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N.B. now taking environmental funding applications

New Brunswick’s provincial Environmental Trust Fund program is now accepting applications for funding from groups planning projects in watershed and wetland protection, solid waste management and other specific areas.

The trust fund, which has set a deadline of Tuesday, Dec. 15 to receive applications, has several specific funding priorities for the coming fiscal year, the province said in a release Friday.

Those priorities include:

  • stewardship activities, such as solid waste management and water management;
  • the preservation of wetlands, watersheds and coastal areas;
  • climate change;
  • education; and
  • projects promoting sustainable development and sustainable communities;

Program funding is available to community groups, organizations, municipalities and business improvement areas for projects that produce “tangible, measurable benefits to the environment.”

Farm groups previously funded under the program have included the Club-conseils agroenvironnemental du Nord-ouest, which got $30,000 to promote protection of the Iroquois-Blanchette Watershed through development and implementation of environmental farm plans; and the Central New Brunswick Agri Environmental Club, which got $5,000 to set up a demonstration system for solar-powered stock watering.

The province noted, however, that “increased emphasis” will be placed on deliverables and project outcomes in evaluating project applications and final reports.

For example, if the goal of a project is environmental outreach and education, just tracking audience or participant attendance is not, by itself, a useful measure of success, the province said.

Projects of this nature, the province said, should also incorporate some means of audience or participant feedback, such as a survey or assessment, to gauge the “usefulness and effectiveness” of a project’s message.

Funding decisions will be announced for the 2010-11 fiscal year sometime in early to mid-April 2010, the province said. The deadline for final project reports will be March 1, 2011.

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