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
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. Funds are often used for required matches for other funding sources. 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.
All landowners are eligible to apply, including:
- Nonprofit and non-governmental organizations
- Local government agencies
Applying for good steward grants
Applications are being accepted now for good steward grants. Applications are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, November 9, 2018.
New application process for 2018
Applications must be submitted through the new online Supplier Portal.
To access the RFP and apply:
- Visit the Supplier Portal
- View the application materials by going to Grant Opportunity - Good Steward Grants
- You need to be registered to submit an application. For detailed instructions on how to register and submit an application, including video tutorials and more, visit the Supplier Portal information page.
Applying for opportunity grants
Applications are accepted at any time. Funds are limited and awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Contact Jim Kujawa at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-348-7338 for more information.
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.
The county awarded seven natural resources grants totaling $170,865 in January 2018.
Good Steward Grants awarded January 2018
- Minneapolis Public Schools – Field Community School, Minneapolis: $19,665 to install two rain gardens and a vegetated drainage way to capture runoff from the staff parking lot and a portion of the paved playground and sidewalks. This will benefit water quality in Minnehaha Creek. The Conservation Corps of Minnesota along with students and community volunteers will construct and plant the rain gardens. Permanent signage and enhanced fifth through eighth grade learning curriculum will be part of this project. The project will also positively benefit water quality in Minnehaha Creek.
- Metro Blooms and Nokomis East Neighborhood, Minneapolis: $18,650 to install five runoff control systems, including 11 rain gardens, one vegetated drainage way, two native plantings and one permeable pavement system on private properties throughout the neighborhood. Metro Blooms will prepare site specific designs and work with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota to prepare and install the projects. The project will positively benefit water quality in Minnehaha Creek.
- Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association, Minneapolis: $10,000 to install up to 20 rain gardens throughout this neighborhood. Metro Blooms will prepare site specific designs and work with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota to prepare and install the projects. The project will benefit water quality in in Lake Hiawatha and Minnehaha Creek.
- Private landowner prairie restoration, Independence: $5,450 tol restore native, pollinator-friendly habitat on 4.5 acres. This project will increase habitat for pollinators and ground-nesting birds in the Pioneer Creek and Crow River watersheds.
- Private landowner shoreline stabilization, Independence: $10,600 to install ravine and bank stabilization practices on a property adjacent to Lake Independence that will control and eliminate gully and unstable shoreline areas. These practices will benefit water quality in Lake Independence.
- Private landowner pond project, Bloomington: $6,500 for the neighborhood to improve the water quality of Winchester Pond. The project will install three rain gardens, restore upland buffer vegetation and install two floating islands. This project will improve water quality in Nine Mile Creek and the Minnesota River.
Opportunity grants awarded January 2018
- Metro Blooms, Autumn Ridge Apartment retrofit, Brooklyn Park: $100,000 for Metro Blooms, the City of Brooklyn Park, Sherman Associates and residents to develop a five-year stormwater retrofit plan for the 17-acre apartment complex. This grant is for the first two phases of the plan and will include 12 rain gardens, four trench drains, 1,000 square feet of native planting areas, and 530 square feet of permeable pavement systems. The grant will leverage an additional $100,000 in Shingle Creek Watershed grants and a 25 percent match from Sherman Associates. This project will improve water quality in Shingle Creek.