Red Deer and southeastern Alberta charitable groups are joining forces to improve public spaces in response to COVID-19.
Red Deer and District Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of Southeastern Alberta announced on Tuesday that they will work to provide nearly $1.3 million in funding to transform public spaces across central and southern Alberta.
The funding is part of the federal government’s new $31-million Healthy Communities Initiative. It will support community-led organizations in developing local, small-scale infrastructure projects that respond to the immediate needs arising from COVID-19, while building towards a more pandemic-resilient future.
Organizations and municipalities can apply for funding between $5,000 and $250,000 to lead projects that help create safe and vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options, and provide digital solutions to help their neighbourhoods or communities navigate the pandemic and look to build back better in the COVID-19 recovery.
This could include projects that adapt crosswalks and access to public transport to allow for safe physical distancing, the creation of community gardens, and art installations, and free wifi in targeted public spaces.
“Public spaces are the glue to our communities: they enable a feeling of belonging and of social cohesion,” said Erin Peden, executive director of the Red Deer foundation. “They are a big part of what makes communities safe, vibrant and connected.”
Both of the Alberta foundations are working with Community Foundations of Canada, the Canadian Urban Institute and other partners.
The application period for the first round of funding closes on March 9. A second application period for funding will take place starting in May 2021.