Grants are available to landowners, which include individuals, government organizations, nonprofit organizations 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.
Type of grants available
Good steward grants
These 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.
These 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. Applicants are encouraged to use these funds as match funding dollars for other funding sources. A typical grant amount is $25,000 to $50,000, with a maximum amount of $100,000.
All landowners are eligible to apply, including:
- Nonprofit and non-governmental organizations
- Local government agencies
Applying for natural resources grants
Applications for opportunity grants are accepted on a rolling basis. Applications are reviewed and funds are allocated intermittently throughout the year. Applications for 2020 opportunity grants are being accepted through December 2, 2020. Download the opportunity grant application and guidelines (DOCX).
Good steward grants
Applications for good steward grants are due November 19, 2020. Submit applications via the county's Supplier Portal. Download the good steward grant application (PDF) and guidelines (PDF).
If you have any questions on the grant program or other funding opportunities, contact Kris Guentzel, email@example.com or 612-596-1171.
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.
Good steward grants awarded January 2020
Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center stormwater conveyance and cistern reuse, Minneapolis
$18,700 to use rainwater as a resource, both for their daily operations as well as to interact with and educate the public on important environmental issues. This project will develop a stormwater conveyance to re-direct rainwater from its roof into a series of nine connected, 50-gallon cisterns.
Common Roots Café catering water capture and reuse system, Minneapolis
$25,000 to install a rainwater capture and reuse system on site. 4,400 square feet of flat roof will be captured. Water will be filtered then connected to two toilets and a new irrigation system providing water for patio planters and boulevard planting along Lyndale Ave.
Girard Park West woodland/wetland edge and swale/turf prairie buffer restoration, Bloomington
$22,500 to restore (i.e. remove and control invasives, plant natives in their place) their woodland area that is adjacent to an existing wetland on their property. In addition, they will regrade a sloped area to create a swale that will work to hold and infiltrate runoff from the building rooftop and restore a turf area to a prairie buffer restoration.
Friends of the Mississippi streambank habitat restoration, Minneapolis
$13,500 to create and enhance native habitat on 7.8 acres on Nicollet Island, 2 acres at Orvin “Ole” Olson Park, and more than 15 acres in the Mississippi River Gorge between April and November of 2020. FMR is proposing 10 volunteer-based (250 volunteers) events to help plant native species and remove invasive species on these sites. The Proposal is to plant 150 trees, 150 shrubs, 300 sedges, and 1,000 native plans/wildflowers.
Tangletown Neighborhood bio-swales and rain gardens project, Minneapolis
$7,000 to recruit and partner with local residents, Metro Blooms and the Conservation Corps of Minnesota to install bioswales and raingardens on up to 15 Tangletown properties and boulevards in Minneapolis.
Opportunity grants awarded in 2020
The following larger projects will leverage multiple funding sources:
Brook Gardens participatory landscape design, installation, and stewardship, Brooklyn Center
$75,000 to develop a plan, in partnership with Metro Blooms, for improving green space access and stormwater management on the Brook Gardens property. Phase 1 of the project will install four rain gardens to treat residential runoff currently flowing untreated to Shingle Creek. The project will also establish new shade trees and a “nature play” landscape design to better allow the low-income residents to interact with the natural spaces surrounding them. This Opportunity Grant will fund Phase 1 of this project.
Cedar Riverside Limited Partnership engaging the community to create green space and protect water
$83,752 to work with residents of Riverside Plaza in Minneapolis to transform concrete areas into green spaces, rain gardens, and other stormwater management features to capture and clean water on site and provide outdoor spaces for residents. The features are projected to capture 627,000 gallons of water annually to remove sediment and phosphorous that would otherwise flow into the Mississippi River. A significant component of this project is involving the community in design, implementation, and maintenance.
Nine Mile Creek Watershed District best management practices on non-profit sites, five sites in Bloomington and Edina
$60,000 to install four large rain gardens and one vegetated swale to treat impervious surfaces on five non-profit's properties. This Opportunity Grant will fund $60,000 of the total project cost and will offset capital improvement funds utilized by the District.
Nine Mile Creek Watershed District reducing phosphorous and associated algal blooms in Lake Cornelia in Edina
$96,248 to develop a filtration basin that will clean water flowing into a small lake in Edina’s Rosland Park, which is upstream of Lake Cornelia. The basin will improve treatment of water flowing off of 410 acres of urban land, including Southdale Mall. A feasibility study found this practice to be one of the most cost-effective solutions to reduce phosphorous and associated algal blooms in Lake Cornelia.
River Park redevelopment and natural resource improvements, Brooklyn Park
$100,000 to enhance its River Park, adjacent to the Mississippi River. Part of this enhancement will include stabilizing the banks of the Mississippi River, improving natural prairie habitats, and establishing additional stormwater protections. Stormwater protections include the creation of a stormwater pond to treat 300 acres of developed area upstream, of which 250 acres currently discharge into the river untreated. The project will also build a rain garden to treat new impervious surface created in the park.