Whangaehu Catchment community project grant applications open

Horizons Regional Council have opened applications for community project grants within the Whangaehu Catchment on Saturday 20 June 2020.

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.
Glenn Maclean, chair of Ngā Wai Ora o te Whangaehu Governance Group, oversees the funding of the programme provided through the Ministry for the Enviornment’s Freshwater Improvement Fund. Horizons provides co-funding, oversees delivery of on the ground work and undertakes the administration.
“This is the third year we have worked with Horizons to target community grants specifically for the Whangaehu Catchment, “ says Mr Maclean.
“We know there are some great ideas out there that may need a bit of help to get off the ground or grow. If you or someone you know that has a project in mind please get in touch with Horizons’ freshwater team.”
Horizons freshwater and partnerships manager Logan Brown says eligibility information and application forms are now available on Horizons’ grants and sponsorship page at 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. The local community has the opportunity to speed up these interventions and be a part of positive change,” he says.
One of the successful projects from last year’s funding round was Ruapehu College.
“Through their science curriculum, the students from Years 9 -13 have been collecting data from four sites on the Makarunui Stream as it flows through native bush, and beef and horticulture land on the outskirts of Ohakune. This project will help contribute to the understanding of the wider environmental pressures on the Whangaehu River catchment from land use.
“The vision for science at Ruapehu College is that students will be environmentally aware problem-solvers that have the confidence to be engaged citizens that connect with their local environment.
“The college started this process through engaging in their local waterways.”
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 Friday 7 August 2020. The amount granted depends on the merits of the applications and there is a total funding pool of $33,000 available.