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The Fiordland Trails Trust has secured the funding it required to begin developing a network of trails thanks to a $6,000 grant from the Meridian Manapouri Te Anau Community Fund.
Andy McDonald, of the Fiordland Trails Trust, says the funding will help the Trust get off the ground and begin achieving its goals.
The Fiordland Trails Trust was created to develop and promote a functional and high quality interconnected network of trails for walking, hiking, cycling, mountain biking and horse riding in Te Anau, Fiordland and Southland.
“We have some beautiful scenery all around Fiordland so it is important that people get the chance to see it. It is equally important that we encourage people to be active and enjoy the outdoors,” he says.
The funding from the Meridian Manapouri Te Anau Community Fund is intended to help the Fiordland Trails Trust produce a development plan and a website.
“A development plan is a vital tool to help get the project off the ground and ensure that things start happening. We have been tapping into local resources and have been putting together concepts for logos and the necessary framework around funding proposals.
“The website is also a vital tool for our cause. It allows us to share our vision and create awareness around the project. We have already had positive feed-back from the community, so we are keen to begin working towards our long-term goal of developing a number of tracks in the area to encourage visitors to stay a bit longer to enjoy some of what we have to offer,” he added.
Meridian Manapouri Te Anau Community Fund Chair Alan Seay says the Fiordland Trails Trust was an ideal candidate for funding.
“The goal of the Fiordland Trails Trust is fantastic. There is so much beautiful landscape in the lower South Island and it is important that people are encouraged to be active and explore some of it,” he says.
“We saw distinct parallels between this project and the work we do with Project Crimson. Both initiatives aim to provide facilities to allow people to be active while experiencing everything that the outdoors has to offer,” he added.
About the Meridian Manapouri Te Anau Community Fund
The Meridian Manapouri Te Anau Community Fund is run by a panel of community members and Meridian staff. The fund was created by Meridian in conjunction with the local community to recognise the contribution that the Manapouri/Te Anau area makes to the country’s energy generation. It is intended to help support local initiatives that will benefit the community.
Other projects to receive support in the last round of funding included; the Attitude Programmes for Schools, Fiordland Community Swimming Pool Association, Mararoa School Board of Trustees and the Mainly Music Outreach Programme.
The Panel will meet to make the first round of funding allocations for 2008 on 27 March.
For those who would like to find out more about the Meridian Manapouri Te Anau Community Fund they can visit http://www.meridian.co.nz and look under About Us, email email@example.com or call 03 357 9732.