River Accord community project applications open

Applications for the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord community grants programme open today, Monday 17 June.

The grants aim to assist non-profit organisations such as community groups, schools, catchment care groups and iwi/hapu with projects that will help increase engagement with Manawatū waterways and improve water quality in the catchment.
Manawatū River Leaders’ Forum Chair Richard Thompson says the standard of previous applications has been exceptional.
“I’m looking forward to more projects being supported that will engage communities while improving the Manawatū River and its tributaries,” he says.
“Previous applicants have received funding to complete stream fencing, riparian planting, wetland enhancement, educational projects and longfin eel repatriation.
“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 to discuss your project,” says Mr Thompson.
Horizons Regional Council freshwater and partnerships manager Logan Brown says application forms are now available online at www.manawaturiver.co.nz.
“We are pleased to be able to support project groups such as the Ōroua Catchment Care Group in Feilding. This group have worked their way through a number of farms fencing off the Ōroua and its tributaries and held various community planting days to plant up the riparian margins which has benefits by slowing down run off to filter nutrients and increased habitat for the birds, bees, bugs and fish,” says Mr Brown.
“Their most recent undertaking was a large project with the help of Manawatū District Council to open ‘windows’ to the Ōroua within Timona Park. The first ‘window’ is now complete and has made a huge difference to how the community interact with the river,  as many didn’t realise the river was so close, now people pop down on their lunch break to visit and take a quick walk.
This group has been applying for the grants since the programme began in 2012 and have achieved a significant amount to date.”
Mr Brown says this year’s 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 Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord community grants close Friday 4pm, 9 August 2019.  The amount granted depends on the merits of the applications and there is a total funding pool of $100,000.  
Application forms are available via the Manawatū River website or by contacting Horizons’ freshwater team on freephone 0508 800 800.