Co-op will improve even more places people meet, play, learn and share by giving up to $1.5 million to local organizations, up from $1 million last year.

Co-op Community Spaces was launched in 2015 to help protect, beautify and improve spaces in communities across Western Canada. In its inaugural year, the program funded 16 projects in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

To qualify, organizations must be a registered non-profit, registered charity or community service co-operative. Administered by Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) on behalf of the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS), Co-op Community Spaces will provide donations between $25,000 and $100,000 to recipients. Because of the increased funding, the program will support up to 60 community projects in 2016.

Funding is available to projects in three categories:

  • Recreation: Enhancing recreation opportunities such as recreation centres and playgrounds;
  • Environmental conservation: Preserving natural spaces such as green spaces, parks and interpretive centres; and
  • Urban agriculture: Supporting small-scale agricultural initiatives in rural and urban spaces such as community gardens and food education facilities.

Applications for the 2016 Co-op Community Spaces program will be accepted from Jan. 18 to Feb. 12, 2016.

For more details about this year’s program — and to see last year’s recipients at work — see www.communityspaces.ca.

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