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Stewardship Fund Grants - Mini Grants

Grants to Twin Cities Area, Minnesota Nonprofits,
For-Profits, Schools, and Agencies to Improve Water Quality

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

04/12/19 4:30 PM


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Grants of up to $3,000 to the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, Minnesota nonprofits, businesses, professional associations, neighborhood groups, local government agencies, and schools for small-scale and short-term watershed stewardship activities. Pre-applications must be submitted before being invited to apply.

The MWMO is particularly interested in supporting engagement or physical projects that will reach underserved populations (neighborhoods or residents not previously involved in MWMO projects) and projects located in environmentally sensitive areas as defined by the MWMO Watershed Management Plan or the MWMO Board of Commissioners.

Projects must take place within the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization’s boundaries. The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization works to protect and improve water quality, habitat and natural resources in an urban watershed that drains directly into the Mississippi River. MWMO is a joint-powers local government unit and one of approximately three dozen watershed organizations in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Member communities include Columbia Heights, Fridley, Hilltop, Lauderdale, Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, St. Anthony Village and Saint Paul.

Stewardship Fund Grants assist community members’ efforts to protect and improve lakes and rivers so everyone has access to clean water and the habitat.

The following are examples of projects that have received a Mini Grant. The MWMO welcomes all creative project ideas that meet Stewardship Fund Grant goals.
-Community events, such as clean-ups, festivals, invasive plant removal/restoration
-Leadership programs for young people or underserved communities
-Educational and technical training (including workshops) for all ages
-Art or media projects depicting water and natural resource issues
-Installation of small Best Management Practices (BMP’s) demonstrations (e.g., rainbarrels, raingardens, pervious pavers)
-Engagement processes that help identify water and natural resource issues of concern to a community
-Educational signs or brochures to explain water quality improvement projects

Projects funded through the Stewardship Fund Grants should be aligned with the following purposes:

1. Develop partnerships with community organizations.
Projects create partnerships and build community understanding with organizations and people wanting to proactively engage in clean water issues, demonstrate new methods, and extend the MWMO’s ability to protect clean water and improve water quality, and protect and restore habitat and natural resources through building community knowledge and stewardship.

2. Protect or improve the quality of water, habitat, and natural resources.
Projects reduce pollution entering local streams, wetlands, lakes, river and groundwater, and projects that prevent flooding, lessen the effects of drought, retain water on site and/or restore and maintain habitat.

3. Build community understanding, knowledge, and initiative related to water, habitat, and natural resource issues and solutions.
Projects engage and educate people in the community about water quality issues. These projects will result in awareness of water issues and changed behaviors that protect water. Organizations receiving grants will increase their ability to lead and promote clean water efforts.

Project expenses will be discussed in detail at the Orientation session and during contracting. The following project expenses may be eligible for reimbursement:
-Staff time
-Consultant costs (e.g., engineering, design, training)
-Contractor costs
-Materials and supplies
-Facility rental
-Others as proposed and accepted

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 176178

Estimated Size of Grant:

The grant amount may not exceed $3,000.

Under the Stewardship Fund, a single property may be awarded the maximum amount of $63,000 (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).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants
-Nonprofit organizations*
-Officially recognized neighborhood groups
-Business and professional associations
-Local units of government

* Nonprofit organizations must be registered with the State of Minnesota. If your organization is not registered, you are not an eligible applicant, you must partner with one to act as your fiscal sponsor.

Eligible applicants may not serve a dual role as project manager and project consultant.

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

All project types should benefit people who live, learn, and/or work in or near the MWMO watershed. Physical projects must be located within MWMO boundaries or drain to receiving water bodies within the watershed.

Applications that include improvements on private lands will be considered. These projects will be more competitive during review if they show ongoing benefits such as public access, public education and environmental improvement or protection.

The MWMO Stewardship Fund Grants may not be used to fund projects installed only 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 above and beyond the regulatory requirements.

Expenses that are not eligible:
-Costs incurred before a funding Agreement is signed
-Any costs not directly related to the funded project
-Costs associated with activities that are a normal part of the organization’s activities (for example, production of an organization’s regular newsletter)
-General “overhead” or “administrative fees” that are not specific to this project
-Features that are deemed aesthetic only
-Regulatory requirements, such as sanitary sewer line disconnects (only stormwater best management practices that exceed regulatory requirements are eligible for funding)

Pre-Application Information:

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

Submit a Pre-Application form to the MWMO. This Application should show the MWMO how a project meets grant goals and can be realistically accomplished.

Pre-Applications will be reviewed by MWMO staff. The MWMO will invite selected Pre-Applicants to complete a Full Application. These applicants will be required to meet with MWMO staff to discuss the project in more detail.

Fall-Winter Application Schedule:

- Due Friday, October 26, 2018 by 4:30 p.m.
- Invitations to submit full applications will begin Friday, November 9, 2018. A meeting will be required with MWMO staff prior to the full application due date.

Full Applications:
- Due Friday, December 14, 2018, by 4:30 p.m.
- Notifications of grant awards will begin Monday, January 7, 2019. Funding is provided when the grant contract is complete and signed by both your organization and the MWMO (January – early March).

Spring Application Schedule

- Due Friday, February 15, 2019 by 4:30 p.m.
- Invitations to submit full applications begins Monday, March 4, 2019. A meeting will be required with MWMO staff prior to full application due date.

Full Applications:
- Due Friday, April 12, 2019 by 4:30 p.m.
- Notifications of grant awards begins May 1, 2019. Funding is provided when the grant contract is complete and signed by both your organization and the MWMO (May – June).


Eligibility Requirements:

Contact Information:

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

Please send applications electronically (WORD format preferred; PDF format accepted also) or paper copies via US mail to:

Tamara Schmitz
Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
2522 Marshall Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418-3329
Phone: 612-746-4988

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: MWMO Boundaries (Twin-Cities Metropolitan Area)