US: CN and America in Bloom announce 2014 Community Greening Project grant recipients

CN and America in Bloom today announced the recipients of grants for the CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up program in the United States. Four communities were selected to receive grants totalling $85,790. Recipients will match the grant awards with additional local investments for a total of more than $200,000 in landscaping and landscape services. 

The goal of the program is to create sustainable community greening and beautification projects that will contribute to each community’s environmental, economic, social, and health benefits. CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up also provides opportunities for CN and the communities along its rail network to work together towards shared goals of environmental stewardship. 

A successful program in Canada for several years, this is the program’s first year in the United States. “CN is pleased to contribute to projects that will provide environmental, health, and social benefits to communities,” said Claude Mongeau, CN president and chief executive officer. “We are pleased to be expanding this program to communities along our U.S. rail network and are amazed by the outstanding projects submitted for consideration. What is truly valuable is the connection being made between CN and these communities – we are proud to be working together for the wellbeing of the communities on our network.”

Successful candidates were chosen on the basis of selection criteria developed and overseen by CN’s program partner in the United States, America in Bloom. Grants were made based on planned positive outcomes in the community, strong community engagement, and the long term sustainability of the plantings. America in Bloom will provide guidance in the implementation of the selected projects.

Marvin Miller, America in Bloom’s immediate past president and program coordinator, stated, “America in Bloom is privileged to work with CN and the recipient communities in the enhancement of green spaces and quality of life improvement through these projects.”

Grant recipients are as follows:
  • Hammond, LA - $25,000 Grants funds will be used to purchase Bald Cypresses, Crape Myrtles, Yaupon Hollies, Live Oaks, Magnolias, Maples, and Swamp Chestnut Oaks for installation along Morrison Boulevard (US 51) and in Mooney Park.
  • Independence, LA - $12,290 Grant funds will be used to incorporate landscaping in a 1300’ block to integrate a historic train station now used as a police department and senior citizens centre, and an open air community pavilion.
  • Woodhaven, MI - $25,000 Grant funds will be used to properly complete the city’s Veterans Memorial Park to include new plant materials. 
  • Klehm Arboretum 
  • Rockford, IL - $23,500 Grant funds will be used to establish a 13,000 sf perennial floral display for visitors to enjoy on arboretum grounds and to enhance perennial plantings in other public landscapes.

Applications from cities neighbouring CN rail lines in the United States will be accepted beginning December 1 for the 2015 program. The deadline to apply is January 30, 2015. Grant recipients will be announced in early March, 2015. For more details on the grant program, please visit www.AmericaInBloom.org/CN.

For more information about CN, visit www.cnfromthegroundup.ca and to learn more abut America in Bloom, visit www.americainbloom.org.

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