Information for Environmental Grant Applicants

Annual funding priorities

This year Council is particularly keen to support actions which contribute to any of the following objectives.

Nelson Nature

  • Protect existing native biodiversity on private and public land (e.g. weeding, planting, fencing, possum and goat control).
  • Restore connections between native ecosystems (e.g. native planting to connect or extend fragmented ecosystems).
  • Enhance native wildlife through predator control (e.g. community trapping projects on private and public land).
  • Enhance habitat for native wildlife within the Nelson Halo and coastal ecosystems.

Healthy Streams

  • Restore riparian margins.
  • Reduce erosion on farming and forestry land.
  • Reduce sediment or contaminants into freshwater.

The Process

How much support is available?

There are two categories of funding:

  • Category 1 – less than $5,000 in any one year
  • Category 2 – between $5,000 and $20,000 in any one year

What type of support is available, and how will it be provided?

‘Funding’ includes money, professional ecological advice, and/or native plants, as specified in individual funding agreements. Council will provide native plants directly (rather than money to buy plants) to ensure the use of eco-sourced plants.

Up to $5000 will be paid upfront, with any remaining funding conditional on completion of a satisfactory accountability report.

If you wish to apply for plants as part of your grant, these can only be included in the August and November funding rounds. Plants will not be considered as part of the March funding round, due to the need to order and allocate plants early in the planting year. Plants will be available for collection and planting, from May to August.

When calculating the cost of the plants as part of your application, allow $3 per plant for establishment species and $6 per plant for enhancement species.
When applying for fencing as part of a grant, there will be a standard subsidy per metre of fencing of $12.

The application process

  1. Fill out an application form (which can cover more than one year)
  2. Sign a funding agreement
  3. Complete an accountability report in May (for each year the project receives funding).

The application form and the accountability report for Category 1 funding (up to $5,000) is shorter that for Category 2. Accountability reports will be linked closely to the project details included in the application form.

What applications will score well?

If your project has positive environmental outcomes and is a viable project, is well aligned with the annual funding priorities, and includes an in-kind contribution, it will score more highly. However, lower scoring projects may also be funded, depending on how many applications are received.

When can we apply?

There will be three funding rounds for Category 1 (August, November and March) and one main round for Category 2 (August).

How applications will be evaluated – the criteria

Your application will be assessed in terms of:

  1. the environmental outcomes to be achieved
  2. the viability of the project (whether the proposed approach is likely to achieve the outcomes outlined in the application)
  3. how well the project plan aligns with this year’s funding priorities
  4. in-kind contributions.

Decision letters

All applicants will receive a letter advising whether funding has been approved for their project. Successful applications: these letters will include a draft funding agreement. Unsuccessful applications: these letters will explain why the application was not successful.

Funding agreements

The funding agreement will outline:

  • What the Council will provide to support your project (money, native plants and/or other materials)
  • How and when the grant will be provided
  • Any specific conditions associated with the grant
  • General conditions associated with all grants.

Signing the funding agreements

If you are happy with the funding agreement, please sign the agreement and return it to An Environmental Programmes Adviser will contact you about delivery of your grant.
If you have any concerns about the draft funding agreement, please contact Philippa Beckman at the above address.

Delivery of grants

After funding agreements have been signed, up to $5,000 will be provided to applicants at the beginning of their projects. Larger sums of money will be provided on receipt of the accountability report in May of the following year, unless otherwise agreed.

Native plants will be ordered by the Council, and delivered to you in time for winter planting.

Ongoing support

Please contact the Environmental Programme Adviser listed in your funding agreement if you have any questions related to your project.

Accountability reports

You will receive an email in April with an accountability report to fill out. This will entail:

  • Describing your project
  • Advising whether the project actions were completed
  • Advising whether all funds provided by the Council have been spent
  • Providing receipts to show proof of purchase
  • Including photographs of the project (where relevant).

Council officers will review your accountability report and follow up with you if they have any concerns about it.

Delivery of remaining funds (Category 2)

Once Category 2 accountability reports have been reviewed and approved, any remaining funding will be provided.

Site visits

In some cases, Council officers will arrange site visits, to both gather more information about projects and to take photographs for publicity reasons.


Publicity will be used to celebrate your successes and to promote future funding rounds. The support provided by Nelson City Council shall be acknowledged in any publicity or coverage related to projects.