Community Planting

Approved projects under the Community Planting Fund will help to enhance the health, resilience and sustainability of Vaughan’s natural environment through the creation or improvement of the urban forest, greenspaces and/or wildlife habitat.


Community planting projects support the City’s commitment to the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge and implement actions in Green Direction Vaughan and the 2022-2026 Term of Council Strategic Priorities (Environmental Stewardship).

As well, by participating in a community planting event, you have the opportunity to be a Green Guardian of your city. Green Guardians is the City of Vaughan’s new environmental sustainability program, where citizens are encouraged to get involved with events and activities that promote environmental stewardship and keep Vaughan safe, clean and beautiful.


Eligibility and Requirements


Eligible projects


  1. Pollinator gardens
  2. Rain gardens
  3. Species-at-risk habitat creation


Eligible locations


All projects or initiatives must take place within Vaughan’s municipal boundaries, on City-owned property or a publicly accessible area on private property (i.e. schools).


  • Examples of City-owned property include public park spaces (both active and passive), pedestrian pathways (open space trails and greenways); and open space areas.
  • Examples of private property include pathways, front entrance areas, outdoor areas designed for programming or educational purposes and other open space areas.


Pre-approved locations (upon availability) for consideration:


  • Chatfield District Park (100 Lawford Rd., Woodbridge)
  • Concord/Thornhill Regional Park (299 Racco Way, Thornhill)
  • Dufferin District Park (1441 Clark Ave. W., Thornhill)
  • Mackenzie Glen District Park (220 Cranston Park Ave., Maple)
  • Matthew District Park (220 Cranston Park Ave., Woodbridge)
  • North Maple Regional Park (11085 Keele St., Maple)
  • North Thornhill District Park (300 Pleasant Ridge Ave., Thornhill)
  • Sonoma Heights Community Park (100 Sunset Ridge, Woodbridge)


Eligible applicants and project assessment


Projects will be assessed based on location and applicant.


  1. Neighbourhood groups, volunteer groups, local organizations, school boards, faith-based groups and non-profit organizations are eligible to receive services-in-kind for proposed projects on City property.

    a. Submit your Green Guardians Community Planting Fund Application package to 

    b. Upon application review and approval, successful applicants will be notified by email.  The City will prepare the site and purchase materials, based on the submitted application. The group will be required to attend on the agreed upon date to plant the garden or carry out the project and provide maintenance following project implementation.
  2. Local organizations, school boards, faith-based groups, non-profit organizations and other groups with a formal structure are eligible to receive funding for proposed projects on other publicly accessible property. Groups must demonstrate evidence of a governing board or board of directors.

    a. Submit your Green Guardians Community Planting Fund Application package to

    b. Upon application review and approval, successful applicants will be notified by email. The group will be required to purchase materials, prepare the site and implement the project based on the application.

    c. Upon receiving a Project Report, the City will reimburse the group for eligible project expenses.


Funding details


  • A maximum of $3,000 is available per ward, per year. Only one application per group will be funded in any given year.
  • Funds will be granted, as a reimbursement, for eligible projects on private property.
  • Funds will be utilized by City staff to purchase applicable materials and provide site preparation for projects on City property. 
  • Applications will be assessed after February 21, 2024 (application deadline) to determine how funds are allocated. Please review key dates listed below for a schedule of the application process.


Eligible expenses


  • Greening materials (100 per cent): trees, shrubs, plants and other forms of greenscaping
  • Site preparation (less than 25 per cent): rototilling, mowing, invasive species removal, competition control
  • Wildlife habitat enhancement (less than 50 per cent): construction materials for wildlife habitat structures, including but not limited to: bird/bat/butterfly boxes, nesting platforms, basking logs, etc.
  • Other (less than 20 per cent): mulch, mulch mats, soil amendments, tree guards, gloves, planting tools, refreshments for event


For pollinator garden projects, a standard City sign will be included in the garden. Please include a set cost of $150 for this sign in the submitted budget through the application. The sign may be designed to include the group logo, if applicable.


Project requirements


  • All planting projects should consider drought-tolerant, native plants and pollinator species. All designs, proposed locations and species lists are subject to approval by the application review team.
  • Projects must be completed and a project report submitted, including final photos and copies of all associated receipts for materials and services, within 12 months from the date of application approval. Where applicable, the City will provide the reimbursement funds upon submission of a completed project report.
  • Projects must include an ongoing annual maintenance and a monitoring plan, to be provided by the applicant/group.
  • Projects must demonstrate measurable results (e.g. area planted, number of trees/shrubs/wildflowers planted, number of volunteers engaged).
  • If groups no longer wish to participate in the program, the project may be removed and the site returned to previous conditions.
  • Where assistance (i.e. mulching, rototilling) from the City is to be provided, dates and times will be co-ordinated and scheduled throughout the year to best fit with operational requirements.


Application process


  1. Please review and complete the Green Guardians Community Planting Fund Application Form (PDF).
  2. Applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:
    a. Maximum visibility and impact to the surrounding neighbourhood.
    b. Ongoing maintenance commitment by the group.
    c. Location must be on City-owned property or a publicly accessible area on private property (i.e. schools). Written authorization from the property owner is required.
    d. Safe access during installation and for on-going maintenance.
  3. Upon approval, the project lead or steward representing the group will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. For projects on City property, each person participating in the project will be required to sign a waiver of liability form (PDF).
  4. The following documents are required for submission:
    a. Completed application form (PDF).
    b.  A completed budget with estimated list of costs to deliver your project.  
  1. c. If applicable, a letter from property owner giving permission to plant on the land specified; for school projects, support from the principal is required.
    d. “Before” photos (two minimum) of your site.
    e. Overhead view of the proposed project site.
    f.  Sketch, map or plan detailing the work to be completed and a list of plant species. Please refer to our approved species list for plants, shrubs and trees.


Key dates

Applications openNov. 1, 2022Jan. 1, 2024
Application deadlineJan. 31, 2023Feb. 21, 2024
Application reviewFeb. 1 to 28, 2023Feb. 21 to March 15, 2024
Applicants notifiedBy March 17, 2023By March 22, 2024
Projects implemented/events executedApril – October 2023April – October 2024
Project completion and Project Report submissionMarch 2024 (one year from signed agreement, applicants can submit sooner)March 2025 (one year from signed agreement, applicants can submit sooner)
Successful applicants receive fundingMinimum 30 days from when Project Report is submittedMinimum 30 days from when Project Report is submitted

Please contact the City via email at if you wish to submit an application but the deadline has passed. Late submissions may be accepted provided funds are still available. 




Please refer to the following resources for a list of shrubs and plants:





In acknowledgement of the group’s stewardship work, the City will:


  • Promote the group and project on the City’s social media platforms, the Green Guardians webpage and in other forms of public communication, where applicable.
  • Install recognition signage on site during, and for some time after, execution of the project and event.
  • If applicable, permanent educational signage installed at the project site will include a recognition by way of group name and/or logo.