Enhancing Green Spaces
in Communities
People, Plants and Pride… Growing Together

CN EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up

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 The 2015 CN EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up grant recipients have been announced! Click here to view the press release and to view this year’s winners.

Applications for 2016 will be available on our website in the next upcoming weeks.

Thank you for your interest in CN EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up program!

CN EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up will provide funding of up to $25,000 for the greening of municipal and First Nations properties across Canada, especially in communities along its rail lines.

Projects should address local issues and provide a means for engagement at the local level by indicating how local community groups and service clubs would be involved and are in support of the project. The projects may also address concerns related to water conservation, naturalization, stewardship or environmentally friendly transportation (i.e., trails).

Please note that the projects can be located throughout the community, not necessarily near the rail line.


For any information please contact info@cnfromthegroundup.ca

Describe the proposed community project in detail. Please explain how assistance from CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up
will enhance your community’s environmental/social health and wellbeing.

  • What is the community need and how is it addressed 
    by your project?
  • What are the lasting benefits to the community?
  • Include your proposed timeframe.

Describe how your community (municipality, aboriginal group, businesses/institutions/residents/ community groups/organizations) will be involved in the project – including planning, design, construction and maintenance.

  • How are community volunteers and volunteer 
    organizations expected to participate?
  • How will the community maintain interest in the 
    project in future years?

Demonstrate how the project will be sustained.

  • Please include resolutions and/or commitments that demonstrate that the project will receive on-going maintenance.

Please provide details of professional expertise available, both in terms of staff and volunteers, as well as any existing programs that would help implement your project. Please provide information relating to previous successfully implemented projects to demonstrate your ability to deliver the project from conception to construction.

Describe how Tree Canada and Communities in Bloom and the program sponsor, CN EcoConnexions, will be recognized for their contribution.

  • Please include information on logo usage, launch events, press conference, placement of print advertisements in the local media, etc.

Describe how you will measure project success.

  • How will the project be evaluated for success?
  • How will you share the results of your project?
  • In order to receive payment, the recipient must submit a final report to Tree Canada and Communities in Bloom, no later than the deadline.

Please provide a breakdown of all project costs.

  • In-kind contributions refer to any costs directly associated with work not paid for directly by the applicant for this project.

Please provide an accounting of the revenues and expenses associated with your project including planting stock costs, landscaping (i.e., grading, groundcovers), site preparation and communications



As North America’s leading railroad, CN’s network extends to three North American coasts, passing through a wide range of urban and rural communities.We encourage those communities along the CN corridor to take environmental action by improving their communities through natural landscaping, groundcover improvement, floral displays and healthy urban forests.

CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up is intended to enhance your community’s environmental/social health and wellbeing as it relates to one or more of the following:

  • Urban forests: Planting, maintaining and protecting trees in your community.Trees help purify air, help manage storm water, provide shade and lower stress indicators.Trees bring economic value to property owners in energy savings and increased property value.They absorb carbon dioxide to clean the air, decrease soil erosion
    to help keep water supplies pure, create shade, provide habitat for songbirds and other wildlife and add beauty to neighbourhoods and homes.
  • Traffic calming and safety: Vegetation creates natural noise, visual and movement barriers in parks and public lands along tracks to discourage access to rights-of-way and yards and promote rail safety. Emerging research is drawing links between street trees and their positive effect on driving behaviour, safety perception and speed
  • School greening: Encouraging children to play outdoors within natural treed areas promotes healthy active living, an appreciation for nature and
    a better environmental footprint for the school in the community.
  • Transforming spaces: Brownfield conversion initiatives that promote recreation and healthy lifestyles for youth and families by changing abandoned and
    ugly areas into vibrant and active ones.This can involve soil replacement, sod installation, raised bed construction and plant, shrub and tree planting.
  • Naturalized areas, park creation or restoration: Sod, raised beds, planters and other natural structures. Areas lacking imagination can be dramatically improved through proper placement of structures to allow the planting of more natural areas.

The CN EcoConnexions objective is to promote the greening of municipal properties across Canada, especially in communities along its rail lines. CN EcoConnexions, with its partners Tree Canada and Communities in Bloom, will help
Canadian municipalities establish tree plantings in a sustainable, environmentally responsible manner.

  • CN EcoConnexions’ preference is for the use of native trees, a mix of deciduous and conifers, along with some shrubs.
  • CN EcoConnexions recognizes non-native plants may have to be used in some areas, due to proximity or soil condition issues.
  • CN EcoConnexions’ preference is for a mix of many species planted at the same site.
  • All planting plans must be approved by CN EcoConnexions and its partners to ensure these program objectives are met.

Applications will be evaluated on a point system. Points will be awarded for the thoroughness of the submission in meeting the criteria in each of the following areas:

  • Overall project
  • Community engagement
  • Sustainable development
  • Technical expertise
  • Recognition of CN’s funding
  • Budget


CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up will provide funding up to $25,000 per project, however it will not fund 100% of project costs. Preference will be given to projects that can demonstrate multiple funding sources. A minimum of 50 per cent matching funding must come from other sources (such as municipalities, service
club, donations, etc.) and can include in-kind contributions.

The following is a list of components non-eligible for funding under this program:

  • Hard landscaping such as paving stones, fencing
  • Urban furniture
  • Play structures
  • Annual maintenance (although plans must show how annual maintenance will be performed)
  • Professional fees for design, planning and supervision



For any information please contact info@cnfromthegroundup.ca