Horizons Regional Council opened applications for community project grants, within the Whangaehu Catchment on Monday 24 June 2019.
The programme aims to assist non-profit organisations such as community groups, schools, catchment care groups and iwi/hapu with projects that will help increase engagement with Whangaehu waterways and its tributaries to improve water quality in the catchment.
Horizons Ruapheu councillor and chair of Ngā Wai Ora o te Whangaehu Governance Group Bruce Rollinson says this is the second year Council has been able to target community grants specifically for the Whangaehu Catchment.
“This is as a result of a successful application in 2017 to the Ministry for the Environment’s Freshwater Improvement Fund and co-funding from Horizons,” he says. “We know there are some fantastic ideas out there that may need a bit of help to get off the ground or grow.
“If you or someone you know has a project in mind please get in touch with Horizons’ freshwater team,” says Mr Rollinson.
Horizons freshwater and partnerships manager Logan Brown says eligibility information and application forms are now available on Horizons grants and sponsorship page at www.horizons.govt.nz.
“We’re really pleased to be able have funding available for community groups in the catchment, as their projects complement the work council and other groups have underway in the area.
“Collectively our efforts are contributing to improvements in water quality,” he says.
“The local community has the opportunity to speed up these interventions and be a part of positive change.”
“One of the successful projects from last year’s funding round was with the Raetihi Promotions Charitable Trust. Their project is a multi year one focussing of the improvement of the Makotuku Walkway, and has truly been led by the local community.
“In year one, the Trust have been able to hold a community planting day, clear away pest plants and tidy the surrounding areas.”
Mr Brown says applications will be assessed based on environmental benefits, feasibility, community involvement and long-term benefits to the catchment. There is also likely to be a strong preference towards ‘on the ground’ work.
“In addition to funding, the grants provide an opportunity for groups to tap into the support and technical advice available at Horizons. We can’t wait to see what ideas are brought to the table through this new funding round.”
Applications for the Whangaehu Catchment community grants close 4pm Monday 9 August 2019. The amount granted depends on the merits of the applications and there is a total funding pool of $33,000.