110 habitats to be restored by schools across Canada

Go WildFreshwaterLand
A sky full of monarch butterflies with the Go Wild School Grants badge
New native plant gardens for pollinators and stream restoration projects are among the 110 school and campus projects being funded by WWF-Canada’s Go Wild School Grants. © naturepl.com / Sylvain Cordier / WWF

WWF-Canada’s Go Wild School Grant program to support teacher, student and campus efforts to help nature thrive.

TORONTO, January 18, 2021 –While COVID-19 has created significant challenges for schools, it hasn’t stopped students, campuses, and educators from stepping up to help wildlife. To support their efforts and help bring projects to life, World Wildlife Fund Canada is awarding Go Wild grants of $500-$1,000 to 100 schools at the K-12 level and 10 grants to post-secondary students and campuses.

Thanks to Walmart Canada’s generous support of WWF-Canada’s Living Planet @ School program, twice as many grants are being awarded than in previous years, doubling the benefits for habitats and wildlife.

Elizabeth Hendriks, vice-president of restoration and regeneration at WWF-Canada, says:

“While COVID-19 has vastly changed schooling, one thing it hasn’t changed is the passion that teachers, students and campuses have for making the world a better place. This year, WWF-Canada received a record number of Go Wild applications. We were thrilled to see the creativity and resourcefulness that students and educators brought to their projects to make sure that they could implement them safely despite changing COVID-19 public health guidelines.”

Briana Zhong, a Grade 10 student and Go Wild recipient from St. Robert Catholic High School, says:

“I am looking forward to assembling and distributing nature kits to my fellow students to raise awareness about nature conservation. I plan to connect with like-minded individuals monthly and organize activities we can complete together virtually. Although these are challenging times, students are excited to create container garden habitats for wildlife at home because taking care of nature also means taking care of our mental and physical health, and our futures.”

Since 2015, WWF-Canada has funded 369 Go Wild school and campus projects, totaling $184,500. Whether growing native plant gardens, building bat boxes, monitoring local wildlife, restoring creeks, or raising awareness about conservation issues, every Go Wild project has the same goal: to make a tangible difference for local nature and wildlife. Applications are accepted every fall with projects taking place the following spring and summer.

Some of the Go Wild School Grant projects this year include:

  • Kamloops, BC: Students at South Kamloops Secondary school will conduct a health assessment of a local creek and develop an ecosystem restoration and stewardship plan with the support of the City of Kamloops.
  • Courtenay, BC: Students at Lake Trail Middle School will work with primary school students to restore Arden Creek by planting native plants to stabilize riverbanks and shade juvenile salmon and trout.
  • Thompson, MB: Staff and students at Wapanohk Community School will add an outdoor classroom to support wildlife and engage participants in medicine wheel teachings.
  • New Maryland, NB: Students at New Maryland Elementary School will construct a brush pile of branches, decaying logs and rocks to provide habitat and ecological services to species.
  • Elmira, ON: Students at John Mahood Junior Public School will build a rain garden of pollinator plants with the dual purpose of supporting wildlife and directing stormwater away from multi-use areas.
  • Waterloo, ON: University of Waterloo’s Ecology Lab is offering online workshops that will enable the campus community to join a virtual “container garden for wildlife” build-along, creating habitat for pollinators from home.
  • Chapais, QC: Students at Chapais Secondary School will establish and maintain an edible forest.
  • Whitehorse, YK: Local First Nations members will teach the medicinal uses of local plants to students at Golden Horn Elementary School.

For a complete list of Go Wild School Grant projects, visit wwf.ca/schoolgrants

About World Wildlife Fund Canada 
WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more information, visit wwf.ca.

For more information contact: Emily Vandermeer, communications specialist, [email protected]