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Planning Grants Overview

Planning Grants Overview Printable Version

Planning Grants are available to plan for a stewardship project, significant in scope and cost. The outcome of these grants may be used to complete a full application for a Stewardship Fund Action Grant with the MWMO or for a project with another funder. The grant amount may not exceed $10,000. Some matching funds required.

Planning Grants are intended to assist organizations to prepare for eventual implementation of a more complex project. A completed Planning Grant will result in some or all of the following: detailed technical designs, lists of materials, a project budget, a maintenance plan and a clearly defined plan for project activities.

Participation in a Planning Grant is not a required step prior to application for an Action Grant. However, applicants are encouraged to plan large and complex projects in partnership with the MWMO with the assistance of a Planning Grant or close communication with MWMO staff. Completing a Planning Grant will not automatically result in receipt of an Action Grant; a full application process must be completed to receive an Action Grant.

How to Apply for a Planning Grant

Planning Grant Pre-Application
Planning Grant Budget Form

Submit a pre-application and budget form to the MWMO. The pre-application assists the MWMO in determining if a project meets our program purposes and can be realistically accomplished.

Pre-applications will be reviewed by MWMO staff and the MWMO Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC). The MWMO will invite selected pre-applicants to complete a full application. Full applications will be reviewed by MWMO staff and the CAC. Their recommendations for grant recipients are reviewed and must be approved by the MWMO Board of Commissioners.

Application Timeline

Pre-applications due: Friday, June 3, 2016 by 4:30 p.m.
Invitation to submit full applications: by Friday, July 1, 2016
If selected for full application, a meeting will be required with MWMO staff prior to full application due date.

Full Applications due: Friday, July 29, 2016 by 4:30 p.m.
Notification of grant awards will follow MWMO Board approval on: Tuesday, September 13, 2016.

Project Examples

The following are examples of projects that have received a Planning Grant. These examples are provided simply as general ideas and are not meant to limit the possibilities or creativity of applicants. See awarded Planning Grants.

  • Construction documents and specifications for erosion control practices, native plant buffers around water bodies, and ecological restoration (e.g., removal of invasive species and establishment of native species)
  • Program designs that could result in positive, long-term changes in community behaviors, such as improved water conservation practices, reduction in use of polluting agents (e.g., road salt and lawn chemicals) and use of stormwater best management practices (BMPs)
  • Calculations and modeling for site-specific stormwater BMPs and other practices to reduce pollution, combined with plan for reporting on the effectiveness of new technologies and approaches
  • Schematic design drawings for replacement of impervious surfaces with high-capacity pervious materials

It should be noted that soil contamination in urban areas is common and implementation of projects that infiltrate water will be contingent upon successful demonstration that there is no contamination of concern, remediation has occurred, or there is no potential for negative impact on surface or ground water resources.


Eligible organizations are required to provide a 25 percent match to the grant received. The match may be cash or in-kind support (e.g., volunteer time, donated materials or services, etc.).

Individuals, homeowner and condominium associations, private businesses or any other organization that must partner with an eligible organization to apply for a Planning Grant are required to provide a 25 percent cash match.

Grant recipients will receive 25 percent at the beginning of the agreement, most of the remainder based on completion of activities or deliverables, and the remaining 10 percent upon submission and MWMO approval of completion. Reimbursements will be contingent upon documentation of the expenditure of matching funds.

Funding can only be used for activities that occur after the agreement has been signed.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the MWMO to discuss ideas and ask questions in advance of submitting a pre-application.

For questions or more information, please contact:
Marcy Bean, Program Specialist: Capital Projects & Land Conservation
612-746-4979 or mbean@mwmo.org

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Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
2522 Marshall Street NE
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418-3329
Phone: 612-465-8780
Fax: 612-465-8785