Grants are available to landowners, which include individuals, government organizations, nonprofit organization and businesses, for projects that preserve and restore the county’s natural resources. These grants support projects that preserve and restore natural areas and reduce the amount of nutrients and sediment flowing into lakes, streams and rivers while engaging residents in natural resource management issues.
Two types of grants are available:
- Good steward grants are primarily for smaller projects that improve water quality, enhance natural areas and promote environmental stewardship to the community. A typical grant amount is $5,000 to $15,000, with a maximum amount of $25,000.
- Opportunity grants are ideal for larger projects seeking to leverage multiple funding sources. These grants are intended to help partners take advantage of opportunities to implement large projects that improve water quality or preserve, establish or restore natural areas. A typical grant amount is $25,000 to $50,000, with a maximum amount of $100,000.
See the Natural Resources Grants flyer (PDF) to learn more about the difference between the grant types.
- Good steward grants: Applications are accepted once per year in the fall. Check back for the application and funding guidelines.
- Opportunity grants: Applications are accepted at any time. Funds are limited and awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Contact Jim Kujawa at email@example.com or 612-348-7338 for more information.
All landowners are eligible to apply, including:
- Nonprofit and non-governmental organizations
- Local government agencies
Funding guidelines and project examples
Funding may be used for environmental or engineering consulting fees, materials, supplies, labor and inspection fees.
Good steward grants
- Ideal for smaller, community-based or single applicant projects. Typical projects include constructing rain gardens, stabilizing stream banks, restoring native vegetation, installing vegetated filter strips or implementing other best management projects.
- Typical funding amount of $5,000 to $15,000; maximum funding amount of $25,000
- Grant funding can cover up to 75 percent of the total eligible project cost. Landowners must contribute the remaining 25 percent of project costs, which can be cash or in-kind.
- Ideal for larger projects seeking to leverage multiple funding sources from more than one partner.
- Ideal for projects identified as priorities in the applicant's management plans (such as a comprehensive plan or watershed management plan).
- Typical funding amount of $25,000 to $50,000; maximum funding amount of $100,000.
- No match required. Funds are often used for required match for other funding sources.
Opportunity grants awarded July 2015
- City of Minneapolis, Lake Nokomis Neighbors for Clean Water: $50,000 to work with residents in the neighborhoods near Lake Nokomis to install 160 – 180 stormwater best management practices (BMPs) that will reduce stormwater runoff leaving the participating properties. The practices will divert water running off roofs and hard surfaces into the rain gardens, permeable pavement systems and trench drains. This will improve the quality of water flowing into Lake Nokomis, which is listed as impaired due to excessive nutrients. The project will leverage nearly $600,000 in Clean Water Fund grants, local and in-kind matches.
- Parkway Place Homeowners Association: $ 50,000 to implement a major redesign and stormwater runoff retrofit on the complex grounds of the 22-unit townhouse association. This project will reduce the amount of onsite impervious surfaces by roughly 20 percent and will direct stormwater runoff through newly constructed rain gardens, reducing phosphorous entering Minnehaha Creek. The project will leverage $100,000 from other funding sources.
Grants awarded January 2015
In January, 2015, the county awarded four grants for projects that will preserve, protect or improve natural resources and water quality. Best management practices that will be installed include bio-retention ponds, rain gardens and permeable pavers. The grants will leverage $119,060 from local in-kind activities and cash matches.
The following projects were awarded:
- Continental Restaurants, Inc. (d.b.a. Black Forest Inn), Minneapolis: $20,000 to use stormwater planters, catch basins and infiltration BMPs to capture and treat stormwater from the roof and surrounding the property. This water is currently untreated.
- City of Plymouth: $10,000 to partner with the Wayzata Independent School District 284 to incorporate an iron-enhanced treatment system into two existing treatment ponds to reduce nutrient loading to Elm Creek.
- Longfellow Community Council, Minneapolis: $12,000 to install 40 residential rain gardens within the Longfellow Neighborhood to reduce stormwater runoff and its associated pollutants from entering into the Mississippi River.
- Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association, Minneapolis: $13,920 to engage private property owners in the installation of up to 15 stormwater best management practices including rain gardens and permeable pavement strips to reduce runoff to the Mississippi River.