The Markham Environmental Sustainability Fund is a Markham program that has funded innovative and leading environmental initiatives that contribute to the health of the natural environment since 2004.
The fund provides financial resources for projects in Markham that promote environmental responsibility and enhance the protection of the Markham's natural resources.
The purpose of the fund is to provide demonstrable, widespread and lasting environmental benefits to the Markham community. In the last six years, over 45 community projects have been completed!
Organizations eligible to apply for the fund include:
- other levels of government.
- public agencies.
- Markham community groups, such as Markham rate payers associations.
- Local Organizations, such as Conservation groups, Scouts groups, etc.
- Other, such as NGOs, subject to conditions.
- Schools (3 per funding cycle and must be a Zero Waste School).
Beginning in 2013 schools can apply to the Waste Management Department for resources and staff assistance to become a Zero Waste School. For more information contact our Community Outreach Assistant, at 905-477-7000 extension 3399 or email email@example.com.
Markham Environmental Sustainability Fund Requirements
Deadline: Application deadlines are in the spring and fall of each year. The spring deadline is February 14, 2014.
Read the Guidelines and Application (PDF) for helpful information about the application process.
How Do I apply?
- Step 1 Carefully review the Environmental Sustainability Fund Guidelines to ensure your group is eligible.
- Step 2 Speak with Mavis Urquhart, Manager of Environmental Policy and Program Development about your proposed project and obtain an application form. Call 905-415-7502 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Step 3 Prepare your application and any supporting information, such as illustrations and maps and attach them to the application form. Sufficient and complete information must be provided with the application for the Environmental Issues Committee to make a decision.
- Step 4 Submit your application to the Manager, Environmental Policy and Program Development, 101 Town Centre Boulevard., Markham, Ontario, L3R 9W3.
Highlights of past MESF projects
2012 MESF Projects
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
Markham Museum Rain Garden Demonstration Project
This is a demonstration project to help residents learn about Low Impact Development (LID) techniques on their properties - for managing storm water runoff and protecting the quality of water that flows into local streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes. Plantings for the garden were completed this Fall and a grand opening planned for Spring 2013.
Parks Department of the City of Markham
Civic Centre Pond Naturalization Plantings
This project was to install native plants along the Civic Centre pond to enhance visitors' experience of the area and educate them about native plants and biodiversity. Species at risk, such as Dense Blazing Star were planted together with other plants, like Butterfly Milkweed, which is a food source for monarch butterflies, which are also a species at risk. Seeds from these plants will be distributed to the University of Guelph for propagation and expansion of their programs and as well to members of the North American Native Plant Society for planting in parklands throughout Markham.
2011 MESF Projects
St Patrick’s Catholic School
With MESF funding and funding from the TD Friends of the Environment, as well as donated supplies from local businesses, the students, teachers and parents came together to build a rain garden and outdoor learning space in the courtyard at St Patrick’s Catholic School. This rain garden captures and reuses rain water which typically goes straight into the sewer system. Water harvested from the school roof is stored in a rain barrel and then used to feed water loving plants. This garden will serve as an outdoor classroom and learning opportunity for students.
James Robinson Public School
Organic Waste Program/Wheelchair Sensory Garden
This school includes classes and programs for special needs students. MESF funding has been used at James Robinson to undertake an organic waste audit and reduction program and to build a wheelchair accessible garden. Students now compost their food waste from their lunches then transfer that material to the sensory garden where they grow plants and vegetables. This teaches the children about the cycle of food and waste. The garden is also used as a means of stimulation and socialization for the special needs students.
(photo: Steve Sommerville, Markham Economist & Sun)
2010 MESF Projects
Youth Environmental Network of York Region (YENYR)
Eco Action Conference
Organized by Markham students, this conference was attended by over 300 students and teachers.
The goal of the Youth Ecological Action Conference, held in November, 2010, was to increase awareness about environmental issues in Markham and to help students develop and initiate environmental projects in their schools and the community.
This project featured:
- guest speakers, including Canadian astronaut Dave Williams, who spoke about environmental issues and the power of youth
- booths and interactive workshops informing the students on various environmental issues and methods for implementing change
David Suzuki Public School
The eco-team at David Suzuki Public School, which includes the teachers, caretakers, secretaries, administrators and students, applied for funding to build an outdoor classroom. The purpose of this project was to give students a chance to learn about their environment and the increasing native insect populations in the area, with a focus on butterflies. Funding was used to purchase native trees, vegetables and herbs. This project was an excellent opportunity to teach students and staff of David Suzuki Public School about the importance of native species and to raise environmental awareness.
Little Rouge Creek Rehabilitation Project
This project was part of a habitat rehabilitation program which monitors, protects and rehabilitates habitat for redside dace, which is a provincially threatened species of fish in the Rouge River watershed. These fish have been declining due to habitat loss from urbanization and intensive land use. The project was aimed at restoring historical populations of the fish and creating additional habitat for existing populations.
2009 MESF Projects
Stonebridge Public School
Native Garden and Education Program
A native garden was planted by students at Stonebridge PS to increase the biodiversity around the school, restore the natural habitat, and rebalance the local ecosystem. Funding was used for:
- a native plant bed
- native plant sign
- poster promoting native flowers
North American Native Plant Society
Invasive Species Education Program
The North American Native Plant Society (NANPS) is an organization dedicated to the study, conservation, cultivation, and restoration of North America's native flora and fauna. The Invasive Plant Awareness Program was developed with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). Invasive species are non-native plants that grow aggressively, overtake natural areas and displace native plants. The purpose of this program was to increase awareness about invasive species through training sessions, guest speakers series, natural garden design workshops, and restoration events in Markham.
Ecowatch Canada Corporation and York Rotary Club
Household Battery Recycling Education Program
Ecowatch Canada and the York Rotary Club teamed up to provide an education program for students and parents on the importance of proper disposal of household batteries in an effort to keep harmful chemicals out of landfills. Batteries contain mercury, a harmful toxic chemical that damages the environment. Through this program, students were able to bring waste batteries to collection bins at schools where the batteries transported to Markham's Household Hazardous Waste Depot for safe disposal.
2008 MESF Project
Swan Lake Village
Goose Education Project
The purpose of this project was to design and erect signs about Canadian Geese at Swan Lake to protect the environment and the natural flora and fauna of Markham. Canadian Geese are a native species commonly found around Markham, and populations have been increasing. The signs educate the community about geese behavior and ecology and discourage people from feeding these birds.