Some of us live in the country. Others dwell in the city. Everyone lives in a watershed.
In 2015, Dominion Energy and Western Reserve Land Conservancy teamed up to create a grant program. Understanding that many watershed groups work with a skeleton staff on very limited budgets, our hope is the Watershed Mini Grant Program helps fill a void and reduce some of the financial burdens these small watershed groups face. Grants are made available to eligible watershed groups for activities designed to promote and maintain the health of Ohio watersheds.
Protecting our watersheds is vital. Watershed groups provide an important service to the larger community by recognizing potential threats, devising plans, taking corrective actions, and educating the public. Water quality can be affected by many things – human and non-human – but habitat degradation and nonpoint source pollution are two of the biggest continuing problems. The quality of our water is affected by alterations to the land – mining, roadways, agriculture, urban development, deforestation, and the everyday activities of the people within the watershed.
As Ohio’s largest land trust, Western Reserve Land Conservancy believes it is our responsibility to support organizations whose mission and values are similar to ours. We are excited to once again offer these grants, thanks to the tremendous support from Dominion Energy and the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. Through this program, we hope to foster long-lasting relationships with working watershed groups across the state of Ohio.
Proposals will be accepted from working watershed groups only and must be located within the state of Ohio and within a county served by Dominion Energy or the Land Conservancy. To be eligible for the Spotlight Award, applicants must be located in a county served by both the Land Conservancy and Dominion Energy. Only projects and/or project components that are not yet completed are eligible to apply.
Applications are accessible by clicking here beginning August 1. The deadline for submitting completed applications is September 29 at 5 PM.
Completed applications may be submitted by email or sent through regular U.S. Postal Service mail. If sent by email, applications must be received by 5:00 PM on September 29. Completed applications sent through the U. S. Postal Service must be postmarked by September 29. No applications will be accepted after the deadline.
- Be based in one of the following counties: Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Auglaize, Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Guernsey, Hardin, Harrison, Holmes, Huron, Jefferson, Knox, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Mercer, Monroe, Muskingum, Noble, Ottawa, Paulding, Portage, Putnam, Sandusky, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Van Wert, Washington, Wayne, and Wood.
- Be a qualified nonprofit, tax-exempt organization with a Federal Tax ID Number OR be working with a qualified nonprofit or County Soil and Water Conservation District acting as a Fiscal Sponsor to administer grant funds.
- Complete the Proposal Cover Page and Proposal Materials Checklist.
Applications sent to:
U.S. Postal Service:
Dominion Energy Watershed Mini Grant Program
c/o Western Reserve Land Conservancy
3850 Chagrin River Road
Moreland Hills, OH 44022
GRANT REQUEST GUIDELINES
Grants will be made available to eligible watershed groups throughout Ohio. Interested groups may apply for a Mini-Grant in one of two (2) categories. Each category has specific maximum request amounts. Mini-Grant Categories and maximum request amount limits include:
- Marketing, Promotions, and Outreach Projects ($1,500)
- Healthy Watershed Projects ($2,500)
One special Spotlight Project grant will be made of up to $5,000. Interested applicants must apply separately to the Spotlight category for consideration. Counties eligible for the Spotlight Project include: Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Jefferson, Lake, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, and Wayne.
Eligible watershed groups may submit a total of two (2) grant requests: One (1) proposal in the Mini-Grant categories (Marketing or Healthy Watershed) AND one (1) proposal to the Spotlight Project. The requested grant amounts may not exceed the maximum request amount specified for the respective categories.
Eligible applicants may receive only one (1) grant award. Grant awards will not exceed the maximum request amounts in their respective categories.
Grant funding cannot be used retroactively to fund projects that have already occurred or taken place.
GRANT CATEGORIES AND ELIGIBLE USE OF FUNDS
- Marketing, Promotions and Outreach (maximum request amount $1,500): Grant funds for marketing, promotions and outreach may be used for materials needed to raise awareness for the work of the watershed group. This could include: flyers, brochures, web development, advertisements, hands-on educational materials, etc. Grant funds may not be used to cover salaries or staff costs. Grant recipients will be required to submit copies of marketing, promotions and outreach materials created with grant funds as part of the final report and report on the number of pieces produced and how they were distributed.
- Healthy Watershed Projects (maximum request amount $2,500): Grant funds may be used to cover specific restoration or water quality project expenses. Special consideration will be given in this category for proposals that involve partnerships or volunteers to complete important projects such as tree plantings, stream restorations, and river clean-ups. Priority will be given to projects where the majority of grants fund are used to purchase project supplies or materials, i.e., tools, trees, shrubs, shovels, bags, gloves, etc.
- Spotlight Project (maximum request amount $5,000): One special grant award will be made in support of a larger water quality or restoration project. To be considered, the project must include at least 10% matching funds. Higher match amounts will be viewed more favorably. Partner and volunteer time, cash, in-kind, donated materials, etc. may be used as a match.
Organizations receiving grants are subject to the following:
Projects must be completed and grant funds expended no later than 12 months from the grant award date. Subsequent grant awards may be dependent on satisfactory reporting from previous grants.
Grant recipients are invited to attend the grant awards ceremony to be held in person on November 8 at 11:00 AM.
A final report detailing the use of grant funds will be required of all grant recipients. Copies of any materials created with grant funds will be a required part of the final grant report, i.e., brochures, posters, webpage, educational worksheets, etc.
Grantees must share with the Land Conservancy and Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation any news releases and/or announcement materials regarding grant awards and grant-funded projects. Grantees must share any news coverage that is gained from the grants project.
Grantees must recognize Dominion Energy and Western Reserve Land Conservancy on materials created with grant funds and at events that are supported through grant funds.
GRANT PROGRAM TIMELINE
August- September: Applications accepted through Friday, September 29. Applications may be submitted by email or sent through regular U.S. Postal Service mail. If sent by email, applications must be received by 5:00 PM on September 29. Completed applications sent through the U. S. Postal Service must be postmarked by September 29. No applications will be accepted after the deadline.
October- November: Proposals reviewed and award winners announced.
November 8: Awards Ceremony