Ten groups were successful in their applications to the community fund and will carry out projects as diverse as propagating native plants and improving river access over the next two years.
The grants funding is part of the $5.2 million awarded to the Forum following a successful bid to Central Government’s Fresh Start for Freshwater Clean-Up Fund in 2012.
Horizons Regional Council chief executive Michael McCartney says the funding “provides a chance for our community to turn and face the river as we work to address water quality issues in the catchment”.
“We know there are some fantastic ideas and skills out there. This was evident in the applications received and we’re eager to support these projects as they enhance community understanding and make a real difference on the ground.”
A funding pool of $90,000 is available to support community projects under the Manawatu River Leaders’ Accord grants initiative each year for the next two years and requests for funding in the latest round totalled $596,247.
Mr McCartney says the selected projects showed a clear synergy with goals of the Manawatu River Leaders’ Accord, demonstrated a tangible improvement in community understanding and involvement in the river clean-up and showed collaboration between community groups.
“By working together we can achieve so much more than would be possible in isolation. The community grants initiative is just one more example of the power of collaboration when it comes to improving our river,” Mr McCartney says.
“It’s not just funding, but also an opportunity for groups to tap into support and advice from river leaders and will help accelerate progress towards achieving goals set out in the Manawatu River Accord.”
Successful applicants to the fund were: