River Accord community project applications open

Applications for the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord community grants programme are now open.

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 Manawatū waterways and improve water quality in the catchment.
Horizons Regional Council chairman Bruce Gordon says the standard of previous applications has been exceptional.
“I’m looking forward to more projects being supported in their efforts to engage communities while improving the Manawatū River and its tributaries,” 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 to discuss your project,” says Mr Gordon.
Horizons freshwater coordinator Lucy Ferguson says application forms are now available online at www.manawaturiver.co.nz.
“Previous applicants have received funding to complete stream fencing, riparian planting, wetland enhancement, educational projects and longfin eel repatriation,” she says. 
“We have also recently helped a community group near Norsewood restore a wetland area through planting and fencing off the area from stock. In addition to completing physical works to help improve water quality, the group are passionate about educating their community of the historical and cultural significance of the place.”
Ms Ferguson 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, 3 March 2017.  The amount granted depends on the merits of the applications and there is a total funding pool of $50,000.  
Application forms are available via the Manawatū River website or by contacting Horizons’ freshwater team on freephone 0508 800 800.