Natural Infrastructure Grant Program Available for Municipalities
The Federal Government has created a $200 million program, called the Natural Infrastructure Fund, for projects that use natural or hybrid approaches to protect the natural environment, support healthy and resilient communities, contribute to economic growth, and improve access to nature for Canadians. This program is part of the larger Investing in Canada Plan, which is a federal initiative to invest $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
There are two funding streams being offered under the Natural Infrastructure Fund. The first is the large projects stream which will be open to large cities that have established natural infrastructure strategies. There is also a small projects stream for communities to execute smaller natural and hybrid infrastructure projects.
Projects must reflect one of the four categories listed below:
- Planting or restoring green space (e.g., urban forests, green roofs, parks, and community gardens);
- Construction or restoration of naturalized water retention or detention systems (naturalized stormwater ponds, wetlands, and coastal restoration);
- Naturalized water diversion or infiltration (e.g., establishment of living dykes, rain gardens, bioswales, and permeable land cover); and/or,
- Natural infrastructure or hybrid infrastructure projects supporting biodiversity and connectivity.
Projects with costs between $20,000 and $350,000 would be funded through grant agreements. Eligible projects for grants are evaluated against the following merit criteria:
- At least one community service:
- Climate change resilience services (e.g., erosion prevention, flood protection).
- Environmental quality services (e.g., wastewater treatment, stormwater diversion).
- Access to nature services (e.g., public green space).
- Biodiversity and habitat services (e.g., improved ecological integrity or connectivity).
- Climate change mitigation services (e.g., energy efficiency, carbon sequestration).
- Project readiness
- Economic co-benefits
Projects may be funded through Contribution Agreements if total eligible costs are over $250,000 and up to and including $3 million. Projects funded through contributions will receive a maximum contribution of $1 million.
All eligible projects contributions are evaluated against the same criteria as grants, in addition to:
- At least two community services;
- Identified need and priority;
- Social inclusion; and
- Climate change impact.
Applications must be submitted by September 27, 2022. Visit Infrastructure Canada for more information on how to apply.