Manitoba government-funded trust leverages millions for watershed projects

Premier Brian Pallister and Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Minister Blaine Pedersen visited several GROW (Growing Outcomes in Watersheds) projects July 22, including this one near Souris. The pothole in the background usually floods, drowning the crop and wasting the farmer’s investment in inputs. Now the farmer is getting an annual payment not to seed those temporary wetlands and he will seed them to water-tolerant forages and harvest the hay. Yasmin Keeler (l), co-manager, Souris River Watershed District (SRWD), Doyle Piwniuk, MLA for Turtle Mountain, Premier Brian Pallister, Lloyd Atcheson, chair SRWD, Dean Brooker, co-manager SRWD, and Blaine Pedersen, Manitoba agriculture and resources minister.

The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation has announced $5.6 million in funding for new conservation projects under the Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) Trust and the Conservation Trust.

The trusts, set up by the Manitoba government, will help fund watershed programs to improve the environment and assist farmers in perpetuity. And as hoped, when the trust money is allocated it attracts additional private funds — in this case $9 million.

“The importance of this is leveraging industry and private money,” Manitoba Agriculture and Resources Minister Blaine Pedersen said in an interview July 23. “We’re tripling up the money actually besides the trust.”

The MHHC approves, tracks and evaluates projects funded through the trusts.

Earlier this year, 23 projects received $1.8 million in funding through the trusts.

For more information, visit the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation website.

Pedersen and Premier Brian Pallister visited two watershed projects July 22 to see first hand how the funding is used.

Watch the Manitoba Co-operator for more on GROW projects in this week’s edition.

About the author

Reporter

Allan Dawson

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.

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