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An April 15th Provincial news release identified the first 41 funded projects of the Conservation Trust

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More Than 40 Projects Approved, Over $2.2 Million Committed: Premier

Manitoba Habitat Conservancy has selected the first round of projects approved under the Manitoba government’s $102-million Conservation Trust, Premier Brian Pallister and Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.

“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,” Pallister said. “With this long-lasting partnership, we are building a legacy of work that will benefit all Manitobans. Today’s announcement is the first instalment of many years of projects that will ensure Manitoba remains Canada’s cleanest, greenest, most climate-resilient province.”

The first round of initiatives includes 41 projects, with funding totalling over $2.2 million across four distinct program areas: watersheds, habitat and wildlife, connecting people to nature, and innovation and conservation planning. 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.

Among the approved projects getting funding are:
• 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 Conservancy. “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.

“The foundation appreciates the confidence the Manitoba government has shown by placing these new endowments under our stewardship,” said Rick Frost, CEO, The Winnipeg Foundation. “We look forward to working with the Manitoba Habitat Conservancy as it advances conservation projects that protect wetlands and support other important environmental initiatives.”

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Photo by: Jim Fisher