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Grant leverages community support for Ashhurst Playcentre

Grant leverages community support for Ashhurst Playcentre

One of Horizons Regional Council’s community grants has seen Ashhurst Playcentre leverage a huge amount of community support to establish an outdoor natural play space.

Ashhurst Playcentre co-president Helen King says they applied to Horizons for some funding in order to develop an under-utilised area of the centre.

“Last September we were taking a look at the play area and realised we had a large space at the top of the driveway that wasn’t being used,” says Ms King.

“We soon had plenty of ideas in regards to how we could use this space but no funding to do anything. Fortunately for us, this was at the time where we could apply for a Horizons community grant and we are so happy that we did.”

Upon receiving $318 from Horizons Ms King approached a number of local businesses to see if they could spare anything to further enhance the space.

“The funding from Horizons was fantastic as it allowed us to say to people, this is what we have to start with, is there anything that you think you could add? And what blew us away was nobody said no,” she says.

Horizons’ grant provided three garden beds and a compost bin. Local businesses donated pallets to plant strawberries and herbs in, paint, plants, rocks and stones, compost filling, a worm farm and a wooden table.

“The aim of the space is to provide an opportunity for students to play with nature and see how they use it. Last month we held an opening of the area and invited everybody who had contributed along to thank them,” says Ms King.

Horizons environmental educator Helen Thomas says it’s great Horizons can support community groups such as Ashhurst Playcentre.

“With a little help from us Ashhurst Playcentre has managed to develop an awesome outdoor space for their students to interact with nature,” she says.

“It’s also encouraging to hear how local businesses have got behind the centre due to our grant kick-starting the development of the space.”

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For more information contact Cara O'Neill, Communications Officer, Horizons Regional Council, 06 9522 951, 021 2277 190

Editors note: Local businesses that donated goods to Ashhurst Playcentre are ACC, Bunnings, B&M Electrical, Edible Garden, the Herb Farm, Thee Garden Centre, Trevor Salmon, RECAP and Wattyl.

Horizons’ community grants programme is now in its third year with grants available to support community-led projects that help in making the Manawatu-Wanganui Region a great place to live, work and play. The 2014 round will be open later in the year.

Community groups, schools, early childhood centres and iwi/hapu groups are all eligible to apply for a grant from the $20,000 pool. These will be awarded to projects that enhance the Region and encourage more people to engage with the natural environment.


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