Go Wild | WWF-Canada
©: WWF-Canada

Why Go Wild?

Nature is at our doorstep no matter where we live, and it provides us with unlimited benefits that are essential for a healthy life. Yet it’s so easy to forget as we spend so much of our time indoors. The more we experience nature, the more we understand how it needs our help. When nature thrives, so do we.

When Canadians Go Wild, their impact grows beyond a single act. They inspire deeper connections to nature that can transform future actions and decisions. Whether it’s planting native plants or protecting species at risk, monitoring or training, celebrating or solving, leading or inviting climate-change solutions, we want you to Go Wild and help nature thrive.

#wwfgowild

How can you Go Wild with WWF?

Go Wild
Go Wild Community Grants, presented by TELUS, awards grants ranging from $1,000 – $7,000 to support creative ideas from Canadians on how to protect, restore, monitor, educate and celebrate nature.

Do you have an idea on how to help nature thrive in your community? Stay tuned this fall for your next opportunity to Go Wild with WWF-Canada and TELUS.
 

Elementary schools can Go Wild, too!

You’re invited to share your best ideas for getting your school community more involved in helping nature thrive. Whether it’s a group, classroom or school-wide project, we want to hear from you for your chance to be selected for a microgrant!

The next round of Go Wild School Grants launches in Fall 2016. Make sure you don't miss any updates by signing up for WWF’s Schools for a Living Planet newsletter here.

Learn more about Go Wild School Grants
©: J. D. Taylor / WWF-Canada
©: WWF-Canada

Find your Go Wild inspiration

Previous Go Wild Community Grants winners have initiated inspiring and creative projects. How will you Go Wild?

Presenting the Go Wild Summer 2016 Winners

Medicine Hat, Alta., Society of Grasslands Naturalists-Interpretive Program – Go Wild Treasure Hunt
Geocaches will connect the public, community groups and schools with species, plants and wild spaces in the Prairies to raise awareness for their protection and restoration.

Grimsby, Ont., Grimsby Public Library/Grimsby Public Art Gallery -  Back to Nature
A family-friendly program will help community members preserve and enjoy nature around them with discussions of green roofs, pollinator gardens, nature-based photography and more.  

Toronto, Ont., EcoSpark – Community Spotlight on Water & Celebrating City of Toronto ravines!
A special celebration of Toronto’s ravines and watersheds, including a hands-on day of getting your feet wet while learning how to prevent stormwater pollution.

Toronto, Ont., Montcrest School/The Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario – Sing a Song!
Students will design birdhouses to restore habitat for species of songbirds in the Riverdale Park-Don Valley area.

Toronto, Ont., Fred Victor – Roots & Shoots
Committed to ending chronic homelessness, this project will help individuals rebuild skills and confidence, establish new friendships and improve their diets through gardening and time spent in nature.

Port Rowan, Ont., Long Point Basin Land Trust – Nurturing Nature in the Neighbourhood
This project will protect and restore local biodiversity by engaging the community in activities like seed collection and backyard restoration to bring native plants back to their neighbourhood.

Niagara Falls, Ont., Heartland Forest Nature Experience – Habitat Creation & Dragonfly Migration
This citizen science project will enable community members to help monitor the spring and fall movements of dragonflies and damselflies.

North Sydney, N.S., Clifford Street Youth Centre Society – Hugs for Nature-Making Little Footprints Count
Youth will take positive action for the environment through activities like cleanups and protecting ecosystems. At the end of the project, participants will create photographic essays showcasing what they’ve learned, which will be transformed into colouring books and shared with the community.

Gabarus, N.S., The Gull Cove Trail Society – The Gull Cove Trail Restoration
Five kilometres of coastline trail through a protected wilderness area will be restored. Afterward, guided walks by local experts will showcase the abundance of rare plants, seabirds and other wildlife to educate visitors about the natural heritage of this area.
 
Crapaud, P.E.I., South Shore Watershed Association – Recreational Fisheries Enhancement Project
Enhancing a river wildlife habitat by constructing floating fish covers, creating a pollinator garden for monarch butterflies and planting native trees and shrubs. Once completed, this area will serve as a community meeting place and field trip destination for the local elementary school.

Lumsden, Nfld., Lumsden Academy/Town of Lumsden – Standing Dead Wood Bird Habitat Restoration
In an area where historical bird habitat was devastated by forest fire, nest boxes for cavity nesting birds will be built and installed to provide alternative habitat to discourage them from boring into the telephone and hydro-electric poles.

Tillsonburg, Ont., Stewardship Oxford – Butterfly Habitat Rehabilitation Project
Within the Carolinian Zone, which is home to one-third of Canada’s species at risk, this project will establish five monarch-friendly habitats in public areas, schools and backyards.

Kagawong, Ont., 4elements Living Arts – Elemental Festival
A three-day celebration of the Kagawong River during the annual salmon run will connect hundreds of local residents with nature through guided walks, panel discussions, workshops and art.

Chilliwack, B.C., The Water Wealth Project – Caring for our Home Waters
As dry weather becomes more common throughout the summer and fall months, WaterWealth will conduct streamkeeping activities, including monitoring and mapping of water levels, to help identify the best ways to support fish stocks and other aquatic life.

Caledon, Ont., Caledon Public Library – Bird’s Eye View
Binoculars, local conservation area passes and bird books will be made available to kids and adults so they can get a closer look at birds and other wildlife in their community. Bird puppets and toys will also be incorporated into reading programs to nurture curiosity for wildlife.

Hamilton, Ont., Mohawk College – Rooftop Pollinator Garden
A dedicated pollinator-friendly, rooftop garden will support a healthy bee population, encourage community food production and create teaching and learning opportunities for students.

Parry Sound, Ont., Bob Rumball Camp of the Deaf – Butterflies at Camp Workbee!
Deaf and hard of hearing children will learn about the importance of pollinators and contribute to making their camp a special haven for these creatures by planting flowers and milkweed along marshy areas and gardens.

Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Destination North Discovery Group – Northern
Community Pollinator Project

An interactive pollinator garden and guided tours will help make Sault Ste. Marie a pollinator haven while encouraging patrons to create their own patches at home.

Stratford, P.E.I., Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group– Building Better Backyards for Bees and Butterflies
An educational campaign will have residents construct habitat for bees and butterflies in their backyards and other natural spaces. Participants will receive seed packages with plant species known for attracting pollinators.
 
Montreal, Que., Biquette à Montréal – Laboratoire sur l’agriculture urbaine
An urban pasture in downtown Montreal will be created with a small flock of lambs on loan from a local farm as an alternative and environmentally friendly way to help maintain the green areas of the city. Public workshops and activities on urban agriculture and eco-grazing will help bring people closer to nature in the city.
 
Quebec, Que., Groupe d’éducation et d’écosurveillance de l’eau - Taking Action for the Health of Rivers
This project will link Quebec youth with the scientific community to learn about river health by contributing to a water health database that will be used to identify problems and water solutions, and thereby help protect local waterways.

©: Frank PARHIZGAR / WWF-Canada
©: WWF-Canada

FAQ: Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

Thank you for your interest in Go Wild Community Grants and for wanting to connect your community to nature! Do you have an idea on how to help nature thrive in your community? Stay tuned this fall for your next opportunity to Go Wild with WWF-Canada and TELUS. Or, send us a note at gowild@wwfcanada.org and we’ll add you to our distribution list.

What’s the deadline?

The next call for applications will be announced in Fall 2016 for projects taking place in Spring 2017.

What are you looking for?

We are looking for the best ideas on how to connect people to nature in their community. Go Wild Community Grants support action-oriented projects and we invite you to be as creative as you can. Every community is different, so we want to hear what you think are the best ways to make this happen where you live.

We are looking for ideas that:

Protect or restore: Activities directly related to restoring, rehabilitating or recovering natural ecosystems

Practice or monitor: Activities directly related to introducing new practices that reflect the value of nature in the community

Celebrate or educate: Activities that enhance the importance of healthy natural ecosystems as fundamental to a healthy community

What if I don’t live near nature?

We’re looking for you to tell us what "connecting to nature" means to you. Every community is different. And while it might not seem like it, there’s nature all around us. For example, we all live in a watershed. Nature isn’t always a far-off place or pristine wilderness. Experiencing nature doesn’t always require a long car ride, a map or the right gear. Nature is something we already experience and benefit from in our daily lives. It’s in our backyards and parks. So we invite you – even in the most urban setting – to seek out the pockets and surprises of nature near you.

How many Go Wild Community Grants will be awarded?

WWF-Canada together with TELUS will award

  • Up to 25 grants at $1,000
  • Up to 10 grants at $3,000
  • Up to five grants at $5,000
  • Up to three grants at $7,000

What can I pay for with my grant?

The grants, ranging in size from $1,000 to $7,000 each, are to help bring your ideas to life. Hard costs and fees associated with the proposed activities in your idea are appropriate expenses. These could include (but are not limited to): equipment and field costs such as rental of equipment to complete the project; materials, communications or promotional costs, costs associated with documenting the project; permits; and facility or vehicle rental fees if necessary. Cost for personnel and overhead can also be included, but cannot exceed 50 per cent of requested funds.

Please note: Go Wild Community Grants do not provide funding for food gardens.

I’m a teacher. Can I apply for my school?

Yes, we encourage you to apply. If you are a teacher of Grade 9 – 12, you have two options. You can apply for a Go Wild Community Grant for projects that connect with the wider community or a Go Wild School Grant for projects at your school. If you are a teacher of Kindergarten to Grade 8, you can apply for a Go Wild School Grant. Go Wild School Grants open for applications in the fall. 

I am a past Go Wild Community Grant recipient. Can I apply again?

Yes. Whether it is a new project proposal or an extension of your past project, we encourage you to apply again.

I applied for a Go Wild Community Grant previously. Can I apply again?

We encourage you to apply again. If you are resubmitting your project proposal, please note the project and submission guidelines have changed and a new application form should be downloaded and completed.

Can I apply more than once?

You can apply as many times as you want, but we will only grant to one of your project ideas.

I applied to Loblaw Water Fund. Can I apply for a Go Wild Community Grant?

Absolutely.

How are you judging the ideas?

The ideas will be evaluated by a panel of judges based on the following criteria:

  • Overall quality and relevance of project: How and to what extent will the work contribute to improving the health of nature in the community?
  • Community engagement and reach: How many people will be directly involved in the project? How many people in your community will benefit and participate in the project? How effective is the project in connecting people to nature in their community? Have appropriate key stakeholders in the community been actively engaged in the project?
  • Potential to replicate: Can this project be expanded and scaled up? Could it include other stakeholders and/or communities? Do strong relationships, coordination and support exist among key players?
  • Communications: Does this project tell a good story?
  • Urgency: Is the project addressing an urgent need within the community?
  • Implementation plan: Is the implementation plan reasonable? Can the goals be met according to the budget and timeline?
  • Budget: Is the budget appropriate for the proposed activities? Does the project have any in-kind support?

Can WWF-Canada review my proposal before I submit?

At this time, WWF-Canada does not have capacity to review or vet proposals before they are submitted. We encourage detailed answers that demonstrate that the project budget and implementation plan have been thoroughly researched and can be fully delivered to your community.

More questions?

For questions regarding Go Wild Community Grants, please email gowild@wwfcanada.org. We cannot accept phone calls at this time or review ideas before they are submitted.

©: naturepl.com / Ingo Arndt / WWF

Regulations and guidelines

Eligibility

Ideas that qualify for granting must:

  • Take place in Canada
  • Be implemented during the time period specified in the Call for Applications
  • ​Not be associated with a for-profit entity

By accepting a Go Wild Community Grant from WWF-Canada, you are agreeing to:

  • Enter into a legally binding Grant Agreement with WWF-Canada (* for French guidelines)
  • Implement your idea and plan
  • Share stories, information and photographs from your project with WWF-Canada and allow WWF-Canada to profile and promote your project where relevant
  • Report back to WWF-Canada on the project, including financial reporting via a final project report

*Please note that Go Wild Community Grant winners are required to execute/sign a standard WWF-Canada grant agreement.

Eligible activity categories

Go Wild Community Grants will contribute between $1,000 – $7,000 CAD to support practical, hands-on projects that connect people to nature and help nature thrive in their local community in one or more of the following ways:

Protection or restoration: Activities directly related to restoring, rehabilitating or recovering natural ecosystems

Practice or monitoring: Activities directly related to introducing new practices that reflect the value of nature in the community

Celebration or education: Activities that enhance the importance of healthy natural ecosystems as fundamental to a healthy community

Eligible applicants

  • Individuals over age 18
  • Volunteer-based community organizations or teams
  • Registered charities
  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Elementary, secondary and post-secondary students and institutions

Eligible costs

Hard costs and fees associated with the proposed activities in your idea are appropriate expenses. These could include (but are not limited to): equipment and field costs such as rental of equipment to complete the project; materials, communications or promotional costs; costs associated with documenting the project; permits; and facility or vehicle rental fees if necessary. Cost for personnel and overhead can also be included, but cannot exceed 50 per cent of requested funds.

Non-eligible costs

Honoraria, capital expenditures or any other fees not directly related to the proposed activity are not eligible expenses.

Timing and notification information

The next call for applications will be announced in Fall 2016 for projects taking place in Spring 2017.

Assessment criteria

All projects will be assessed using the following criteria. Following each criterion is a list of considerations that the Go Wild Community Grant Selection Panel will consider when evaluating each proposal.

  • Overall quality and relevance of project: How and to what extent will the work contribute to improving the health of nature in the community?
  • Community engagement: How many people will be directly involved in the project? How many people in your community will benefit from and participate in the project? How effective is the project in connecting people to nature in their community? Have appropriate key stakeholders in the community been actively engaged in the project?
  • Potential to replicate: Can this project be expanded and scaled up? Could it include other stakeholders and/or communities? Do strong relationships, coordination and support exist among key players?
  • Communications: Does this project tell a good story?
  • Urgency: Is the project addressing an urgent need within the community?
  • Implementation plan: Is the implementation plan reasonable? Can the goals be met according to the budget and timeline?
  • Budget: Is the budget appropriate for the proposed activities? Does the project have any in-kind support?

Permits

Successful applicants are responsible for identifying and obtaining any permits, licences or other approvals required in order to begin and/or complete the project.

Terms of reference

This call for proposals is not intended to be a formal legally-binding procurement process.

WWF-Canada reserves the right to seek clarification and supplementary information from any applicant.

WWF-Canada may elect not to consider a proposal containing misrepresentations or any inaccurate, misleading or incomplete information.

Once a project proposal has been submitted, it cannot be modified or changed.