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This multi-million dollar community conservation fund has opened for applications.

Date:  19 May 2016 Source:  Office of the Minister of Conservation

A multi-million dollar fund set aside to support community conservation will open for a third round of applications on 23 May, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has announced.

The DOC Community Fund was set up in 2014 to distribute $26 million over four years to inspire and enable community-led conservation projects around New Zealand.

“This fund has made a big difference for many smaller groups who would have struggled to do their great work without some timely help,” Ms Barry says.

“220 different projects have been awarded more than $16 million in funding in two rounds and we’re anticipating around $4.5 million will be allocated this year.

“Recipients have ranged from groups helping fight the War on Weeds, outdoor clubs keeping huts in good shape to pest-trapping networks and wetland restoration aimed at creating habitats for our native animals.”

Last year’s funding included $1.2 million towards the War on Weeds, a $2.3 million boost for community pest control and $550,000 for environmental education.

“This fund encourages enthusiasts to take ownership and lend a hand to important projects that matter to their communities,” Ms Barry says.

“Last year $500,000 was granted to the QEII Community Weedbusting Project  to support community weed control initiatives around New Zealand, including intrepid groups like the Conifer Cavalry, who enlist experienced horse riders on search and destroy missions tackling wildings in the high country.

“It is the perfect match – DOC expertise allied with community enthusiasm in a way which can only be good for conservation.”

Groups applying for funding will need to submit an expression of interest showing how their project fits with the purpose of the fund by 1 July. Following the assessment of expressions of interest successful applicants will be invited to submit a full application.

Following the initial $26 million over four years, the Community Fund will be maintained at an annual allocation of approximately $4.6 million a year.

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