America in Bloom and the CN Railway have partnered to create the “EcoConnexions From the Ground 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 communities along the CN corridor to take environmental action by improving their communities through healthy urban forests, natural landscaping, groundcover improvement, and flower displays.
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 create 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.
Priority will be given to high-profile, significant landscapes that are accessible to the public and are in need of beautification.
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)
Note: Projects CANNOT be in the CN Right of Way.
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.
Participate in AIB National Awards Program
All grant recipients are required to participate in the America in Bloom Level 3 Program. Grant recipients may use grant money to pay the registration fee.
Successful projects will celebrate the contributions of volunteers, partners, and donors. All grant recipients are required to hold a media event to celebrate the grant project and to recognize CN, America in Bloom, and any other funders or partners. Events may be to kick off the project, to help get the work done, or to celebrate its successful completion. CN and America in Bloom representatives will participate in these events.
Appropriate signage must be installed at or near the project location to recognize CN, America in Bloom, and other funders.
Questions? Contact America in Bloom via email or call 614-453-0744.
You are welcome to apply at any time, but grant decisions are made in November. You will be notified by November 30 of the status of your application.
All applications must be submitted through the online system. Start here. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on November 1.
Questions? Contact America in Bloom via email or 614-453-0744.
Media Event: You are required to hold a media event to celebrate the project and recognize CN and AIB. Complete the online event form to let us know your plans.
Register for the America in Bloom National Awards Program: Register by February 28.
Submit final report and seek grant reimbursement: Complete the online submission to provide your final report. Once the final report is approved by AIB, payment will be processed. Payment is typically processed within 30 days of final report submission.