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Get your wild ideas funded through WWF-Canada

WWF-Canada’s Go Wild grants aim to empower people to make a positive change in their own backyard.

With the support of a WWF Go Wild grant, one community used volunteers to identify and track healthy and diseased sea stars in B.C.

Marie-Chantal MARCHAND / WWF-Canada

With the support of a WWF Go Wild grant, one community used volunteers to identify and track healthy and diseased sea stars in B.C.

Planting gardens for butterflies. Directing a play about rivers. These are examples of the broad range of ideas World Wildlife Fund Canada receives every year for its Go Wild grant program.

The non-profit is accepting applications for summer/fall projects until April 28, 2017.

It’s all about empowering people to make a positive change to their local ecosystem, said program director, Sarah Winterton.

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And there is a lot people can do in their own backyards.

“We have this concept of nature as being elsewhere, being far away from where we live, but that’s not always the case,” she said.

“I really like ideas that are about creating healthy spaces for all species in our urban areas.”

The grants are open to individuals, community groups, large non-profits and everyone in between. Winterton says impact is the most important thing her team looks for.

 “Is it going to be positive for nature? But also, is it going to be effective in connecting people and engaging people?”

The grants range from $1,000 to $7,000, with support from TELUS.

Past successful applicants include citizen science projects to monitor water quality or create habitats for endangered species. But for those who are not science-oriented, there are also opportunities to spread awareness about human-animal interactions, said Winterton.

The Vancouver Aquarium, for instance, received a grant last fall to host five information panels about how to spot whales along B.C.’s coast and report them to authorities.

“We’ve had quite the range. We welcome all ideas,” said Winterton.

WWF-Canada has run the program twice each year since 2015 and receives hundreds of applications every time, she said.

Grant money can go toward equipment, promotional, permit costs and more. Up to 50 per cent can also cover wages or overhead costs, according to the WWF-Canada website.

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