by Morinville News Staff

Non-profit groups interested in educating their communities about climate change have a month to apply for a new grant the government announced Monday.

The province says it is investing $600,000 in the Community Environment Action grant program, something they say will “support all Albertans – young and old, rural and urban – to better understand and address climate change.”

The learning grant will allow non-profit groups to help communities strengthen their understanding about the effects of climate change and why action is important.

Eligible projects must focus on social benefits, including creating or supporting community and partnership-building opportunities, and use the climate literacy continuum, including building awareness and understanding about core climate change concepts, based on credible science.

Other eligibility requirements can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-community-environment-action-grant.aspx.

“Again and again we have heard from Albertans that education is crucial to motivate people to act on climate change,” said Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office. “This program will provide support to organizations that are working across the province to build awareness about climate change and what we can do as individuals and as communities to fight its devastating effects.”

Education Minister David Eggen said young Albertans have told him they want to be leaders on climate change and have joined stakeholders in taking up the cause. “Those stakeholder groups will continue to engage with communities to build partnerships, projects, and awareness together with our future leaders,” Eggen said.

Funding for the grant program is coming from the carbon tax rolled out Jan. 1.

The deadline for applications is Mar. 6, and successful applicants will be listed on the website as they are approved with more information on how Albertans and community organizations can access these programs.

Peter Kendall, Executive Director, Earth Rangers, a group that tours schools talking about animals and the environment, is pleased with the announcement.

“With more financial support, Earth Rangers would be able to reach more Alberta children about the most pressing environmental issue of our time: climate change,” Kendall said.

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean was not impressed with the announcement, commenting later in the day on Facebook, “What a waste of money. Are there grant programs available to get NDP MLAs trained in economics?”

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