Less than five weeks after launching NZ’s first environmental crowdfunding website, the first Million Metres Streams project became fully funded.
At the end of 2014 the Tributaries of the Whitestone River project achieved 100% funding thanks to donations on the Million Metres Streams website. The landowners of this Southland project have ordered their plants and are now preparing for planting.
Claire Warren, Communications Manager for the Million Metres Streams (MMS) project says the Million Metres team is thrilled to have achieved the milestone so quickly.
“The Million Metres Streams project aims to fund the planting of a million metres of New Zealand waterways through crowdfunding. It was launched in October and already 1552 metres of planting have been funded. It was a fantastic Christmas present to have funded the first project before the end of our first year,” she says.
A collaboration between the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) and Enspiral, MMS aims to help restore the health of New Zealand’s waterways by speeding up riparian (stream bank) planting.
The MMS website enables donors to buy metres of riparian planting for projects that are run by community groups, councils and landowners around New Zealand.
“It’s a native restoration platform that anyone can get involved with,” says Claire. “It gives all New Zealanders – individuals and businesses alike – the opportunity to do their bit to restore the lifeblood to our streams, rivers and lakes.”
The Tributaries of the Whitestone River project, near Te Anau, Southland, is part of a former deer, sheep and beef farm with extensive river flats leading to rolling hill country. The more developed river flats on the farm are now devoid of natural cover, though some native shrubland remnants and streams are protected with QEII National Trust covenants.
The MMS project is an opportunity to start replacing lost native vegetation within already fenced off riparian zones. The plantings alongside small stream systems will offer shade for fish species and stream invertebrates as well as habitat for bird species.
Local native species will be used for the plantings, including red and mountain beech, which are endemic to the area. A local nursery will advise on appropriate plants and supply plant material for the job, and the benefits of the project will trickle into the local community.
The next project to which funds are being directed is the Waikohu River Tributary in the East Cape.