Water is life – and water stewardship is a critical part of ensuring Manitoba is sustainable for future generations.
“Healthier watersheds mean we have clean drinking water, productive fisheries, really great outdoor recreation,” says Jennifer Corvino, Project Manager at Redboine Watershed District. “All of that helps support us in our economy, our environment, and our quality of life.”
Corvino, along with the Manitoba Association of Watersheds, is encouraging landowners across the province to help protect Manitoba’s watersheds through projects funded by GROW (Growing Outcomes in Watersheds).
A Manitoba government-funded initiative, GROW supports projects that promote watershed health, sustainable management, and climate resiliency.
“I think every landowner should take a look at the variety of projects that we can help fund through the program,” Corvino says. “I have landowners doing large-scale soil restoration projects. I’ve seen grass runway repairs. I’ve seen large scale erosion issues that have been dealt with. This fund enables us to work with landowners to make tangible improvements in the watershed that we can see on the landscape.”
GROW funds are managed in trust by the Winnipeg Foundation and are administered by the Manitoba Habitat Conservancy. Thanks to funding permanently endowed by the Manitoba government in the GROW Trust, local watershed districts can help landowners access funding for upfront project costs and, in some cases, on-going annual payments.
“This is a fund that is continuous,” Corvino explains. “Once landowners learn about it, they know that this could be something in place for a longer-term project. They can reach out to the watershed district, we can help them determine plans and projects, and help them get on the path to doing some important work on the landscape.”
Landowners residing in an eligible RM can apply for GROW funding through their watershed district by phone or email (a complete list of watershed districts can be found at www.manitobawatersheds.org). For those who are not in eligible areas, Corvino encourages landowners to lobby their RM to join the watershed districts program.
“There are a lot of wonderful benefits that watershed districts can provide. The RM can request information from the province about participation in Manitoba’s Watershed Districts Program.”
The positive impact for landowners and the protection and conservation of Manitoba’s watersheds makes the GROW Program a win-win.
“We can see the difference within a year and start seeing the work that’s being done to the land to make our watersheds healthier.”
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