MWMO Awards Funding for Five New Action Grants

Grantees Include African Development Center, FamilyWise, First Lutheran Church of Columbia Heights, Neighborhood Development Center, and Friends of the Mississippi River

(PDF Version)

MINNEAPOLIS — The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) is pleased to announce that it has awarded five new Action Grants for projects designed to protect and improve water quality and habitat in our watershed.

Part of the MWMO’s Stewardship Fund Grant program, Action Grants support the implementation of technically-sound project designs with educational aspects that will help improve water quality through pollutant removal, effective public education, or other creative ways that encourage stewardship of our water resources.

Grant funding is awarded through a competitive process. In addition to Action Grants, the MWMO Stewardship Fund Program includes Community and Planning Grants. Larger-scale projects may be eligible for funding through the Capital Project Grants program.

New Action Grant Projects

African Development Center Stormwater Capture and Infiltration

MWMO Funding: $50,000
Grantee: African Development Center

This project will install an underground infiltration basin to absorb roof runoff at the African Development Center (ADC) in Minneapolis. New roofs on ADC’s buildings will connect via an internal drain system to the infiltration system. The project will reduce pollution and improve safety by keeping runoff away from the building’s parking lot and sidewalk, thereby reducing icing in the winter. Tempo Afric TV will assist the ADC in sharing information about the project to the African community through their video and television production facility.

Partners: Élan Design Lab, Inc.; Flannery Construction; Tempo Afric TV; University of Minnesota Office for Public Engagement

FamilyWise Innovative Stormwater Management Plan

MWMO Funding: $15,200
Grantee: FamilyWise

This project will implement the final portion of a multi-phase water quality improvement site master plan at FamilyWise. With help from Hennepin County Natural Resources and MWMO grants, FamilyWise has already installed green stormwater infrastructure capable of treating 75 percent of the site’s runoff in a 100-year storm event. This addition would allow FamilyWise to connect the east and north parts of the site to the earlier investments in infrastructure via additional raingarden enhancements, a pre-treatment structure, and permeable pavers that will overflow into a below-grade Tire Derived Aggerate Infiltration System installed in 2020.

Partners: Landscape Architecture Inc.

First Lutheran Parking Lot Raingarden

MWMO Funding: $50,000
Grantee: First Lutheran Church of Columbia Heights

This project will install gardens with native plantings and a filtration basin to collect stormwater from First Lutheran Church’s facility and parking lot. In addition, the church will implement a number of upgrades not funded by the MWMO, including increasing handicapped parking and safe pedestrian access to their main entrance. They will also resurface their parking lot, which sits atop an old landfill on their property, improving the elevation to prevent some freeze-thaw areas that have broken up part of the asphalt surface. Investigations and designs for this site were completed through an MWMO Planning Grant.

Partners: Earth Wizards, Inc.

Mercado Central Stormwater System

MWMO Funding: $50,000
Grantee: Neighborhood Development Center

This project is part of a larger effort focused on reducing stormwater runoff from the Mercado Central property on East Lake Street in Minneapolis. The project will better utilize the parking lot area with more efficient stormwater drainage methods, including runoff interception, permeable pavement, an infiltration raingarden, and increased vegetative biodiversity to create pollinator habitat and beautify the property. A previous MWMO Planning Grant helped create the designs for this project.

Partners: Cooperativa Mercado Central; Hortensia PLLC; Lake Street Council; Mercado Central LLC; Metro Blooms

Water Knowledge Network

MWMO Funding: $14,476
Grantee: Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR)

This grant will support the Water Knowledge Network (WKN), a series of four planned workshops organized by Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR). Each workshop will be focused on community skill-sharing and water quality education at a pair of Minneapolis urban garden and community gathering sites — one in North Minneapolis and one in South Minneapolis. This series was developed during FMR’s emerging partnership with their 2021 MWMO Mini Grant project partners, Plant Grow Share (at Hosmer Community Garden) and 21st Century Academy (at Northside Healing Space). The community artist for the series is Courtney Cochran, Minneapolis-based Anishinaabe Artist, filmmaker, and community organizer. Workshop kits will include resources on water quality, including native plantings and best practices for using harvested rainwater. Coca-Cola will donate rainbarrels.

Partners: Coca-Cola; Courtney Cochran; Liberty Church’s 21st Century Academy (21CA); Plant Grow Share (PGS)

Upcoming Grant Deadlines

Community Grants

Community Grants are available for short-term or small-scale water quality projects. The grant amount may not exceed $5,000. No matching funds are required.

Next Application Deadline: Friday, April 8, 2022

Learn more:

Action Grants

Action Grants are available for water quality and habitat improvement projects significant in scope and cost. The grant amount may not exceed $50,000. Matching funds are required.

Next Application Deadline: Friday, November 4

Learn more:


Media Contact

Nick Busse, Communications Principal
Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
Direct: 612-746-4974

Latest News

A cyclist riding through a field of dandelions and flowering trees.
April 18, 2024

MWMO Newsletter — April 2024 — Earth Day Edition 🌎


View More
A Monarch butterfly on purple coneflower.
April 4, 2024

Plant Sales, Cleanups, and Workshops: Mark Your Calendars for an Earth-Friendly Spring

View More
Great blue herons resting on the ground.
March 29, 2024

MWMO Newsletter – March 2024 – Gearing Up for Spring 🌻🌱


View More