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$200k available for BOP environmental groups

Welcome Bay Kindergarten teacher Degen Prodger with Tyler and Zara Clark and Evan Jethwa in their upgraded alleyway. Photos/Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

More than $200,000 is still available for local environmental groups who need help funding local projects – and time is running out to take advantage of this year’s Environmental Enhancement Fund.

This fund, which closes on July 31, provides seed funding of up to $25,000 for each community based project that helps improve the environment, raises environmental awareness and uses the enthusiasm and skills of the community.

Welcome Bay Kindergarten teacher Degen Prodger says the kindergarten received funding in 2019 to create a “green corridor” in an underused alleyway adjacent to the kindergarten, which had been nicknamed “dog poo alley”.

Degen says the alleyway had become a real eye sore for the community.

“It was dull, lifeless, intimidating, tired with broken fences and concrete, and was always littered in dog poo,” he says.

With the funds from Regional Council, the kindergarten was able to remove the wire fencing and over grown grass verges and rebuild a timber fence while replanting natives down either side of the alleyway.

“It was a great project in which the community, including our tamariki and whanau had an opportunity to take ownership and responsibility as kaitiaki; for maintaining a green space which they use daily."

Degen says they were also able to create a beautiful feature in the middle of the alleyway too.

"The tohoroa (whale) mountains (Papamoa Hills) were created from rocks gifted by a local quarry. The rocks represent the whales that beached in Rangataua Bay and who are sacred to the people of Ngā Potiki," he says.

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