New Zealand recently launched its first crowdfunding platform that focuses on water conservation, The Million Metres project. According to Georgina Hart, the project manager, they have a modest target of being able to cover one million metres waterways by means of riparian planting. Riparian planting can prevent the sediment washing into water and filters toxic runoff.
Hart says, “As a country we should be getting behind our farmers, community groups and individuals that want to plant their streams but don’t have the funding to do so. When a group has not achieved the funding they need to do their planting or just can’t afford to do it, we say we have an option to help.” According to her, in order to make sure that the crowdfunded money was put to efficient use to meet their common goal, their team, and/or partners, will work closely with those utilizing their crowdfunding platform.
One project is the Manawatu River Tree Planting campaign started by beef farmer John Poulton and his family. Their farm stream runs into the Manawatu River and they want to protect the river’s health and have a positive impact on the environment. They also want to make sure that their waterways are absolutely safe for drinking and swimming, not only for them, but for the insects and fish as well. The family’s target is to reach $43,750 to cover the planting of approximately 3,700 trees along the stream banks.
John said he remembers swimming in these streams growing up as a child, and he now wants his daughters to experience the same thing during their childhood. He says, “We can’t take it for granted anymore that they will be able to keep swimming in the streams here, or that their children will be able to. The water isn’t as clean as it used to be. It’s more polluted and we know it could get more polluted in the future if we don’t do something about it now.”
The Million Metres project is in collaboration with the Enspiral and Sustainable Business Network. Those interested in supporting this tremendous project can finance their own metre of planting for only $35 by visiting millionmetres.org.nz.