Dare to Dream “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” — Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

2019 EcoFriendly Action Grants

In 2019, 54 organizations and individuals in Saskatchewan applied for an EcoFriendly Action Grant because they believed that they could make a difference by undertaking a project to protect, preserve, or repair our natural environment. EcoFriendly Sask supported their efforts with over $33,600 in grants.

From individuals and small rural communities to provincial organizations, their efforts involved bees and other pollinators, waste reduction, food security, land and water, trees and shrubs, nature activities for kids, organizational development, and Saskatoon’s NatureCity Festival. Take a look at what they accomplished.

“Everything has a small beginning.” — Cicero
Bees & Other Pollinators

Bees and other pollinators were the centre of attention for 5 different groups, helping children and adults to increase their understanding of sustainable food production.

Children and parents celebrated Earth Day at Redvers Library. Upcycled bee houses, plant pots, and books were all part of a fun and informative afternoon.
A beekeeper shared his knowledge of bees at Pangman Library and the group installed a bee house outside their building.
Waseca Communities in Bloom has started work on a pollinator garden.
The Saskatoon Food Bank’s Garden Patch relocated their 4 beehives to provide additional protection for both the bees and human visitors.
A group of University of Saskatchewan students installed bee hotels on campus and at Wanuskewin Heritage Park.
Waste Reduction
Lawson Heights School in Saskatoon and Argyle School in Regina invested in vermicomposting bins to reduce lunch food waste and nourish their school gardens.
SunWest Distance Learning purchased material for a zero waste, leave no trace camping trip by their Outdoor Ed – Survival School class.
Hanley School purchased reusable camping equipment for the Outdoor Club to use on its upcoming trip to Grey Owl’s cabin.
Gravelbourg Green Vert Initiatives is using free newspaper advertising and community events to encourage local residents to recycle more and waste less. They had a display at the town’s Solstice Festival and held a Repair Café in October.
St. Augustine School in Wilcox purchased reusable plates and cutlery to reduce waste from hot lunches. Radville United Church has replaced styrofoam soup bowls with reusable ones.
Two individuals – Paula Gioino and Mary delaTorre – organized clothing swaps to promote reuse.
YMCA Saskatoon set up composting and recycling bins at their Blackstrap Lake Day Camp.
14 organizations took advantage of EcoFriendly Clean-Up grants to spring-clean their communities.
Food Security
The Saskatoon Food Council, in collaboration with CHEP Good Food and the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre, purchased weigh scales to document the amount and importance of local food production.
Campus Regina Public installed a cross-curricular hydroponics project to support food security.
Land & Water
Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan’s Native Prairie Speaker series helps people learn about and appreciate the prairies.
Father Robinson School purchased binoculars, bug catchers, and pocket microscopes to use when exploring Saskatoon’s Northeast Swale. Sylvia Fedoruk School is using its EcoFriendly Action Grant to ensure that 11 K-3 classes have bus transportation for visits to the Swale.
Children in Osler, Martensville, and Warman (this coming spring) tested their local water quality and learned about water plants and critters and how to be good water stewards from the South Saskatchewan Watershed Stewards.
20 farmers attended a talk organized by Gravelbourg’s Economic Development Office on regenerative agriculture and the option of reducing to a minimum the use of chemicals.
One School One Farm Shelterbelt Project is connecting urban youth and rural farms through planting shelterbelts that support pollinators, sequester carbon, prevent erosion, and maintain the water cycle.
SaskOutdoors hosted an ecotour of Prince Albert National Park during the 2019 Environmental Education and Communication conference.
Trees & Shrubs
A group of University of Saskatchewan students has planted a fruit-bearing shelter belt along the Meewasin trail.
Lipton School planted bird-friendly native trees and shrubs in their schoolground. Cannington Lake Resort Hamlet planted edible fruit trees for birds and wildlife.
Willow Cree Health Station, Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation, plans to establish a food forest and wellness garden to encourage outdoor activity and connection with nature.
Nature Activities for Kids
The Asokan Project was a summer youth program on conservation and biodiversity at Chief Poundmaker School.
CISV Saskatoon camp participants visited a farm in the aspen parkland. Campers weeded, spread manure, discussed pollination and companion planting, harvested vegetables, and went for a nature walk.
Winston Knoll Collegiate Environmental Club requested assistance to allow additional students to participate in a national dialogue on biodiversity.
Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan needed help to purchase supplies for nature activities at the 2020 Gone Wild for Wildlife.
Organizational Development
Nature Regina purchased a banner to help them raise their profile and attract new members.
The Stewards and Stakeholders of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area have formed a non-profit corporation. They welcome volunteers and donations to help protect this natural area.
Kenosee Boys and Girls Club installed a solar thermal heater to make their camp more environmentally friendly.
Dustin Stupnikoff, a grade 8 teacher at St. Augustine School, Saskatoon, purchased sustainable classroom materials to reinforce class sessions on the environment.
Rob Kelly attended a symposium on Putting Beavers to Work for Watershed Resiliency and Restoration on behalf of Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation and EcoFriendly Sask. Our long-term plan is to assist communities and property-owners to co-exist with beavers.
Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation built a second pre-release fox pen.
Troutreach Saskatchewan is hard at work describing a new species of mayfly and two insect species they discovered this past summer that are new to Saskatchewan.
NatureCity Festival
Wild About Saskatoon’s NatureCity Festival is a unique, made-in-Saskatoon celebration, showcasing the one-of-a-kind place we call home. EcoFriendly Sask is a founding and ongoing sponsor of the Festival.
As a result of the 2019 Festival, Saskatoon is about to become only the second city in Canada to join the Urban Wildlife Information Network, a scientific project dedicated to understanding how insects, birds, and mammals lead wild lives in urban settings – and how we can help them thrive.
“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” – Arthur C. Clarke
EcoFriendly Action Grants are small grants (usually $500) supporting Saskatchewan projects that will protect, repair, or preserve the local environment. This can be direct (habitat restoration, energy conservation) or indirect (environmental education, promotion of local natural habitats). Projects should benefit the natural environment and not just people. Applicants can be individuals, schools, or community groups and institutions in Saskatchewan. Apply now at http://www.ecofriendlysask.ca/p/action-grants.html


Created with images by Andrew McKinlay, Action Grant participants, sebastien rosset - "untitled image" • Fahmi Ariza - "untitled image" • Ihor Malytskyi - "untitled image"