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 $10,000 to $20,000, with a maximum amount of $25,000.
Hennepin County also offers Opportunity Grants for larger projects seeking to leverage multiple funding sources with grant amounts ranging from $25,000-$50,000. Learn more about Opportunity Grants.
All landowners are eligible to apply, including:
- Nonprofit and non-governmental organizations
- Local government agencies
If you're a renter, we encourage you to still reach out to us. We'd be happy to work with you and the property's landowner to identify and refine any grant ideas you may have.
Funding may be used for environmental or engineering consulting fees, materials, supplies, labor and inspection fees.
- 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 $10,000 to $20,000; 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.
Applying for Good Steward Grants
Applications for Good Steward Grants are closed for 2023, but will be accepted again in late 2024.
If you're interested in learning more about grant eligibility and application requirements, please review the application, guidelines, and sample contract documents linked below.
If you have any questions on the grant program or other funding opportunities, please contact Ellen Sones, firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-596-1173.
For reference, here are materials about the application process from a Fall 2023 presentation.
Good Steward Grant Fall 2023 information meeting presentation (PPT)
Good Steward Grants awarded in 2023
Hennepin County awarded seven Good Steward Grants totaling $155,000 in 2023.
Harrison’s Bay Association for rain gardens and shoreline buffer vegetation and stabilization (Orono)
$25,000 for design and installation of rain gardens and a shoreline stabilization along roadways adjacent to Harrison’s Bay on Lake Minnetonka. The lake association will partner with local residents and the City or Orono to install these projects that will keep 2,162 pounds of sediment and 4.0 pounds of phosphorus out of Lake Minnetonka.
Friends of the Mississippi River for Nicollet Island prairie and forest restoration (Minneapolis)
$22,500 for Friends of the Mississippi River to work with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, and private landowners to restore degraded and eroding natural areas around Nicollet Island. The project will plant up to 800 herbaceous plugs, 200 bare root trees, and manage and remove invasive species across nearly seven acres of mostly public riverfront property.
True Friends, LLC for Camp Eden Wood restoration project (Eden Prairie)
$21,542 for project partners to restore woodlands surrounding the camp. The project will involve removing invasive species and replenishing native species while improving spaces used by campers for tents and daytime activities. Over 2,000 wildflower, shrubs, and trees will be planted with an additional 2.7 acres covered with woodland and prairie seed.
Dwell Management Group, LLC for habitat, clean water, and livability improvement at Highland Gables Apartments (Brooklyn Park)
$24,955 for the project team, including property residents, Metro Blooms, and other funding partners, to install 2,360 square feet of rain gardens that will capture 95% of pollutants coming off the parking lot and other impermeable surfaces of the apartment complex. The rain gardens will capture 1.8 pounds of phosphorus, 743 pounds sediment, and over 400,000 gallons of stormwater each year.
Chicago Avenue Fine Arts Center to transform utilitarian space into a community asset with environmental impact (Minneapolis)
$15,000 to fund the second phase of this stormwater and property retrofit project that will install permeable pavement and a rain garden to treat parking lot and other impervious surfaces before it reaches the storm sewer. These practices are anticipated to capture over 90% of annual runoff and will infiltrate 144,000 gallons each year. The project will be highly visible and accessible to the public in George Floyd Square through educational and community outreach components of the project.
Mayflower Community Congregation for rain garden installation (Minneapolis)
$24,969 for Mayflower Community Congregational Church in Minneapolis to install two rain gardens adjacent to Diamond Lake Road. The rain gardens will capture and treat building, sidewalk, and parking lot runoff from the site estimated to be 0.2 pounds of phosphorus, 25 pounds of sediment, and 54,413 gallons of stormwater each year.
Tree Trust and Jerry Gamble Boys and Girls Club for rain infiltration and outdoor classroom (Minneapolis)
$21,000 to Tree Trust to restore underutilized areas of the Jerry Gamble Boys and Girls Club using the YouthBuild and Summer Youth Employment programs to add pollinator habitat, rain gardens, bioswales, and other green features to improve stormwater management, provide wildlife habitat, and increase access to additional usable green spaces. Other project components include development of an outdoor classroom and the adoption and clean out 15 storm drains through the Adopt-a-drain program.