America in Bloom is proud to partner with CN Railways to manage the EcoConnexions From the Ground Up Grant Program in the US.
Note for 2015 and/or 2016 grant-receiving communities:
2017 Grant Recipients (keep checking back for newly-awarded communities)
Hawthorn Woods, Illinois
Lake Zurich, Illinois
2016 Grant Recipients
Pleasant Ridge, Michigan
2015 Grant Recipients
Combined Locks, Wisconsin
2014 Grant Recipients
Klehm Arboretum/Rockford, Illinois
America in Bloom and the CN Railway have partnered to create the "EcoConnexions From the Group Up" grants program. With a true transcontinental network that extends to three North American coasts, CN passes through a wide range of urban and rural communities. We encourage those communities along the CN corridor to take environmental action by improving their communities through natural landscaping, groundcover improvement, floral displays and healthy urban forests.
CN ECOCONNEXTIONS From the Ground Up Program provides funding for greening of public spaces in communities along its rail lines.
CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up
supports collaborative community greening projects that enhance landscapes in communities neighboring CN rail lines to meet the following objectives:
- Enhance the quality of life in cities, villages, and townships.
- Promote public health benefits through the proper planting and care of trees and plants.
- Ensure that community landscapes provide ecosystem services – clean air and water, increased property values, reduced erosion and stormwater runoff, wildlife habitat, moderated temperatures, lessened energy demands, and year-round enjoyment.
- Enhance community tree canopy by properly planting diverse, quality trees for long-term sustainability and resistance to future pests.
- Beautify community gateways and significant landscapes demonstrating the contribution of flowers and plants to growing community pride and economic vitality.
- Leverage CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up grant support to catalyze strong and enduring community partnerships to undertake and sustain community greening efforts.
- Provide opportunities for CN and its neighbors to work together towards shared goals of environmental stewardship.
- Support long-term community greening through ongoing involvement in America in Bloom.
Municipalities, townships, other local governments and locally active non-profit groups in communities neighboring CN rail lines in the US.
CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up will provide funding , however it will not fund more than 50% of project costs. Preference will be given to projects that can demonstrate multiple funding sources. A minimum of 50% matching funding must come from other sources (such as municipalities, service clubs, donations, etc.) and can include in-kind contributions.
The following components are not eligible for funding under this program:
- Hard landscaping such as paving stones, fencing
- Urban furniture
- Play structures
- Annual maintenance (although plans must show how annual maintenance will be performed)
Priority will be given to high-profile, significant landscapes that are accessible to the public and are in need of beautification.
Benefits to the Community
Successful projects will leverage the power of flowers, plants, shrubs and trees to bring multiple benefits to the community. They will demonstrate how community beautification will improve economic vitality, boost civic pride, encourage active enjoyment of the landscape and improve quality of life. Projects that also contribute ecosystem services such as air and water quality improvements, stormwater benefits, screening, energy conservation and habitat are favored.
Working together to create lasting, beautiful landscapes also builds community. Successful projects will involve many partners in planning, fundraising, site preparation, planting and maintenance.