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A $500,000 gift for the environment

A $500,000 gift for the environment

Monday 18 December 2006

Environment Bay of Plenty has given just over 30 Bay of Plenty organisations a great reason to celebrate this Christmas.

The regional council has just granted another half a million dollars from its Environmental Enhancement Fund to community and council projects. They include pest control work on Mt Ngongotaha, the development of a heritage trail brochure for Opotiki, and a gully restoration project at Bethlehem.

Over the past seven years, the fund has allocated more than $5 million to community groups, schools and organisations in the Bay of Plenty.

Chairman John Cronin says the Environmental Enhancement Fund is “a fantastic resource” for people who are working to improve the environment, or people’s knowledge about it. “We’re pleased that we can support our community in this way. We wish them well with their projects.”

Community engagement coordinator Jo Smith says the fund received 50 applications totalling just over $1.2 million this year.

Applications are checked carefully to make sure they meet the basic screening criteria, she explains. A team then assesses them using a points system. This gives marks for environmental enhancement, community participation, innovation and other features of the projects. Environment Bay of Plenty councillors make the final decisions.

“This year’s applications were again of a very high-quality. However, more groups applied for funds that exceed the funding available. This made it difficult to choose projects and we had to carefully look at them. The projects that have been successful will have some exciting outcomes.”

This year’s recipients are:

- Hukutaia Domain Advisory Committee, Opotiki, to complete label replacement with 40 metal plant labels, $877.00

- Katikati Archives, to continue to copy Katikati historic information held on microfilm in Tauranga City Library archives, $5,319.00

- Taneatua School Board of Trustees, to substantially reduce the invasion threat of Japanese honeysuckle to the native flora on Otarahioi Hill, $1,950.00

- Friends of Summerhill, Te Puke, to restore and re-vegetate waterway and establish public access at Summerhill, $22,989.00

- Te Rangitupukiwaho-Kanui Waitere-Wetini Whanau Trust, Te Teko, to ecologically restore Lake Pupuwharau and its surroundings, $17,000.00

- Waiotahe Valley School, Opotiki, to restore the school gully to a wetland habitat for the community, $4,460.00

- Taiapure Committee of Management (aka Maketu Taiapure Committee), Maketu, to create four new open water ponds to the borrow pits on the Kaituna River, $4,115.00

- Hinepukohurangi Trust, Ruatahuna, to protect and increase population of North Island Brown Kiwi in the Waituhi/Mangapae area, $6,990.00

- New Zealand Historic Places Trust Bay of Plenty Branch, Opotiki, to raise awareness and appreciation of Opotiki town centre's historic heritage through production of a heritage trail brochure supported by interpretive panels, $29,150.00

- Tauranga Worship Centre Care Control and Development Team, Tauranga, to undertake pest plant control and manage the wetland seepage area at the Tauranga Worship Centre, $6,986.00

- Ngatuhoa Lodge Outdoor Education Society Incorporated, Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park, to educate and involve Ngatuhoa Lodge users in the restoration of native forest in the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest Park, $7,272.00

- Taneatua, Waimana, Ruatoki Taiohi Trust, to eliminate Japanese walnut trees from area adjacent to Jack Knowles Reserve to enable native species to regenerate, $2,486.00

- Aongatete Forest Restoration Trust, Katikati, to control and reduce rats and possums to a low level within 200 hectares of the Aongatete lowland forest, $22,800.00

- Ngati Rangiteaorere Kahikatea Trust, Te Teko, to enhance an existing Kahikatea stand by controlling willow and other weed species, $38,506.00

- Rotary Club of Kawerau, Kawerau, to identify and develop the heritage within the Monika Lanham Reserve influenced by Maori, $8,625.00

- Opotiki Art Society Inc, Opotiki, to restore south face wall and roof of the Opotiki Arts Society Building, $53,586.00

- Kawerau Intermediate School, to clear fell large exotic trees and carry out further pest plant control to prepare for planting natives in Monika Lanham Reserve, $15,000.00

- Kawerau South School, to continue the work to restore archaeological resources within Monika Lanham Reserve, $17,700.00

- Matata Community Resource Centre, to plant 3000 native plants enhancing the walkway and Matata Lagoon, $5,900.00

- Tauranga Environment Centre Charitable Trust, to deliver a month-long programme of up to 50 events to encourage community to be actively involved in environmental sustainability, $23,665.00

- Te Rangatahi o te Whenua Trust, Opotiki, to fence and protect the Te One Urupa, $10,913.00

- Bethlehem Foundation, Tauranga, to restore gully and wetland and provide public access and interpretation panels in Bethlehem conservation area, $11,306.00

- Opotiki Community Theatre Trust, Opotiki, to water proof and seal two concrete plaster walls, $14,095.00

- Hamurana Springs Incorporated Society, Rotorua, to restore Hamurana Springs to its natural state by removing exotic aquatic weeds, $6,750.00

- Trustees of Rurima Islands Maori Reservation, Rurima Islands, to undertake ecological protection, restoration and education as part of ongoing management of the islands, $1,350.00

 Opotiki Heritage and Agricultural Society, Opotiki, to weatherproof the Shalfoons building by replacing the old roof, $33,617.00

- Galatea School, to plant trees along the Horomanga River bank and create a memorial area, $2,200.00

- Mt Ngongotaha Bush Restoration Trust, Rotorua, to control rats and possums in the vicinity of the Rata on Mt Ngongotaha, $5,011.00

- Matata Lagoon Action Group, to carry out an effective weed eradication programme covering the Matata Lagoon, $20,835.00

- Kawerau Golf and Squash Club, to clear pest plants and replant in natives to attract native birds to the area adjacent to the Golf Club, $900.00

- Waimana Parish 246B 3A 4 Trust, Whakatane, to fence the urupa battle ground, plant natives and erect signs, $15,121.00

- Opotiki District Council, Opotiki, to improve public access and appreciation of the Huntress Creek coastal dune and estuary environment, $16,933.00

ENDS

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