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Riparian planting and beauty products may not have an obvious connection but together they have contributed to a Wanaka environmental group receiving $20,000 towards buying plants.

Earlier this year, the cosmetics, skin care and perfume company The Body Shop offered an $8000 prize for the project that could generate the most number of donations.

Water Action Initiative (WAI) Wanaka Water Project manager Matt Shepherd said he saw this as “a great opportunity”.

He said the campaign lasted two months and the sustainable business network initiative Million Metres Streams Project generated 118 donations during that time.

“The project was also fortunate to have been supported by a matched donor through the campaign which meant for every dollar that was donated we received $2.

“With the incentive of matched donations and the prospect of winning a bonus $8000 we raised more than $20,000.”

Million Metres is New Zealand’s only dedicated programme for connecting local waterway restoration projects with large-scale funding and resources.

Mr Shepherd said riparian planting was one of the three workstreams of the WAI’s Freshwater Improvement Fund and for the past four years they had undertaken fundraising for the project through the Million Metres Streams Project.

“The funds will all be used to help us reach our planting targets,” he said.

The goal of the Wanaka Water Project was to plant 24,000 riparian plants across the five-year project.

“So far, we have planted over 16,000, creating 5000 metres of new riparian buffer around our waterways.

“I can’t thank the community enough for their generous support during this campaign and we can’t wait to get out and plant in the spring,” Mr Shepherd said.