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Published: 2007-12-20 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is giving the Waikato River Trails Trust $28,000 towards a walkway that will help people enjoy and learn about the Waikato River.

The grant will help the trust continue to plan, fund, construct and promote its trail network along the Waikato River.

The trust’s overall goal is to build a 100km forest and river trail from Horahora in the north to Atiamuri in the south. It hopes to promote the protection and enhancement of the river by creating public access and awareness.

Four trails totaling 12km have already been opened, including a wetland trail accessible for people with mobility issues. The trail bridges a trout spawning stream and leads through board-walked wetlands and regenerating bush to riparian fencing and planting.

Environment Waikato’s funding will go toward a section of track to be built along the edges of the Waikato River and Lake Maraetai, incorporating boardwalks and bridges where necessary.

Environment Committee chairman Jane Hennebry said the river trails project supported Environment Waikato policy around enhancing public access to lakes and rivers.

“This project has the potential to become a major feature of our region and could make an important economic and social contribution to the South Waikato area,” she said.