Date: 24 September 2009
Community conservation groups in the Waikato could be in for some relief from the tough financial times with the opening of the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) Waikato Community Conservation Fund.
The fund aims to assist groups carry out conservation projects or activities on public or privately-owned land in the Waikato area. A broad range of activities are funded, including protection and enhancement of habitats, restoration of habitats, improved recreational opportunities, increasing public awareness and helping to establish groups with conservation at heart. The Waikato Conservancy takes in the Coromandel Peninsula, King Country and Waikato Region.
‘It’s all about supporting individuals and organisations at a local level so conservation benefits can be experienced locally as well’ says Jan Simmons, DOC’s fund co-ordinator for the Waikato Conservancy. The fund, which is open to applications from any non-profit community group until 12 October 2009, is always well-subscribed.
Recipients in previous years have included the Mercury Bay Museum in Whitianga, The Coromandel Heritage Trust, Thames Coast Kiwi Care, Tui 2000, and the Waikato Biodiversity Forum. Funding has provided for educational displays, fencing, pest control, and training associated with these and other similar groups.
‘Times are tough financially, and we’re expecting a good number of applications again this year’ says Jan, who is encouraging people and organisations to get their application in early.