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Posted May 13 , 2013

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Environment

Grants available to farmers in Waterloo Region for environmental projects

More than $300,000 is available this year to farmers in Waterloo Region for water quality improvement projects. Applications are being accepted for grants from the Rural Water Quality Program, which is administered by the Grand River Conservation Authority.

Farmers can apply for grants for projects such as:

· tree planting along streams, on retired farmland or to create a windbreak,

· construction of fencing along streams to keep livestock out,

· construction of manure storage and milkhouse waste treatment facilities

· development of nutrient management plans,

· improvements to fuel, chemical or fertilizer storage and handling systems,

· well upgrade or abandonment projects, and

· erosion control projects

“Farmers should be applying now for grants on projects they want to do this year,” said Tracey Ryan, Manager of Environmental Education and Restoration for the GRCA. “We have staff available to talk to landowners and help them with their applications.”

Anyone interested in the program should contact Anne Loeffler, Conservation Specialist, at aloeffler@grandriver.ca or by phone at (519) 621-2763, Ext. 2242.

Grants range from 50 per cent to 100 per cent, depending on the type of project. The landowner contributes the balance in cash, materials or labour. Participation in the program is voluntary.

Funding for this program is supplied by the Region of Waterloo and through the Ministry of the Environment’s Drinking Water Source Water Protection Program.

Since the program began in 1998, Waterloo Region farmers have invested more than $13 million in 1,200 projects, with grants to farmers totaling more than $4.4 million. More than 330,000 trees have been planted on 690 acres of fragile land, along watercourses or to create 35 km of windbreaks. Fences have been installed along over 50 kilometers of stream banks. About 160 farmers have taken advantage of the program to improve their manure storage facilities.



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