From the Ground Up program announces successful 2012 applicantsMONTREAL, Sept. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - CN today announced the successful candidates for its 2012 From the Ground Up program. Of the 72 applications received in this, the program's inaugural year, 25 communities were selected to receive grants of up to $25,000 each. The program's objective is to promote the greening of municipal properties across Canada, especially areas in close proximity to rail lines. CN EcoConnexions, with its partners Tree Canada and Communities in Bloom, will help Canadian municipalities establish tree planting initiatives in a sustainable, environmentally responsible manner. "CN's comprehensive sustainability agenda goes beyond making our own operations as fuel efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. We also aim to support sustainability initiatives in the communities we serve," said Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN. "The From the Ground Up program is an important part of this effort, and we are thrilled with the community response. The program received high-quality submissions from large and small communities across Canada. We were so impressed with the submissions that we decided to triple the funding for this year's program." CN had originally set aside $150,000 to fund this community tree planting program this year. Given the overwhelming response, the funding was increased to just over $500,000 to be distributed amongst the top 25 applicants. Successful candidates were chosen on the basis of rigourous selection criteria designed and overseen by CN's program partners, Tree Canada and Communities in Bloom. The two organizations rated each application on those criteria and presented a ranked list of programs to CN. CN then selected final candidates from the top-ranked communities.