The Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord has awarded approximately $160,000 in grants to 15 community projects focused on improving the Manawatū catchment.
The grants were open to non-profit organisations such as community groups, schools, early childhood centres, iwi/hapū groups, and individuals or landowners.
The programme provides an opportunity for communities to engage positively and constructively to improve the quality of the awa, either in direct relation to water quality or how people connect with the waterways in the catchment.
One of the grant recipients is Te Miro Farm, owned by Penelope and Blair Drysdale, for their wānanga nursey which will allow the local community and school to learn more about the environment.
“This grant allows us to continue our restoration work to the upper Manawatū awa, re-engage hapū and provide a place of wānanga to support the local community, catchment groups and schools,” say the Drysdales.
“Norsewood and Districts’ School are here every term learning about weed control, pest control, and planting seeds. Through these activities we’re creating the next generation who really understand how to look after and protect our environment.
“Part of this education includes propagating seeds on our own land, which can have quite harsh conditions, to give them a much better chance of surviving. The way we farm and what we’re doing ultimately future proofs the farm for the next caretaker, whether that be our children or someone else.”
The Drysdales also work in partnership with Te Kāuru Hapū Collective. Together they have been recipients of many grants working to regenerate the land and improve the catchment.
“Working with Te Kāuru Hapū Collective was a real turning point for us and has also become the most amazing partnership, they’re like family to us now.
“Together alongside our partners we are creating future conservationists who know how to go out there, trap some possums, plant a tree and care for our waterways.
“Hopefully the wānanga nursery trees we plant will give that next layer of learning and understanding for kids and help them thrive in this environment. We’re really grateful for the funding provided through the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord to create this opportunity for the kids and wider community.”
Te Kāuru Hapū Collective representative Arapera Paewai says the wānanga nursery was a natural evolution for the Drysdales.
“After a few years of plantings it’s fantastic to take the next step to propagating their own plants in the nursery to help care for the awa and catchment,” says Ms Paewai.
“It also works really well timing wise as there are great relationships established with hāpu members and schools.”
Other recipients of the grants came from right across the Manawatū catchment and included projects ranging from planting and fencing, to pest control and wetland restoration.
Creation of wetland at Alfredton School
To inspire learning for a lifetime by establishing a wetland area within the school as an outdoor classroom area. This area will teach students and the wider community about predator control, weed control and water quality monitoring while enhancing the habitat for biodiversity.
Feilding High School wetland restoration
To carry out restoration of the wetland on the school’s farm, including fencing around the area, planting and monitoring for pests to enhance the overall water quality and habitat of the Manawatū catchment, and future predator control plans.
Kintyre Wetland and Laurie’s Lake Development
A two year project to create Kintyre Wetland and Laurie’s Lake. The project will fence off an existing natural spring into two wetlands areas that are located on the bank of the Mangahao River. The project will involve Saint Anthony’s School as students will have the opportunity to use Laurie’s Lake wetland area for future environmental education projects.
Arohatia Te Kauwau – Plastic Challenge
Environment Network Manawatū in conjunction with Manawatū River, Source to Sea continue the work on previously funded projects with the focus for this year on Te Kawau and Napier Drain whilst continuing on supporting citizen science research and monitoring programmes within the region.
Nguturoa Streams Restoration Project
For riparian enhancement work including fencing, planting and weed control. This aligns with a wider project that is being undertaken in the catchment with the local community. Sites for restoration work will be identified through this larger project work.
Te Taiao Ukaipo – Otamaraho Development
For restoration of the Otamaraho Stream with riparian planting and plant release programmed to enhance biodiversity within the area while utilising the area as an environmental educational site and creating Whare Taiao to enhance local native knowledge through whakapapa, te reo, purakau and waiata.
Restoration of Te Maire Lagoon
For restoration of the wetland area to provide improved treatment to the water exiting the Shannon wastewater land disposal area before entering the Tokomaru River and then the Manawatū River. Restoration will also improve the habitat and the taonga species and provide educational research opportunities to the wider community.
Whiti Te Ra River Revitalisation
To carry out fencing, planting and a walkway development of a spring which feeds into the Manawatū River to maintain and enhance the biodiversity and water quality within the area.
Whakahuamaru Te Whenua me te Awa Oroua Development
To carry out a project along the Ōroua River and its tributaries starting with riparian planting, weed and pest control and cultural research.
Kopua Habitat Restoration Project
Restoring the wetland and surrounding bush through planting natives trees and grasses. Remove pest plant and animals from the area and enhance walking trails to the monastery for visitors.
Save our Native fish – Buckley Golf Club
To continue the project they started of fencing and planting along a small tributary to the Mangaore Stream, where native fish, including eels, īnanga and banded kōkopu have been found.
Mangatoro Stream Restoration and Protection
To undertake a restoration project including fencing and planting across private land for the future protection of the Mangatoro Stream by Waitahora Land Care.
Mangaone West Catchment
To continue to build on sustainable land use and the catchment care of the previous 25 years with native riparian planting throughout the Mangaone West catchment area by the Mangaone West Landcare Group.
A farmer led project for waterway improvement
To support farmers in the understanding of linkages between management of their farming systems and water quality outcomes with KapAg packaging practical methods. This will help farmers to monitor waterway condition and ecological health and integrate the results with strategic-farm and catchment planning.