The September meeting of the Backcountry Trust approved a record number of applications which will go into a programme of work over the coming 2019/20 summer season.
Thirty one projects in total were approved for Round 11 totaling some $334,000 worth of work (including GST).
Twenty five of these projects were either significant hut restoration projects of a hut or catch up hut maintenance projects. To go with the hut renovation projects funded from previous rounds, it is shaping up to be another big season of volunteer work in the backcounty hut network.
Amongst the hut projects are summer maintenance rounds on some of the smaller bivs in the Ruahines, catch up maintenance on the older NZFS huts in the head of the Clyde, Mathias and Lawrence Rivers in Canterbury, and a major rebuild of old Top Forks Hut.
We have some regular hut renovation teams back in action this summer with Bill Barnett's group back in action renovating Roaring Lion Hut in Kahurangi, Permolat Southland have a multi year programme of hut renovations underway and the exNZFS were successful in securing a grant for Stage 1 of the Renata Hut restoration.
There has been a growing interest from new groups wanting to apply for grants from the Trust. Two new groups successful in Round 11 were the Governers Bay Firefighters Group who are doing a major overhaul of McCoy Hut and a local iwi group who have got together to take care of a vandalism hit and run down A-Frame Hut in the Ruahines.
Two significant grants were made to multi year track maintenance projects to Permolat West Coast and the Green Valley Track Group in Dunedin as part of their ongoing commitment to get through the work in their respective regions. A significant grant was also given to the Levin-Waiopehu Club for remedial work on the track to Waiopehu Hut.
A major mountain biking funding initiative for Kaikoura is currently deferred till the next round while more details with the proposal are finalised.