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Stewardship Fund Grants

Stewardship Fund Grants support efforts of the public and the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) in protecting and improving water quality and resources we all share and rely on.

Water quality is affected by many different sources, often unintentionally, through our own everyday activities. How we care for ourselves, yards and grounds, wash and maintain our cars, and even dispose of pet waste may contribute to water pollution in the Mississippi River. The hard surfaces of our roofs, driveways, sidewalks, and pathways may increase the amount of stormwater entering the stormdrains if not managed properly. There are many choices we can make to reduce these harmful impacts on water quality.

Grant Purposes: What types of projects are funded by this grant program?
Projects funded through the Stewardship Fund Program should be aligned with the following purposes:

1. Develop partnerships with community organizations.

2. Protect or improve the quality of water, habitat, and natural resources..

3. Build community understanding, knowledge, and initiative related to water, habitat and natural resource issues and solutions.

Grant Types:

Mini Grants: Available for short-term or small-scale water quality projects. The grant amount may not exceed $3,000. No matching funds required.

Planning Grants: 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.

Action Grants: Available to complete a stewardship project, significant in scope and cost. The grant amount may not exceed $50,000. Some matching funds required.

Eligible Applicants:
The MWMO is currently reviewing its eligibility requirements. As of September 9, 2014, eligible applicants include:

  • Non-profit organizations
  • Officially recognized neighborhood groups
  • Business and professional associations
  • Schools
  • Local units of government

  • Individuals, homeowner and condominium associations, and private businesses may partner with eligible applicants to apply.

    Applications that include improvements on private lands will be considered, but issues such as public access and the environmental benefits of the project will influence decisions. All projects completed on private land must show a public benefit.

    Past grant recipients may only apply for funding for new projects not previously funded by the MWMO.

    A single property may be awarded the maximum amount of $63,000.00 (the equivalent of one Mini, one Planning, and one Action Grant, but does not necessarily have to be that combination of grants and may be awarded in any order).

    The MWMO Stewardship Fund Grants may not be used to fund projects installed solely to meet regulatory requirements. Projects may be initiated due to a regulatory requirement; however, stewardship funds may only be used to fund portions of the project that implement water quality innovations that exceed regulatory requirements.

    Eligible Geographical Project Locations:
    Projects should educate and engage people who live, learn, and/or work in or near the MWMO watershed. Any physical improvements must be located within MWMO boundaries or drain to receiving water bodies within the watershed. The MWMO includes parts of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Saint Anthony Village, Lauderdale, Columbia Heights, Fridley, and all of Hilltop.

    What are the Steps to Obtaining a Grant?

    Step 1: Contact the MWMO to discuss your proposed idea for education or a project and/or attend an Information Session.

    Step 2: Submit a completed Pre-Application form that matches the grant type you wish to apply for (Mini, Planning, or Action). The Pre-Application assists the MWMO in determining if a project meets our program purposes and can be realistically accomplished.

    Step 3: Coordinate with MWMO staff to arrange a meeting or visit to your project site.

    Step 4: MWMO will invite selected Pre-Applicants to complete a Full-Application.

    Step 5: MWMO will select projects to receive grants.

    If your project is selected for grant funding, you will...

    Step 6: Attend an Orientation Session to review and clarify the grant process, administrative procedures, technical assistance, and discuss other resources to help grant recipients.

    Step 7: Review and sign Agreement with the MWMO.

    Step 8: Begin implementing your project.

    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:
    Tamara Schmitz: Mini Grant Specialist at 612-746-4988 or tschmitz@mwmo.org.
    Marcy Bean: Planning and Action Grant Specialist at 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