Announced in June 2021, the $200 million Natural Infrastructure Fund supports projects that use natural or hybrid approaches to protect the natural environment, support healthy and resilient communities, and contribute to economic growth and jobs.
Natural infrastructure is a way for communities to use their ecosystems to improve quality of life, reduce pollution, enhance biodiversity and habitats, and build resilience to climate change. Examples of natural infrastructure include urban forests, street trees, wetlands, living dykes, bioswales, and naturalized coastal restoration.
Hybrid infrastructure incorporates elements of engineered grey infrastructure to enhance or support natural infrastructure and/or the use of ecosystem processes. Examples of hybrid infrastructure include green roofs and walls, and naturalized stormwater ponds.
The Natural Infrastructure Fund will bring real benefits to communities across Canada, including:
- Increasing climate change resilience
- Mitigating carbon emissions
- Improving the environment, such as contributing to cleaner air and water
- Protecting and preserving biodiversity and wildlife habitats
- Promoting people’s access to nature
A minimum of 10% of the overall program envelope will be allocated to Indigenous-led projects.
Large Projects Stream
Major cities with innovative natural infrastructure strategies were invited to apply for up to $120 million for large natural or hybrid infrastructure projects. This approach will help implement projects and accelerate the community environmental and economic co-benefits that they bring. Projects selected for funding will be announced publicly through Infrastructure Canada’s website and social media channels.
Small Projects Stream
The remaining program envelope will be allocated to communities across Canada for smaller natural and hybrid infrastructure projects.