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Protecting our precious places

Crowdfunding helps with waterways protection

8 August 2016

Media release

A project to plant out around 1250 metres of streamside on John and Marina Poulton’s farm near Dannevirke is well underway thanks to the many generous donors who contributed funds via the Million Metres Streams crowd-funding website.

Million Metres Streams was set up by the Sustainable Business Network to help communities and individuals raise the funds they need to protect and improve the health of waterways around New Zealand.

With the funds raised John and Marina were able to plant 1870 plants this winter and around 1000 more plants will go in next winter. The planting took 3 days and was done by contractors with assistance from John and Marina and their family, their farm manager, and QEII National Trust and Horizons Regional Council staff. Dannevirke High School students laid weed mats around the plants as a fundraiser for pupils going to a Hillary Outdoors course and a netball championship. All the plants used come from the ecological district, and were supplied by two local nurseries.

The Poultons’ planting project is the fourth QEII National Trust project to be crowd-funded on the Million Metres Streams website. Their planting zone falls within an area they recently covenanted with the National Trust, protecting a podocarp treeland gully system with stream flats.

The National Trust’s funding advisor, Genevieve Bannister, said the funding came at the perfect time.

‘With the covenant now fenced, grazing is no longer keeping the grass down on the flats. John had already cleared the area for planting and getting the plants in when we did will help keep rank grass and blackberries at bay and speed up natural regeneration processes,’ she said

John and Marina said they are thrilled to be part of the Millions Metres Streams campaign to protect New Zealand’s waterways.

‘When we were kids we could drink water from rivers and swim safely where we wanted. We want to make sure our kids and future generations can do the same.

‘We couldn’t have done so much so soon without the crowd-funding and we extend a huge thank you to every single donor for helping make this happen,’ they said.

Horizons Regional Council has been closely involved with the project. It has worked with the Poultons to prepare a whole-of-farm management plan, helped out with fencing costs and, through its He Tini Awa fund, contributed plants and support for restoration work at other sites on the farm.

Captions:

Top photo: The Poulton family clockwise from the front: Zari, Isobel, Milly, Marina, John, and John’s parents, Bev and Rod.

Bottom photo: Contractors and other helpers planted 1870 plants over 3 days.

More information:

Million Metres Streams crowd-funding — www.millionmetres.org.nz

QEII National Trust — www.openspace.org.nz

Media spokespersons:

Million Metres Streams

Georgina Hart georgina@sustainable.org.nz (09 972 0987)

QEII National Trust

Genevieve Bannister gbannister@openspace.org.nz (06 650 9308)

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