Crowd­fund­ing to res­cue rivers

The Tribune (NZ) - - COMMUNITY - NI­CHOLAS MCBRIDE

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.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

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.

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