20.02.2001: $25,000 from EW


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LEADER Tuesday, February 20, 2001

$25,000 from EW for riparian planting

Waikato Regional Council (Environment Waikato) has awarded $25,000 from the environmental initiatives fund to the Waihi District Walkways Society.

This will go towards riparian planting and fencing along Riverbank Terrace, Scout and Coffey's Creek Walkways.

The money is awarded subject to a number of conditions: The society presenting a written report on the progress and outcomes on completion of the track upgrade. The applicant liaise with EW staff from the Paeroa office. If the project does not proceed within six months of funding being approved, such approval will become null and void unless other provisions are arranged between the applicant and the council.

The Walkways asked for $40,000.Their itemised costing showed a need for $59,620 dealing with planting, and fencing.

Confirmed funding from James Say Foundation, Trust Waikato, and Lotteries totals $18,156, leaving a shortfall of a little over $40,000 for the planting.

The cost of the entire project including salaries, administration and construction of walkways is $208,300.

EW have identified riparian management as a priority issue for the region. The amount of funding requested is over 25% of the riparian fund for the region and it was decided to allocate $25,000.

Walkways project coordinator Tessa McKenzie says the award is wonderful.

"It gives a boost to the whole plan for winter," she said.

It is intended to have all the planting done this season.

Environment Waikato has also been helpful by providing a skilled student who has drawn up plans for the planting programme.

The planting, with trees provided by the Habitat Enhancement Landcare Project (HELP), will help stabilise the riverbanks and keep cattle away from the river's edges.

This is identified by EW and Iwi groups as very important to maintaining the health of streams and rivers.

Regional councillor Jenni Vemon is chair of the environment committee which granted the funding.

She says EW is pleased to assist because volunteers get so much done that otherwise may have to wait a long time to be prioritorised by the council.

"These projects are really important," she told us. "All these sorts of projects help long term to protect water quality."

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Waihi District Walkways Inc. PO Box 241 Waihi New Zealand

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