The Great Outdoors Fund is pleased to report another successful year for its Unsmoke Canada Cleanups program. The program, which provided $75,000 in grants to 19 organizations across Canada this year, exceeded every goal and broke its record in each measurable category from 2020 to 2021.
Even amid a global pandemic, communities across Canada—from British Columbia to Newfoundland—were empowered to make a difference in their communities. Grant recipients, local partners, and volunteers organized and executed numerous exceptional cleanup events focused on protecting Canada’s great outdoors.
Canadians gave back to nature.
Here are some of the key accomplishments from 2021 compared to 2020:
- 609,401 volunteers—up from 283,977 in 2020
- 10,004,411 volunteer hours—up from 427,122 in 2020
- 3,887,737 pounds of litter collected—almost four times last year’s record of 1,031,926
- 753,896 cigarette butts collected
However, these figures are best summed up qualitatively by our Canadian partners on the ground who see first-hand the impacts that this program makes: “The Calgary ATV Riders Association is a proud user and steward of the Alberta trails – some of the best in Canada. We know the importance of maintaining and keeping them litter-free, for everyone to enjoy,” said Ken Spring, President of Calgary ATV Riders Association and 2021 grant recipient.
And for those interested in getting involved with the next round, The Great Outdoors Fund will begin accepting applications for 2022 cleanups next spring (soon to be announced). Grant applicants may include nonprofit organizations, private businesses, or local govs with a connection to and passion for nature, outdoor recreation, conservation, health and wellness, volunteer engagement, and/or community service. Awarded grant funding is to be used for organizing litter cleanup projects within local communities.