Collaborating to crowdsource clean streams

24 June 2014

SBN and Enspiral are collaborating to build NZ’s first crowd-funding platform to fund the restoration and planting of a million metres of New Zealand streams and waterways. We call it the Million Metres Streams Project.

The Million Metres Streams (MMS) Project is a national campaign that aims to restore one million metres of public and private waterways in New Zealand. The MMS Project will build on existing riparian restoration infrastructure by creating a campaign that will see donations from business and individuals being directed to field partners, such as  Trees for Survival, or to new or existing planting projects.

“There are numerous hardworking individuals, organisations and farmers that are already planting their waterways, and we would like to increase the support and funding available for such important restorative activities. Planting our waterways (riparian planting) is a simple and effective way to improve water quality, reduce silt runoff, support wildlife and actively involve New Zealanders in environmental stewardship,” says Rebecca Keen, MMS Project Manager.

The Million Metres Stream project will work alongside Carbon4Good’s carbon offsetting work so donors have the choice of supporting the waterways or offsetting their carbon.

“The Million Metres Stream Project is a radically inclusive way of scaling and speeding up stream restoration projects in New Zealand,” says Rachel Brown, SBN CEO.

“We’ve been working with the team at Enspiral to create a user-friendly interface that will connect corporate or individual donors to community groups who are running restoration projects around New Zealand,” she says.

Just like the Carbon4Good programme, donors give money to the MMS Project. The MMS team then works with field partners who are already undertaking riparian planting and stream restoration projects. The field partner will use the funds to purchase trees and other useful plants like flaxes and grasses, and will arrange volunteers to do the planting at the chosen site.

Field partners will act as a conduit between the MMS website and the planting projects.  Field partners will ideally include councils, industry groups and experienced or recognised community organisations already operating in the tree planting and waterway areas. Our current field partners are Trees for Survival, QEII Trust, Te Whangai Trust and Sustainable Coastlines.

Upon completion of the planting, donors will receive a report which details the region, metres of stream planted, amount of carbon offset and volunteer hours used.

The project will provide plenty of opportunity for individuals/communities/organisations to actively get involved and take ownership of waterway health via tree planting, land preparation, weeding, cultivation, waterway adoption and education programmes. 

In addition to this, the platform will provide up-to-date metrics on planting and waterway health, along with news, event programmes, and related activities. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Million Metres Streams Project, please contact Rebecca Keen, MMS project manager.