Thanks to a provincial grant work will start this summer on a new outdoor classroom at Hartney School.

The school’s parent advisory council (PAC) picked up a $7,000 matching grant through the province’s Building Sustainable Communities program.

PAC chairperson Wayne Nakonechny appreciates the support and is pleased they can start work as soon as possible. “We’re a school-based program and we’re putting up this outdoor classroom at the school and the sustainable communities program was just one of the grants we applied for.”

The BSC program was launched in 2019 to offer municipalities and non-profit organizations a new program that streamlined administrative processes and reduced red tape. Since 2019, the BSC program has committed over $82 million to support 1,745 community projects throughout Manitoba and leveraged $185 million in other funding sources.

“Right now, students don’t have any shade in the playground so that’s why we put down a shade structure and outdoor classroom on our application. We have money saved up and the government’s $7,000 will put us over the top so we can start work.”

The grant program supports planning activities, organizational capacity building projects, equipment costs, capital infrastructure and other local or regional initiatives that enhance the sustainability of communities.

“We hope to start work this summer and have the outdoor classroom ready for September,” said Nakonechny.

BSC projects can receive up to 50 per cent toward eligible costs. The maximum grant for projects in the regular stream is $75,000, while larger-scale capital projects can receive up to $300,000. Approved projects, with the exception of planning activities, are required to have a minimum of 10 per cent of funding from non-government sources.