$10.36 million for New Conservation Projects from the Conservation and GROW Trusts

Diana PerezBanner, Front Page, News

The Manitoba Habitat Conservancy (MHC) Board of Directors recently approved more than $10 million in conservation funding for Manitoba-based conservation organizations. Manitoba’s Watershed Districts have been approved to receive up to $7.57 million, with an additional $2.79 million in new grants to support 19 projects delivered by 15 of Manitoba’s leading conservation organizations. These projects are supported by endowments made by the Province of Manitoba and will benefit all Manitobans and work to achieve MHC’s Vision of “Manitoba landscapes – Alive with people and nature”. The total grants approved in 2023 from the Trusts is $10.36 million dollars.

“These investments in nature-based solutions provide new opportunities to deliver on-the-ground actions to improve wildlife, water, and soil conservation across the province,” said Stephen Carlyle, chief executive officer of the Manitoba Habitat Conservancy (MHC).

Funding to support these projects comes from three endowments, totaling $204 million, that were made to The Winnipeg Foundation between 2018 and 2020. These Trusts are dedicated to land, water, and wildlife conservation.

“The GROW and Conservation Trusts are building a legacy that will benefit all Manitobans. The funds are invested in local projects that conserve and enhance natural infrastructure and support the implementation of our made-in-Manitoba green plan,” said Environment and Climate Minister Kevin Klein.  “With these long-lasting partnerships that we’ve developed, we are inspiring new ideas and projects that may not have been possible until now.”

Establishment of the Conservation Trust, the GROW Trust, and the Wetlands GROW Trusts in Manitoba resulted in permanent revenue sources for new conservation activities. The Trusts focus on restoring natural areas in the rural landscape to help address floods and droughts, water quality, wildlife habitat and biological diversity, carbon sequestration and connecting people to nature.

“These conservation investments and partnerships will help make our landscape more resilient to the impacts of climate change,” said Carlyle.

Conservation Trust Projects supported include:

  • $400,000 to Manitoba Beef Producers to support projects that help cattle producers conserve grasslands and enhance habitat for threatened and endangered birds.
  • $100,000 to Save our Seine to support the restoration and enhancement of the Seine River Greenway.
  • $500,000 to Ducks Unlimited Canada to conserve and restore wetland and grassland habitats in the province.
  • $50,000 to FortWhyte Alive to support an open-air classroom that will connect new audiences to the outdoors and enhance experiences in nature in all seasons.
  • $85,000 to Birds Canada – Manitoba Office to support the implementation of the Bird-friendliness Index, an outcome-based indicator of biodiversity.

GROW Trust Projects supported include:

  • A record investment of $2.2 million dollars to Assiniboine West Watershed District to conserve wetlands and focuses on improving water quality and building flood and drought resiliency.
  • $1.3 million dollars to Souris River Watershed District to enhance flood and drought resiliency, increase biodiversity and habitat, and increase carbon sequestration.
  • $672,500 to Central Assiniboine Watershed District to support the conservation of wetlands, as well as the enhancement and restoration of riparian and upland habitat.

The $10.36 million in Trust funds is being matched by $16.9 million in funds and services by the groups, which will result in $27.26 million of conservation activity in Manitoba.

Since the inception of the trust funding in 2019, a total of $38.6 million has been committed to 182 conservation projects delivered by 47 Manitoba-based groups.

Serving its mandate to conserve fish and wildlife habitat in Manitoba for the past 37 years, MHC is a not-for-profit charitable organization, focusing on the implementation of conservation actions in our Province. In addition to administering annual Trust grants, MHC delivers a range of producer-friendly conservation programs.

For more details regarding funded projects see https://www.mbhabitat.ca/funded-projects/