Crowdfunding to rescue rivers
A crowdfunding campaign is attempting to save the country’s waterways one metre at a time.
The Million Metres project is the country’s first conservation focused crowdfunding platform.
Project manager Georgina Hart says they have the ‘‘modest target’’ of covering one million metres of waterways with riparian planting. Riparian planting filters toxic runoff and prevents sediment washing into water.
About 1250m of that will be in Dannevirke on John Poulton’s farm.
The sheep and beef farmer recalls growing up being able to swim in streams, and wanted to make sure his daughters could grow up with that experience as well.
‘‘We can’t take it for granted any more that they will be able to keep swimming in the streams here, or that their children will be able to.
‘‘The water isn’t as clean as it used to be. It’s more polluted and we know it could get more polluted if we don’t do something about it now.’’
He aims to plant about 3700 native trees along 1250m of stream bank this winter. The work will cost $44,000.
The family had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in fencing the stock out of streams and were now looking to tackle planting at a stream that runs into the Manawatu River.
‘‘We know the Manawatu has huge water quality issues and that what we do on our farm impacts the whole catchment.’’
Part of the Sustainable Business Network, Georgina says when a group can’t afford planting, the Million Metres crowdfunding project offers an option to help. ‘‘As a country we should be getting behind our farmers, community groups and individuals who want to plant their streams but don’t have the funding to do so.’’
Supporters can go online at millionmetres.org.nz to find out more and to fund planting projects at $35 a metre.
John and Marina Poulton, with daughters Milly, Isobel, and Zari are using the crowdfunding Million Metres project to help plant along a stream at their farm near Dannevirke.