Province Unveils First Three Projects of the Growing Outcomes In Watersheds (GROW) Trust

In support of the Moving Manitoba Forward Guarantee and the made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, the Manitoba government has unveiled the first three projects under the $52-million Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) Trust to support the protection of wetlands and watershed management, Premier Brian Pallister and Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.

“Today’s announcement highlights our government’s unprecedented commitment to support our producers as stewards of the land, recognizing the environmental benefits that come from healthy ecosystems,” said Pallister.  “Our government values the critical role farmers play in managing our landscapes and watersheds.  Working in collaboration with producers and landowners, the GROW Trust will ensure the sustainability of our wetlands today and for future generations to come.”

In partnership with the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC), the province announced the first three projects to receive funding through the GROW Trust.  The Seine-Rat River Conservation District and the Little Saskatchewan River Conservation District will each receive $250,000 to expand the ALUS Canada ecological goods and services programs they offer to conserve wetlands, and build resilience to the impacts of flood and drought, the premier noted.

In addition, up to $1 million will be invested in the TransCanada Shelterbelt Renewal Project, which will be designated as a ‘Manitoba Signature Project’ to demonstrate the value of shelterbelts on agricultural landscape.

“The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation is proud of our partnership with the Manitoba government that will help ensure the protection of our natural resources and improved watershed resiliency that will deliver important environmental results for Manitobans for generations to come,” said Tim Sopuck, chief executive officer, MHHC.

It was also announced the first intake of applications to the GROW Trust will be held in January 2020, allowing conservation districts, soon to be watershed districts, with local GROW committees to apply for project funding that will encourage and support the delivery of ecological goods and services (EG&S) in Manitoba.

“Building on the innovative approach to provide long-term investments to protect our environment first established through the Conservation Trust, GROW will further enhance our ability to mitigate climate change, reduce flooding and improve water quality and nutrient management in our watersheds,” said Squires.  “Our government is committed to working with all Manitobans to ensure we remain Canada’s cleanest, greenest, most climate-resilient province.”

The Growing Outcomes in Watersheds (GROW) Trust has been established with an initial investment of $52 million and will be managed by The Winnipeg Foundation (TWF).  It will help producers and ranchers with projects such as restoring wetlands, planting windbreaks and balancing drainage with water retention to improve resiliency to a changing climate.  The trust also encourages private donations toward supporting these important initiatives and project selection will be co-ordinated in partnership with Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation and delivered by Manitoba’s conservation districts.

For more information about GROW, including project eligibility, contact a local conservation district or visit www.gov.mb.ca/sd/.  For questions about opportunities outside of the conservation district program, call Manitoba Sustainable Development at 204-945-0002.

More information about conservation districts and watershed planning can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/sd/water/watershed/cd/index.html.

For more information about ALUS Canada visit https://alus.ca/.

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