Horizons Regional Council has $20,000 available in its community grants programme to support environmental initiatives.

The council is calling for applications to the programme, which helps encourage and support local community groups, schools, childcare centres and iwi/hapu, with non-profit projects designed to enhance the region's natural environment.

Applications will be assessed on environmental benefits, feasibility, community involvement and long-term benefits, Horizons chairman Bruce Gordon said.

"In the past we have granted funding to a range of projects such as sand dune stabilisation, native tree planting, wetland preservation and trapping to protect endangered species," he said.

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"More often than not we help groups that simply need a little funding to get their projects under way. It's really satisfying to provide this support and we can also supply expert advice where possible."

Applications that provide opportunities for the public to learn more about the environment and encourage greater use of the region's facilities and amenities would be considered favourably.

"We receive frequent proposals for beautification planting, vegetable gardens and edible forests. While these are great ideas, they don't focus on engagement with the natural environmental aspect of the programme ... "

Applications close at 5pm on May 13. For further information head to www.horizons.govt.nz or phone 0508 800 800.