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From sustainable urban centres to bicycle sharing, student teams think green and win $100,000 from TD Canada Trust
TD Canada Trust's Go Green Challenge encouraged creative thinking and teamwork among Canada's future environmental leaders TORONTO, April 10 /CNW/ - TD Friends of the Environment Foundation today announced the winners of the Go Green Challenge, a contest designed to generate creative ideas for 'green' and sustainable communities. With $100,000 in prize money and bragging rights up for grabs, 87 teams of students from nearly 40 schools across Canada rose to the challenge and submitted innovative environmental solutions on topics like reducing paper consumption, urban design and development, and environmentally friendly transportation. Open to Canadian university and college students, the challenge required a maximum 4,000 word essay with creative, workable plans for promoting greener communities. The four winning teams each receive $25,000 with $12,500 awarded to the student team members (to be shared equally) and $12,500 given to the team's university or college faculty. "For nearly two decades, TD has supported thousands of grassroots environmental projects across Canada and the Go Green Challenge was a natural extension of this commitment," said Matthew Fortier, Regional Manager, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. "Our goal was to foster teamwork among students and faculty and generate fresh thinking on how we can promote greener communities, and we're thrilled by the response. The fact that so many students embraced our challenge demonstrates the importance of environmental issues to today's youth." The four winning teams are: - Paper Cut Program, University of Alberta. University campuses generate a substantial amount of paper; the Paper Cut team identified a problem at their institution and aimed to fix it through a host of paper reduction strategies. In the process, they established a set of best practices for similar sized organizations in Canada. Student members: Ellen Dashwood, Dallas Demontigny, Michael Rawson-Clark and Mathieu Trépanier from the Department of Rural Economy, Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Science. Faculty advisor: Dr. Debra Davidson. - Cultivating the Environment through Education: A Community Garden Initiative, University of Calgary, McGill University and McMaster University. This team represented three universities but focused their attention on a very specific location: The Greater Forest Lawn community of Calgary, an area where youth face challenges on a daily basis and for most saving the planet is not the top priority. With a detailed and compelling proposal for a community garden at a local elementary school, this team showed that strengthening a child's relationship with their natural environment is a lesson that will stay with them throughout their lives. Student members: Eric Christensen (McGill University), Bonnie Leung (McMaster University), and Karen Leung (University of Calgary). Faculty advisor: Ian Strachan, Professor, Natural Resources Department, McGill University. - Velo Bicycle Share Program, University of Waterloo. Taking their inspiration from the streets of Paris, Barcelona and Brussels, the Velo team devised a practical and viable bicycle sharing program for the city of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. Student members: Ben Clare, Jeremy Finkleman and Matthew Lee from the School of Planning & Department of Civil Engineering. Faculty advisor: Jeff Casello. - Greening Urban Community Centres: Public Inspiration and Education for a Sustainable Future, York University. In cities across Canada, community centres often act as social gathering places for youth. This team from York University wants to act on Toronto's vision of being a sustainable city by transforming the spaces where many of the next generation spend their time into models of green living. Proposing to employ a design charrette, the team outlined a number of retrofits that could be made to community centres across the city. Student members: Ellen Field, Ian Malczewski and Karen Petkau. Faculty advisor: Arlene Gould, Adjunct Professor, Department of Design, York University. "Many of the students that participated in our Go Green Challenge could become Canada's future environmental leaders and as a result, may play an important role in shaping the sustainability of our communities," said Fortier. "We hope students pursue their creative ideas to the fullest and know that they can make a difference together." Members of the $100,000 Go Green Challenge judging panel were: Alison Bailie, Senior Technical and Policy Advisor, The Pembina Institute; Brock Carlton, CEO, Federation of Canadian Municipalities; and Tim Jones, President and CEO, Artscape. Together they selected the winning four teams based on creativity, originality, viability and the positive impact the submission would have on the livability of Canadian communities. "We were absolutely blown away by the creativity of the ideas and the professional quality of the submissions," said Tim Jones, President and CEO, Artscape and judging panel member. "Our hats go off to the nearly 300 students that participated and we hope they enjoyed the experience, learned something new, and had fun at the same time." For more information on the $100,000 Go Green Challenge winners and their submissions please visit www.tdcanadatrust.com/gogreen. You can also visit the 'TD Money Lounge' on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tdmoneylounge. About TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (FEF) Since 1990, FEF has provided $44 million in funding to 17,000 grassroots environment and wildlife projects across Canada. In 2007, FEF provided $3 million in support of 830 environmental projects. Thousands of TD customers and employees donate to FEF on a monthly basis and TD Bank Financial Group matches donations up to $1 million annually. TD also covers all administrative costs, ensuring 100 percent of every dollar donated goes directly to funding environment and wildlife projects in the community where the donation was made. For more information please visit www.fef.ca.
For further information: or to arrange an interview please contact: Matthew Cram, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 983-1514, firstname.lastname@example.org; Annette Robertson, MAVERICK Public Relations, (416) 640-5525 ext. 231, email@example.com
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