$122,000 boosts environmental projects

Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust chairwoman Claire Becker-Gledhill plants a native sapling at...
Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust chairwoman Claire Becker-Gledhill plants a native sapling at Flat Top Hill reserve near Alexandra earlier this month. PHOTO: TRACIE BARRETT
Environmental groups in Wanaka and Clyde benefited from the Otago Regional Council Eco Fund grants announced yesterday, receiving $122,105 between them.

Twenty-five environmental projects were funded by the annual fund and additional incentive funds this year, with grants totalling $443,125

Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust received $38,124 from the Otago Regional Council Eco Fund, for wages at its community native plant nursery at the Clyde Railhead.

Friends of Bullock Creek was granted $12,000 for weed control and improving water quality in Wanaka; Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust, a Wanaka-based native plant nursery, received $4000 for native revegetation on the Upper Clutha; and Aspiring Biodiversity Trust got $19,098 for a predator trap network around Mt Aspiring National Park.

The Hidden Hills Residents Association also received $48,883 for rabbit fencing around Wanaka from an incentive fund ($100,000) for sustained rabbit management.

Additional incentive funds this year were ring-fenced for native planting after wilding pine removal ($50,000) and native planting for water quality ($30,000).

Haehaeata chairwoman Claire Becker-Gledhill said the money applied for was to top up the wages of two employees — a nursery manager and an administrator/project co-ordinator.

Nursery costs and about two-thirds of staff wages were covered by Friends of Haehaeata — a group of local businesses and organisations that pledged to annually contribute towards the running of the trust, she said.

"The two people the wages are for are primarily responsible for keeping us going."

Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust chairwoman Carrie Williams said they were "over the moon".

"At the moment we’ve got an education programme focused on native regeneration — this funding will contribute towards that. It also allows us to further develop the resources needed for the programme, and continue funding our education provider on the ground," Ms Williams said.

By Tracie Barrett & Aspen Bruce

 

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