MONTREAL, May 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) today announced the successful candidates for its 2013 From the Ground Up program. Of the 115 applications received in the program's second year, 30 communities were selected to receive grants of up to $25,000 each. The program's objective is to promote the greening of municipal properties across Canada, especially areas in close proximity to rail lines. CN, with its partners Tree Canada and Communities in Bloom, will help Canadian municipalities establish tree planting and green space enhancement initiatives in a sustainable, environmentally responsible manner.
"CN is absolutely delighted with the outstanding response to our CN EcoConnexions - From the Ground Up program," said Claude Mongeau, CN President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are especially proud of the links being developed between and amongst the various participants - CN, Communities in Bloom, Tree Canada, dozens of communities across Canada, local groups and organizations, environmental associations - all being brought together to promote a common goal: environmentally sustainable greening projects across the country."
CN and its partners are pleased with the response and the quality of the applications. The vast majority of the projects submitted clearly demonstrated the importance of tree planting and green spaces in the development and wellbeing of communities.
The funds provided by CN will allow the communities to put into action environmental initiatives and to engage local stakeholders in community sustainable development plans.
Successful candidates were chosen on the basis of rigourous selection criteria designed and overseen by CN's program partners, Tree Canada and Communities in Bloom. The two organizations rated each application on those criteria and presented a ranked list of programs to CN. CN then selected final candidates from the top-ranked communities.
"CN thanks the highly qualified judges provided by Tree Canada and Communities in Bloom, who have the difficult task of selecting from so many deserving applications," said Mr. Mongeau. "We are confident that the selected projects offer solid benefits to the communities involved."
Tree planting and green spaces enhancement projects will begin in the coming months in the selected communities. The work will be guided and supported by Communities in Bloom and Tree Canada to ensure the long-term viability of each project.
"CN has led the way in connecting Canadians for close to a century," said Tree Canada President Michael Rosen. "Through opportunities like From the Ground Up, CN is helping municipalities and Aboriginal communities improve our national landscape for future generations to enjoy. Tree Canada is honoured to be a part of this fantastic initiative."
"Communities in Bloom is looking forward to working with the communities in providing solutions to our environmental challenges," said Raymond Carrière, Founding President of Communities in Bloom. "The CN EcoConnexions - From the Ground Up projects will be excellent demonstrations of environmental stewardship and sustainability."
CN EcoConnexions - From the Ground Up 2013 successful applicants
Sea to Sky Clean Air Society (Squamish - Whistler), BC
Fraser Valley Regional District, BC
Town of Smithers, BC
Tit'q'et First Nation, BC
Town of Whitecourt, AB
Hamlet of Lac La Biche, AB
Westlock Blooms Foundation (Town of Westlock), AB
City of Lloydminster, AB
Town of Ituna, SK
Town of Hudson Bay, SK
Town of Rosetown, SK
Gilbert Plains Recreation Commission (Town of Gilbert Plains), MB
Town of The Pas, MB
Upper Assiniboine River Conservation District (RM of Ellice), MB
Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre (Town of Capreol), ON
Town of Parry Sound, ON
City of Thunder Bay, ON
City of Belleville, ON
Rainy River First Nation, ON
Johnsview Village (City of Markham), ON
YMCA of Quebec, Éco-quartier Sud-Ouest (City of Montreal), QC
City of Beloeil, QC
City of Varennes, QC
Municipality of McMasterville, QC
Atlantic Coastal Action Program (ACAP), (City of Saint John), NB
Kennebecasis Watershed Restoration Committee (Town of Sussex), NB
City of Campbellton, NB
Town of Truro, NS
Windsor Communities in Bloom (Town of Windsor), NS
Halifax Regional Municipality, NS
CN is a true backbone of the economy, transporting approximately C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network spanning Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico. CN - Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries -- serves the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.
About Tree Canada
Tree Canada is a not-for-profit charitable organization established to encourage Canadians to plant and care for trees in urban and rural environments. Tree Canada engages Canadian companies, government agencies and individuals to support the planting of trees, the greening of schoolyards, and other efforts to sensitize Canadians to the benefits of planting and maintaining trees. To date, more than 78 million trees have been planted, 500 schoolyards have been greened, and Tree Canada has helped organize nine national urban forest conferences. More information about Tree Canada is available at www.treecanada.ca.
About Communities in Bloom
Communities in Bloom is a Canadian non-profit organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community involvement and the challenge of a national program, with focus on the promotion and value of green spaces. The pride, sense of community and feeling of accomplishment generated through participation are visible in communities across Canada. For more information about Communities in Bloom, visit www.communitiesinbloom.ca