WWF-Canada to fund 45 new student projects to restore and protect Canadian habitats

Go Wild

The organization’s Go Wild Grants Program is part of a 10-year plan to Regenerate Canada 

TORONTO, February 3, 2023WWF-Canada is pleased to award 45 Go Wild Grants to projects from primary, secondary and post-secondary schools across the country. The grants, valued at $1,500–2,000, will support student activities that aim to protect or restore nature in schoolyards, campuses and communities. Go Wild Grants are part of WWF-Canada’s 10-year strategy to Regenerate Canada, which includes the goals of restoring one million hectares for biodiversity and climate and engaging people to take 10 million actions for nature by 2030.   

Since 2015, WWF-Canada has funded 470 Go Wild school and campus projects, for a total of $318,960. This year, these projects include growing native plant gardens, creating outdoor education areas, creating habitats for birds and pollinators, and growing an Indigenous medicinal garden. No matter the initiative, Go Wild projects will make a tangible difference for local nature and wildlife.  

The grants help school communities learn about the history and biodiversity of their local ecosystems, how they work and what they need to thrive. Students also learn to take action for nature by protecting habitats or restoring them with native plants, flowers or trees. Finally, they create a lasting impact by connecting with others in their communities and with nature.  

Applications are accepted every fall, with projects taking place the following spring and summer. 

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

“We’re thrilled to be able to fund 45 new Go Wild projects in 2023. Students and educators are not only restoring and protecting important local habitats to help biodiversity and the climate, but they’re also creating lifelong connections to nature. The habitats that benefit from this work — which can be found all across Canada — will continue to do so for decades.”     

Some of the Go Wild Grant projects for 2023 include:  

  • Whitehorse, YU: Students at Jack Hulland Elementary School will create outdoor education areas in partnership with members of the First Nation community to promote land-based learning and respect for wildlife. 
  • Maple Ridge, BC: Kindergarten and grade one students at c̓əsqənelə Elementary School will create a pollinator garden with raised garden beds and local pollinator-friendly plants. 
  • Windsor, ON: James L. Dunn Public School students will create a habitat demonstration and learning garden for birds and pollinators to teach students about urban wildlife and their habitat requirements. 
  • Oromocto, NB: Oromocto High School will create a wildlife meadow by converting a large portion of their school grounds into a “no mow” protected wild zone where plants and wildlife can live and thrive. 
  • Thunder Bay, ON: Lakehead University will create an educational and functional native planting space adjacent to the campus firepit to extend its use for ceremonial and culinary purposes, including smudging and tea-making, allow Indigenous people accessible and free use of traditional ceremonial and culinary plants, and educate people who already use this space on the importance of native plants to culture and biodiversity.  

The  Go Wild Grants program is a part of WWF-Canada’s Living Planet @ School and Living Planet @ Campus programs. They are generously supported by Walmart Canada and Nissan Canada Foundation. For a complete list of Go Wild Grant projects, visit wwf.ca/schoolgrants.  

For more information, contact [email protected]