects across Canada. They will contribute more than
$1.3 million more over the next three years.
    Community engagement and ongoing stewardship are core pillars of the
Green Grants program. Wal-Mart stores are matched with as many granted
community groups as possible, with stores and associates working directly to
help local projects succeed.
    With a guiding principle of naturalizing public spaces by planting native
species of flora, Green Grants projects vary widely. This year they include
the creation of a children's garden in Ottawa, Calgary's first community
garden focused on food security issues, restoration of urban streams in
Surrey, BC, and a wheelchair-accessible public garden in Annapolis Royal, NS.
    "Community groups working on naturalization projects are typically
volunteer run and operate with very small budgets," says Geoff Cape, executive
director, Evergreen. "With their commitment and spirit, these groups make
amazing things happen on the ground. These Green Grants have a significant
impact and often mean a project can move forward and visions can be realized."
    "While we continue to make our business more sustainable through changes
to our operations and merchandise, we're also keen to help others make
environmental change," said David Cheesewright, Wal-Mart Canada's president
and CEO. "We're a community-oriented company eager to support community-driven
improvements. With the help of Evergreen and the hard work of the groups we
fund, we're empowering people nationwide to beautify and improve their local
environment."
    This year, the 65 Green Grants have been distributed to groups in the
following communities:

    Newfoundland: St. John's
    Nova Scotia: Halifax, Annapolis Royal
    New Brunswick: Knowlesville, Sackville
    Quebec: Montreal, Laval, La Salle, Sainte-Andre, Saint-Faustin, Gatineau,
    Ville La Baie
    Ontario: Toronto, Orillia, Woodstock, Hamilton, Ottawa, Cambridge,
    Thunder Bay, Scarborough, Barrie, Aurora, Bolton, Manotick, Richmond
    Hill, Waterloo, Picton, Newmarket, Midland, Kingston, Belmont, Palgrave
    Manitoba: Winnipeg, Brandon
    Saskatchewan: Leader, Yorkton, Weyburn, Maryfield, Regina
    Alberta: Pincher Creek, Calgary
    British Columbia: West Vancouver, Langley, Richmond, Surrey, Castlegar,
    Merville, Victoria, Galiano Island, Fernie

    Wal-Mart has been actively involved in environmental sustainability since
2005 and working towards three long-term goals globally and in Canada:

    
    1.  To produce zero waste;
    2.  To be powered 100 per cent by renewable energy; and,
    3.  To make more environmentally preferable products available to
        customers.
    

    About Evergreen

    Evergreen is a 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 improving their urban environments,
Evergreen is improving the health of our cities - now and for the future.

    About Wal-Mart Canada

    Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Wal-Mart Canada Corp. operates 299
retail outlets nationwide. The company's vision is to demonstrate
environmental leadership by reducing the ecological impact of its operations
through company-wide programs focused on waste, energy and products, as well
as outreach programs that preserve and enhance local environments. For more
information on how Wal-Mart Canada is contributing to the environment, please
visit www.forthegreenergood.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Marilotte Bloemen, Evergreen, Mobile: (416)
731-3211; Karin Campbell, Wal-Mart Canada, Telephone: (905) 821-2111 ext.
4042


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