Thursday 21 January 2021

2020 EcoFriendly Action Grants

Northern Leopard frog

EcoFriendly Sask provided over $24,000 in EcoFriendly Sask Action Grants to 35 individuals and organizations in 2020. It was a difficult year and some organizations were unable to use their grant due to Covid-19, but many others were successful. 

Meeting the Challenge 
The Saskatoon Zoo Society met the Covid challenge by taking their school programming online. An EcoFriendly Action Grant ensured that 5 classes that could not otherwise have afforded the program were able to participate. 128 students took a virtual tour of the zoo and loved seeing the live animals in addition to an online presentation. 

Spring clean-ups were harder to organize this year as it was so important to maintain social distancing and proper hygiene. Wildernook Fresh Air Learning didn’t let that stop them from organizing two clean-up events. 132 people took part in the Rubbish Roundup, collecting 104 bags of garbage in 40 different areas. Students in 6 Saskatoon classes participated in an Earth Day Challenge to see who could collect the most garbage. 

Waste Reduction 
Three organizations were keen to reduce waste in 2020. UCan YQR received funding to help them get off the ground. Their goal is to use traditional preserving techniques to help keep food out of landfills and get it into the hands of those that need it most. 

Coronach EDY Community Development Co-operative and SK Eco Solutions asked for help in setting up plastic recycling and conversion projects. The Coronach group used open-source blueprints from Precious Plastic to build shredder, extrusion, and press machines. Sophia and Kai, two high school students in Saskatoon, are behind SK Eco Solutions. They purchased a PetBot to turn plastic bottles into filament and are looking forward to getting their project out of the testing phase in 2021. 

Troutreach Saskatchewan is studying winter activity in Northern Leopard Frogs after noticing groups overwintering under the ice in the Qu’Appelle River. They want to discover if frog distribution under the ice is uniform or dependent on specific habitats (e.g. riffles or pools) and whether the frogs are foraging for food below the ice. This information will help manage instream flow and protect critical frog habitats. 

The Whitewood Recreation Association received a grant to help them establish a nature trail and clean up the current ecosystem. 

Langenburg & District Daycare Co-operative continues to improve its outdoor space for children and wildlife. This year they added native plants as well as bird and bat boxes. St. Michael’s School, Weyburn, is developing a traditional medicine garden in the schoolyard, while the Boreal Rangers Outdoor Adventure 4-H Club families cleaned up rubbish and received a grant to purchase reusable camping equipment and are looking forward to the day when they can go camping together again. 

The Grade 10 English Language Arts teacher at Delisle Composite School believes her students are thirsty for knowledge and was eager to provide them with additional resources centring on the environment and our ecosystems. She used an EcoFriendly Action Grant to purchase novels, non-fiction, graphic novels, poetry, and anthologies for students to read and discuss. 

EcoFriendly Action Grants are small grants (usually $500) to support projects that protect, preserve, or repair the natural environment.

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Article updated: SK Eco Solutions are turning plastic bottles into filament

A full list of upcoming events (online and in person) can be found on the EcoFriendly Sask Calendar