River Accord community project applications open

Applications for the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord community grants programme opened today.

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.
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, and there will be a working session at Horizons’ Palmerston North office on 4 October for those who would like advice and assistance with their applications.
“Previous applicants have received funding to complete stream fencing, riparian planting, wetland enhancement, educational projects and longfin eel repatriation,” she says. 
“Over the last five years the community grant has helped the Mangaone West Catchment Care Group, which has focused on riparian planting and stream fencing on farms across the Mangaone West Catchment. 
“Every year approximately 10 landowners get involved, with about three landowners planting each year,” says Ms Ferguson.
“The Mangaone West project is a real success, its community driven and interest from landowners continues to increase each year. Mount Biggs School has also been involved in the project, growing little native plants in their propagation unit and supplying these to local landowners.”
Ms Ferguson says this year’s applications will be assessed based on environmental benefits, feasibility, community involvement, education and long-term benefits to the catchment.
“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 Monday 4pm, 16 October 2017.  The amount granted depends on the merits of the applications and there is a total funding pool of $80,000.  
Application forms are available via the Manawatū River website or by contacting Horizons’ freshwater team on freephone 0508 800 800.