Planning Grants

Planning Grants are intended to assist organizations to plan and prepare documentation for a project that will be implemented in the near future. Planning Grants help fund the planning process for detailed projects that help improve water quality through construction, education, outreach, or other creative ways.

  • Grant up to $20,000 (MWMO anticipates a requested grant amount of $10,000–$15,000 on average); 25 percent match required
  • Competitive application review process and final award approved by MWMO Board of Commissioners
  • Please see: Eligibility Requirements

Project Examples

  • Evaluation of a site, or combination of several sites, including drainage areas, impervious surfaces and associated runoff. Engineering for schematic stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) to manage this specific volume and rate of water (this is often called a Stormwater Master Plan). This may include costs, prioritization of BMPs and an estimated construction timeline.
  • Natural resource management plans and/or construction documents and specifications for erosion control practices, native plant buffers around waterbodies, 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 BMPs
  • Calculations and modeling for site-specific stormwater BMPs and other practices to reduce pollution, combined with a plan for reporting on the effectiveness of new technologies and approaches
  • Soil borings or other tests that help assess the likely success of a project
  • Schematic design drawings for replacement of impervious surfaces with high-capacity pervious materials
  • Development of an educational curriculum, creation of a communication or behavior change campaign, or other outreach/engagement projects
  • An interpretive framework for an exhibition and a plan of action for implementation
  • Water quality themed educational activities and workshops for an area

For more past project examples, see our Projects section.

How to Apply

Apply via email to the contact listed below — MWMO Planning Grant Application (DOCX, 7 MB, 5 pages)
The application submittal should include the Budget Form — Stewardship Fund Grants Budget Form (XLS, 0.1 MB, 1 page); Budget Form Instructions (PDF, 0.1 MB, 3 pages)

Please use the subject line “Stewardship Fund – Planning Grant Application” in your email.

Deadline: Friday, June 28, 2024, by 4:30 p.m.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the MWMO to discuss ideas and ask questions in advance of applying. Please reach out to the contact below to connect with staff about your project ideas.

Applications will first be reviewed by MWMO staff. The MWMO will invite selected applicants to meet to discuss their proposals in more detail and provide the opportunity for revision. Final applications are due Wednesday, July 31, 2024, and will be reviewed by MWMO staff and the MWMO Citizen Advisory Committee. The recommendations for grant awards are reviewed and must be approved by the MWMO Board of Commissioners. Notification of awards will follow the September 2024 board meeting. The next round of grants will be due in December of 2024.

More Information

Eligibility Requirements
Grantee Resources
Stewardship Fund Grants Brochure (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)


Adam Flett
Communications and Outreach Specialist
612-746-4988 or