Community, Environment

New fund to help nurture nature

Planting work done by Taimate farmer John Hickman to restore native ecosystems may be eligible for future help. Photo: Matt Brown.

A new $70,000 dollar a year fund has been set up to help keep Marlborough’s habitat happy.

Marlborough District council have set up the new Working for Nature/Mahi mō te Taiao in a bid to make the environmental grant process easier.

The new initiative will soon be on offer to landowners, businesses and community groups who meet the guidelines.

Deputy Chair of the Environment Committee Gerald Hope says the move puts the process on a par with council’s sports, arts, heritage and youth funding practice.

“Council has successful community grant schemes for sports, the arts and culture, heritage and youth but our environmental grant process has been less well coordinated.

Working for Nature will bring a much better structure to our process for granting funds for environmental protection and enhancement,” he says.

Funding has been reallocated from the Tui to Town programme and the Greening Marlborough fund.

More money could be made available from other sources, depending on demand, Gerald says.

Initiatives geared towards restoring native ecosystems, protecting native habitat and planting stream banks will be first in line.

The proposed $70,000 annual budget would be split between Habitat Marlborough to help restore native habitat and improve biodiversity and fresh water quality.

Protecting Marlborough is set to benefit from a $45,000 funds boost for animal control projects.

Councillor David Oddie says projects can take place on public, private or Māori-owned land.

“This fund will be welcome news for the many groups and individuals in Marlborough who are striving to improve natural habitats and control pests.”

Projects can take place on public, private or Māori-owned land.

“Successful applicants will be required to sign a funding agreement and provide an accountability report once the money is spent.”

The first round of applications will open on 1 October 2020 and close on 31 October 2020.

The decision is subject to ratification by the full Council on Thursday 17 September.

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