Apply for funding to enhance your environment
Tuesday, 1 July 2014 2:00 p.m.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Environmental Enhancement Fund (EEF) opens for applications today.
Fund Coordinator Sandy Hohepa says that the fund is open to almost any group or individual that wants some help getting started on a community-based environmental project in the Bay of Plenty.
“This year we’re especially interested in funding projects that focus on water quality and caring for wildlife and habitats in our streams, lakes, harbours and estuaries. We’re also on the lookout for projects that enable more sustainable use of waste, water, energy and other natural resources,” Ms Hohepa said.
Information about eligibility criteria and an application pack is available at www.boprc.govt.nz/eef or by calling the Regional Council on 0800 884 880. Applications for up to $25,000 will be considered all year round, until the fund is fully allocated.
“The EEF is a great opportunity for people who want to make a difference for the environment to access valuable advice and the financial support they need to get set up. Last year we funded 33 EEF projects throughout the Bay of Plenty region which are already achieving awesome results,” said Ms Hohepa.
One such project was led by the Edgecumbe Development Improvement Team (E.D.I.T). They received EEF funding in 2014 to eradicate and control weeds, and plant native trees from Reids Canal to the Rangitaiki Bridge.
“They started their work opposite the Fonterra factory. Fonterra was so impressed with E.D.I.T.’s efforts that they’ve provided further funding through the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund,” Ms Hohepa said.
Ms Hohepa says that special funding is also available to assist Kura Kaupapa Māori, Kohanga Reo and bi-lingual schools with their environmental projects through the He Matapuna Akoranga a Hawea Vercoe (Hawea Vercoe Memorial Fund).
“The special fund was established in 2011 in honour of the late Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor and former Principal at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rotoiti, Hawea Vercoe. Hawea was passionate about Māori education and the environment,” she said.
Schools can apply for up to $25,000 for one project from the Hawea Vercoe Memorial Fund through the EEF application process. Information is available at www.boprc.govt.nz/eef or by calling the Regional Council on 0800 884 880.
Te Whānau Rumaki o Matariki at Gate Pā School extended their Maara Kai Project this year through a 2013 grant from the Hawea Vercoe Fund.
“We planted gourds and other Māori crops and native plants as part of an exploration of our cultural identity and 150 year commemorations of the Pukehinahina and Te Ranga battles. We feel really fortunate to have access to a fund that helps our tauira (students) to connect with their cultural values in this way,” said project leader Reremoana Rota.