Environment Waikato has granted $20,000 towards a 100 km Waikato River Trail project.
The South Waikato Economic Development Trust applied for funds for construction materials, an environmental restoration plan and a heritage identification plan as part of the river and forest trail from Hora Hora Piarere in the north to Atiamuri in the south.
The Trust aims to increase economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits and advantages from the Waikato River. The project covers nearly a quarter of the length of the river and includes a route suitable for both walking and cycling, sections for disabled use, overnight stops, heritage and nature features.
The three year cost of the project is about $1.4 million and other funding is being sought. Overall, the complete project will encourage and support protection of riparian areas, natural resources and features unique to New Zealand’s longest river. Community support was strong, with other funders identified and the District Council contributing $300,000.
The Trust opened the first section of the trail on December 5.