Manitoba announces Conservation Trust projects

Ground Water Canada
April 23, 2019
By Ground Water Canada
Winnipeg – Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation has selected the first round of projects approved under the Manitoba government’s $102-million Conservation Trust. They include wetland restoration and an innovative water storage project.

“The Conservation Trust is an innovative, forward-thinking approach to invest in local projects that will conserve and enhance natural infrastructure and support the implementation of our best-in-Canada climate and green plan,” Premier Brian Pallister said during a press conference with Rochelle Squires, minister of sustainable development, on April 15.

The first round of initiatives includes 41 projects, with funding totalling over $2.2 million across four program areas: watersheds, habitat and wildlife, connecting people to nature, and innovation and conservation planning, Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation said in a news release on its website. Funding is based on a two-to-one matching formula, with the first group of projects receiving support ranging from $4,000 to $125,000.

The following projects are among those getting funding:
• Kirkella Community Pasture Grassland Enhancement, $100,000 funding (total project $200,000) – The Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association and local pasture patrons will improve management of the 3,000 acre Kirkella Community Pasture, resulting in enhanced grassland and wetland habitat, improved pasture productivity, better soil health and carbon capture.
• Wetlands and Waterfowl Conservation Project, $100,000 funding (total project $385,000) – Delta Waterfowl Foundation will improve waterfowl production with nesting structures on 750 acres of wetlands. The wetlands will be protected by conservation agreements and deliver water storage and water quality improvements to the local watershed.
• Brandon Riverbank Wetland Restoration and Access Improvement, $100,000 (total project $250,000) – The Riverbank Discovery Centre will restore a wetland damaged by flooding and install floating environmental education and nature appreciation.
• Distributed multi-functional water storage, Whitemud Watershed Conservation District $100,000 (total project $323,000) – The conservation district will develop small water storage projects designed to improve watershed resilience by reducing peak flows during floods, retaining water in dry periods and providing wetland habitat.

“Funding from the Conservation Trust will help Manitoba conservation organizations tackle these important projects and create added environmental benefits for all Manitobans,” said Tim Sopuck, chief executive officer, Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. “The Conservation Trust offers a lasting approach that will fund conservation, and will inspire new ideas and projects that may not have been possible until now.”

The Conservation Trust was announced in Budget 2018 and is now permanently endowed so it can support and inspire important conservation projects for generations. The fund is expected to generate about $5 million a year and will be managed by The Winnipeg Foundation, with projects administered, tracked and evaluated by the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation.

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