On July 14, 2022, the Government of Canada announced that it is accepting applications for new environmental restoration projects through the Small Projects Stream of the Natural Infrastructure Fund (NIF). A minimum of ten percent of the program will be allocated to Indigenous-led projects.
“All Canadians, whether they live in a densely populated city or in rural Canada, deserve to have access to nature. It has clear benefits for our well-being and helps us better understand the world around us. Through the Natural Infrastructure Fund, we are building more resilient communities while improving the health of our planet,” said Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities.
The $200 million NIF supports building community awareness of the value of natural infrastructure. It will bring noticeable benefits to communities across Canada by improving access to nature, providing cleaner air and water, protecting and preserving biodiversity and wildlife habitats and mitigating carbon emissions.
This funding program is key to the Government of Canada’s ongoing efforts to build a healthier and more inclusive future for everyone. Investing in natural infrastructure will reduce emissions, create good jobs and address climate-related challenges that communities are facing across the country.
Municipalities, local governments, provinces or territories, public sector bodies, Indigenous organizations, not-for-profit, and for-profit organizations in partnership with other eligible applicants outside the private sector, can apply for up to one million dollars in federal funding to restore and enhance natural infrastructure like urban forests, street trees, wetlands, living dykes, bioswales, and naturalized coastal restoration.
Natural infrastructure uses preserved, restored, or enhanced ecosystem features and materials (e.g., water, native species of vegetation, sand and stone) to deliver beneficial community services and infrastructure outcomes. It can be naturally occurring, or engineered using exclusively ecosystem features and materials.
Hybrid infrastructure incorporates grey infrastructure elements to enhance or support natural infrastructure and the use of ecosystem processes.
The Natural Infrastructure Fund Small Projects Stream will support new projects with total eligible costs between thirty thousand and three million dollars.