The Environmental Initiatives Fund (EIF) distributed by Environment Network Manawatū (ENM) has awarded grants totalling almost $50,000 to seven local projects in its 2024 large grants funding round. The fund is made possible in collaboration with Palmerston North City Council and focuses on projects that improve environmental outcomes for the city and its people.

Now in its fourth year of distribution the fund received 15 applications totalling $139,000. Some new exciting initiatives were supported which included focused wetland establishment, a new community garden and a local school.

Biodiversity, regeneration and pest control.

Funding was awarded to Lynches Stream Constructed Wetland Development for a new wetland at Scotts Road. The purpose of this is to enhance water quality during runoff events, to provide habitat for local biodiversity and to act as a demonstration for other rural landowners to learn about how to install these structures cost effectively into the landscape.

Kai; growing, preserving and storing.

Tahuri Whenua Tapui Limited was supported in their 'Te Māra Kai'-the Food Garden' initiative which has a strong focus on sharing knowledge regarding traditional foods cultivated by Māori. The organisation hopes to produce, present and share a series of resources that will see these traditional food crops grown in more home and community gardens across Palmerston North and contribute positively to kai security across the region.

Supergrans Manawatū was funded for the ongoing role of a workshop facilitator to run preserving workshops, community and Wahakura projects. Due to the immense skills of the current facilitator the organisation has been able to expand the variety of workshops they are delivering to the community resulting in increased skills sharing and local food sovereignty.

Just Zilch recived support to increase its storage capacity for the volumes of food it recives and redistributes accross the city. This means an increase in the amount of food available to its clients and a reduction in waste generated, General Manager Vaughn Seymour noted that 'we are deeply grateful…this funding will significantly enhance our ability to support our community by improving our food storage facilities’

Precycle NZ

Encouraging Nature based play

‘Wild Things’ nature school, currently running three programs a week received a small grant from the fund. Children attend for a day of play-based nature connection focused on fun and respect and care for our green spaces, while using them in a sustainable way. Nature school innovator Jane Evans noted that ‘It was like Christmas at our forest school when the kids heard about the new equipment…having a cargo net and slack line provide valuable opportunities for tamariki to challenge themselves and to work cooperatively. Knives, flints, buckets, saws - all vital parts of what we are offering to give students a day in nature where they learn new skills in a beautiful, grounding environment’

Wild Things


Recycling: bikes and paper towels.

Precycle NZ received a third consecutive year focused on its rigid insulative fibre panels from used paper towels (ReFib Panels). The project has reached a stage where the panels need to undergo a pre-appraisal assessment with BRANZ. If successful, this will provide New Zealand and potentially the world, with a sustainable building material that can be implemented in the building industry whilst diverting paper towel waste from landfill to offset the effects of climate change. Precycle NZ representative Caleb Payne notes that with ‘support from the Environmental Initiatives Fund, we have been able to grow our paper towel collection service substantially. We now partner with schools, fire stations, Massey University, Toyota, and other organizations across the Palmerston North region.’

The Green Bike Trust were awarded funding to support their ongoing operation. The trust has been providing sustainable transport for students and the wider community in Palmerston North since 1995.  They aim to minimise landfill waste by recycling old bicycles which when hired out or sold also provide affordable transport options. Bikes that are not salvageable are processed into parts that can sold or recycled to minimize landfill impact.

The Large Grants round of the fund is open once a year, but eligible projects and initiatives are able to apply for small grants up to $1000 year-round. Go to to find out more.