Local community restoration groups are again the big winners as $600,000 is invested in native planting projects throughout the country as a result of the second round of the Community Conservation Fund allocations announced by Director General of Conservation Al Morrison.
“The applications in this round were of a particularly high standard and illustrate the commitment and teamwork between the community, councils, and government departments working together on restoration projects.” Mr Morrison said.
Waituna Landcare Group Incorporated received a grant of $13,755 to assist with the restoration of a gravel pit adjoining the Awarua Waituna wetlands. Specifically, the grant will assist with the purchase of over 2,000 native ecosourced wetland plant species including flax and cabbage trees, the construction of a weir, fencing and gravel removal to reduce the seed source of weeds.
Janice Kevern, Chair of the Waituna Landcare Group, said this was the perfect way to complement DOC’s existing work in the area and encourage landowners to take a responsible long-term view of their environment.
“This is a marvellous opportunity for our community to rejuvenate an area that was previously abandoned and create something of value for everyone to appreciate and enjoy,” said Mrs Kevern.
Looking at the 41 projects receiving grants, the community initiatives illustrate the shift in recent years towards community management of local areas with conservation potential.
“The allocations reflect the significant community contribution that is being made by restoration groups but the seeding money also provides a boost to the economy through the purchase of plants, equipment and other products associated with restoration.
“The benefits in restoring small areas will have very positive social spin offs with communities engaging and working together to achieve common visions.
The $600,000 of Government funds will be supplemented further by an estimated $600,000 from other funding and community group contributions.
This is the second and final round of the Community Conservation Fund which supported existing community restoration projects on public lands and required groups to have the capacity to provide ongoing support for the plantings. Projects on Council, Conservation, Railway, LINZ, Transit and other Government lands and Maori Reservations were eligible. Projects were generally limited to a maximum of $40,000 per annum and the allocation of funds is guided by the Government’s national priorities for the protection of indigenous biodiversity.