Biodiversity and creative projects to benefit from Council grants

Published: 17 September 2021

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Ashburton District Council has given almost $25,000 to community biodiversity work that includes projects at two bike parks and Awa Awa Rata Reserve. Another $9000 was also allocated for creative projects.

The Awa Awa Rata Reserve Society was given $7000 from a biodiversity fund for pest traps and an ecological assessment that is aimed at improving birdlife and forest regeneration while raising awareness of the role of pests and encouraging the next generation to value and care for native environment.

Initial plans are to plant a new kowhai grove, check 40 rat traps and 45 stoat and possum traps, undertake wasp control, and have a professional assessment of forest health that will inform future management.

The area contains very important native plant species, birds, and insects that depend on them. It is a mixed forest containing beech, totara, rata, and other small trees and shrubs, and native birds like bellbird, riflemen, kereru, tomtit and fantail.

Mountain Bike Ashburton and Bike Methven were each given $3000 to put in native plants and/or undertake weed and pest control.

Ben and Leah Mee received $3000 to carry out wasp control along the foothills in the Ashburton district. The Upper Rangitata Gorge Landcare was granted $5300 to carry out weed control in the upper reaches of the braided river, which has important fishery and habitat values.

Community event funding of $4748 was given to a group organising the Rakaia School 150th jubilee, which is planned for 4-6 March 2022.

Heritage funding was also available, but no applications for projects were received.

A total of $9121 was approved from the Creative Communities Scheme, including $3000 for Christmas in the Park, a family-focused event for local performers, musicians, singers and dancers to present to a live audience.

The Big Little Theatre Company received $861.61 to perform a theatre piece about World Wars 1 and 2; the Ashburton Festival of Pipe Bands received $690; Hakatere Ceramics & Pottery received $1869 to host a workshop by top potter Fiona Tunnicliffe; Kristin Anne Dunne received to run $1200 art classes, and the Zonta Club of Ashburton Charitable Trust received $1500 for its Zonta Ashburton Female Art Award.

The second round of the Creative Communities Scheme funding will be in March 2022.

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