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Stewardship Program Grants

Grants to Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Nonprofits
and Agencies for Conservation and Outdoor Recreation

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Sheboygan County Planning and Conservation Department

Deadline Date:

05/01/18 5:00 PM


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Grants to Sheboygan County, Wisconsin nonprofit organizations, local government agencies, and school districts to develop recreational opportunities and promote natural resources conservation. Eligible requests include project development land acquisition, restoration, and purchase of development rights.


In November of 2000, nearly 70% of voters in Sheboygan County voted in favor of establishing a County- wide Stewardship Fund to create and enhance recreational opportunities, and also to conserve valuable natural resources.

Funding was allocated for the first round of projects in 2002, with monies received in part from a fee charged to developers of subdivisions in Sheboygan County’s towns. In order to achieve public involvement in the process of grant distribution, an ad-hoc committee was formed that was tasked with deciding to whom grants would be awarded. Although most of the early funding was provided to communities to assist with creation of Smart Growth Plans, which became a requirement after State legislation, it has now also spread to other well-deserving applications.

Since 2007, the Sheboygan County Stewardship Fund has received its funding through the County’s portion of its tax levy. Funding has fluctuated over the years depending on the availability of revenue, although the Stewardship Fund has always remained a high priority program for the Planning & Conservation Department. Since land conservation and recreational opportunities have always been cornerstones of the Department, it has maintained a sincere effort to distribute Stewardship Funds equitably.

Projects are meant to align with the goals established in the Sheboygan County Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation & Open Space Plan, which is updated at approximately five year intervals, and other relevant plans. The Plan can be found online at or made available upon request.

Goals of the Sheboygan County Stewardship Fund:
-Ensure citizen involvement in the County’s Stewardship process
-Cultivate environmental stewardship within individuals, organizations, and government entities
-Help implement projects identified in the Sheboygan County Outdoor Recreation & Open Space Plan, and other relevant plans
-Provide matching funds by the County for leveraging dollars from federal, state, local, and private entities for conservation activities
-Coordinate County stewardship activities to be in harmony with other conservation and recreational activities already occurring in or planned for the County
-Initiate only those stewardship activities that cannot be accomplished by current or upcoming regulatory tools, such as land use planning, zoning, land division ordinances, and shoreland- wetland-floodplain regulations
-Preserve the County’s natural resources while minimizing the loss of property tax revenues
-Form green space and wildlife habitat corridors by linking existing natural areas together
-Acquire, protect, and restore only those resources that can adequately be maintained by specific public or private custodians in the future
-Preserve the natural resources of the County while continuing to promote wise growth and economic development
-Promote beautiful, healthy, and thriving cities, villages, and towns so that new and existing County residents will always have attractive and useful quality of life amenities
-Provide higher priority for Stewardship funding to those municipalities that have adopted Smart Growth-compliant comprehensive plans

Eligible Projects:

Land acquisition – examples include the following (this list is not all-inclusive):
-Easement acquisition (such as conservation easements)
-Property acquisition of sensitive or significant lands
-Fee title acquisition of lands for future recreational purposes or to restrict development
-Purchase of development rights (PDR) (before beginning Narrative for a PDR project, please remember to always contact the Planning & Conservation Department first)

Project development – examples include the following (this list is not all-inclusive):
-Park or trail development or restoration (playground equipment is NOT an eligible expense)
-Creation or restoration of public access to significant water resources
-Vegetative buffers along surface water resources
-Fish and wildlife habitat restoration
-Forest, prairie, and flora restoration
-Wetland restoration
-Lake Michigan bluff protection

Discretionary – these projects will be considered on a case-by-case basis where the project has significant merit to promote the goals of the Stewardship program


Awardees are required to post a Sheboygan County Stewardship Fund Grant sign, provided by the County, during the project development process or after the land acquisition has been completed. Grant recipients should contact the Planning & Conservation Department for up to two signs, which are provided free of charge. The signage is to be posted at the site.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 153251

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants
-Towns, villages, or cities in Sheboygan County
-Nonprofit organizations as reported in federal form 501(c)(3)
-Other government units (such as school districts)

Funds spent by the applicant prior to the Stewardship award period are not reimbursable, except for certain associated real estate expenditures needed for acquisition (typically an appraisal, survey, title insurance, historical or cultural assessments, or environmental inspections).

Pre-Application Information:

Sheboygan County Stewardship Fund grant award amounts are not to exceed 50% of the total acquisition or project development costs (or both). The applicant is responsible for obtaining funding matches, sources of which might include state or federal grants, contributions from the municipality in which the project lays, or private donations.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Planning & Conservation Department before beginning the application process.

Formal applications are due May 1, 2018. One hardcopy (and digital copy, preferably) of the entire application packet must be delivered to the Department via mail or in person by 5:00 PM on the due date.

Important Dates to Remember:
-May 1, 2018: Deadline to submit final application materials to the Planning & Conservation Department by 5:00 PM
-May 7, 2018: Sheboygan County Planning & Conservation staff begins technical review and scoring
-Early June: Sheboygan County Recreational Facilities Management Advisory Committee reviews applications and recommends projects for funding to the PRACEOM (applicants will be notified of meeting dates so they may attend if they wish)
-June 2018: The PRAECOM makes its decision regarding project funding at its regular meeting
-June 2018: Applicants are notified whether or not their project was chosen for funding and press release issued notifying the public of awardees

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Emily Stewart

Sheboygan County Planning & Conservation Department
508 New York Avenue
Sheboygan, WI 53081

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Wisconsin: Sheboygan County