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Published: 2012-05-25 00:00:00

Grants totaling more than $120,000 have been approved by Waikato Regional Council for local environmental projects from around the region.

The nine individual grants – made under the Environmental Initiatives Fund – range from $37,500 to help build kakapo display facilities at Maungatautari to $3700 to develop a restoration management plan for the Matarangi Reserve in the Coromandel.

The Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust is planning to put the male kakapo Sirroco on display in spring and in the future to help raise awareness about the predator-proof ecological sanctuary. It’s hoped that more than 5000 people will visit him during his first stay at Maungatautari.

Bike Taupo has been awarded $29,200 to remove wilding pines from the Whakaipo bay section of the Whakaipo to Kinloch bike track.

Dr David Pattemore is being granted $16,500 to build five specialist video recording systems that can be used by Waikato conservation projects, while Mercury Bay Museum is getting $13,000 to upgrade its facilities.

The Rotokauri Lake Committee will use a $6,200 grant to carry out replanting, as well as weed and sediment control, around the lake.

Gordonton Woodlands Trust is being granted $5,000 to improve water quality in the stream and lake at Woodlands Gardens, while Raglan’s Xtreme Waste is getting a similar amount to produce an educational film to help launch other community waste reduction programmes.

The Miranda Naturalists trust is receiving $4,500 to build a new hide for viewing birds, while the Coromandel Coastal Walkways Society is the recipient of the $3,700 for restoration management planning at Matarangi Reserve.

The council’s natural heritage programme manager Kevin Collins said the grants were a sound way of supporting local communities and groups to make a real difference in protecting and enhancing the natural environment.

“We encourage people with similar worthwhile projects to approach us about funding. Our Environmental Initiatives Fund is about the council taking a partnering approach towards assisting local people to take local actions to help our environment.”