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Watershed Stewardship Grants

The 2023 application season will open in February.

Check back for updates. Municipal partners: Please reach out to Liz Forbes for next steps for projects in the pre-application stage.

Funding and technical advice 

For projects that protect and improve water resources

The Watershed Stewardship Grant program offers financial support and resources for clean water projects to residents and organizations in the watershed district. Some examples include raingardens, native plant buffers, wetland restorations, rainwater reuse, erosion control, or tree trenches.


Grant funds work like a rebate. If your project application is awarded a grant, you'll be reimbursed for the cost after project completion.

All grant agreements come with percent (%) cost share award with a not-to-exceed amount ($), so it's important that your estimate be as accurate as possible.

Read the Grant Program Policies

Request a site visit

The first step in the grant process is to submit a site visit request. We will re-open site visit requests in February 2023 and schedule visits once weather permits.

Schedule your visit

Submit a grant application

The 2022 season is CLOSED but you may preview the application to prepare for next year.

Preview the application

Submit a project report

Is your project complete? You'll need to submit a report to begin the project close-out review process.

Submit your report

Annual reporting - long-term

Depending on the type of project/location, you are required to to maintain your project for 5 years or 10 years.

Complete annual report

landscape.png  Professional Maintenance Support

Were you awarded professional maintenance support for the first 3 years after project installation?

Learn how to request a reimbursement.


About the grant

All projects must occur within the Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District. Check to see if your property is located in the District.

Applicants must be the property owner or authorized representative. Eligible applicant categories include:

  • Individual homeowners
  • Non-profits (including home, townhome and lake associations)
  • Schools
  • Businesses
  • Local government ​​​
  • Homeowners:                       Up to 75% of the project cost ($5,000 maximum)
  • Non-profits:                           Up to 75% of the project cost ($20,000 maximum)
  • Gov/school/business:         Up to 50% of the project cost ($50,000 maximum)

The grant review committee evaluates applications for their level of benefit to water resources. The award percentage for eligible projects may range from 25% to 75%.

Before submitting a grant application, you must first request a site visit with a District representative. Site visits are scheduled on weekdays during business hours and subject to staff availability. The site visit allows evaluation and discussion with the property owner about the potential project idea.

After completion of the site visit , you may submit a grant application. The application is first reviewed by the grant program coordinator to determine if the application contains sufficient information. If the application is complete, it will be forwarded to the grant review committee, which meets about once a month to evaluate and make decisions on applications. Decisions may include a request for more information, adjustments to project design, denial of a grant award, or offer of a grant award.

Typical grant award offers range from 25% to 75% of project cost. Projects with a greater water quality benefit tend to score higher than those with a smaller water quality benefit. If a grant award is offered, the applicant must review and sign the grant agreement. Non-profits and businesses will also have to sign and file a maintenance declaration with their county recorder office. Once approved by the District Administrator (in some cases the Board of Managers must also approve), the project may begin.

The grantee pays for all project costs up front. Once the project is complete or near complete, the grantee will need to schedule a project inspection. The grantee must also submit a project report including receipts and photos. After inspection and report submisstion, the grant coordinator will submit paperwork for the grant reimbursement. The actual grant payment (in the form of a check) will mailed to the grantee following the next available Board of Managers meeting.

Overview of process

The image below provides an overview of the grant process. Open a PDF version of the image.  The task timeline represent the general grant process including  what actions are to be taken by the applicant/grantee (that's you!) and District staff.

The three parts to the process are:

  • Part 1: Application
  • Part 2: Build your project
  • Part 3: Reimbursement

After your project is complete, you are required to maintain it for 5 years if you are a homeowner and 10 years for other applicant categories.

Timeline for WSG_web.png

Click/tap for larger view.


The process in detail

  1. Read the program policies.
  2. Fill out/submit the request a site visit form.
  3. We will notify you by email about a site visit day/time within 7 business days. [IMPORTANT: Sometimes this email gets caught in spam/junk folders. Check these folders in your email account or add  to your email contacts.]
  4. Design your project. You can design the project yourself based on recommendations from the technician, or you hire a private company/contractor to design the project. If you work with a private company (or design it yourself), we encourage you to submit the plan to technician for preliminary review. The technician can help calculate the water quality benefits portion of the application. Make sure you are meeting requirements for your project type:
  1. Before you submit the application, review a reference copy of the grant application form (pdf ). NOTE: This pdf is for reference only - do not use this when submitting an application. You need to use the online form to submit your application. Questions? Email the grant coordinator.
  2. Review the project-specific requirements if you have one of these projects:
  3. Gather all of the necessary information needed BEFORE submitting an application. The more detailed information you provide, the less likely we'll have to go back-and-forth to ask for more information. Information/materials you will need to provide:
  • Project map: Provide a map showing the location of where the project would be on your property. An aerial (satellite) image of your property with contour/topographic lines is preferred. [TipGo to the "Tools & Resources" section at the bottom of this page to find links for your county's online property map; these have measuring and drawing tools!] Reach out to the grant coordinator for assistance. A hand-drawn map is fine if it provides details adequate for assessing your project. Take a look at these examples: Example 1Example 2Example 3
  • Project design: Provide a sketch of your project design with details such as location of features, planting plan with locations of plants, etc. Include a size reference to help us understand the approximate size of your project. If your project is simple, like adding a rain barrel to a downspout, this may not be needed.
  • Photos: Provide two or more photos of project area as it looks now (before project installation).

  • Cost estimate: If you plan to do the project yourself, you'll need to submit an itemized cost estimate (materials, equipment rentals, in-kind labor, etc.). If you plan to hire a company/contractor to do part or all of the project work, please provide a detailed quote or bid from that company. Download this Grant Project Estimator (this is an Excel file you can open in Microsoft Excel or open in Google Sheets through your free Google/Gmail account) to help you estimate costs.
  1. Once you have gathered all information and materials, fill out and submit the online grant application form. Be prepared to complete this step all at once as your form responses may not be saved on your local device.  Tip: Use a word processing program (e.g. Word) to put together your application responses in advance, then copy and paste these into the form.  

If you've reached the maximum file upload in the application form, you can email additional files to the grant program coordinator at

  1. We will send you a grant agreement. Once this is signed, you can get started!
  2. Keep track of your expenses including all receipts.
  3. Issues come up. If you think you need to make a change to your plan, contact us for approval
  4. Take lots of photos! Before, during, and after. You’ll need photos to submit in your project report.
  5. You’ve got ONE YEAR to complete your project once grant has been approved.
  1. Submit a project report to the grant coordinator. Your report must include:
    • Total project cost
    • Copies of receipts that show vendor information, date of purchase, and item name/cost (invoices must be marked as "paid in full" or have proof of payment to be considered a receipt). If your receipt includes items not used for the project (e.g. candy bar), please draw a line through these on the receipt or communicate these items to the grant coordinator.
    • List of in-kind contributions (e.g. personal labor hours) you would like credited to the project
    • Photographs of completed project
    • Short written description about project (how did it go, what did you learn, how do you plan to maintain the project site, etc.)
  2. Request a project inspection by emailing or calling the grant coordinator. If you submit your project report and haven't scheduled the project inspection, we will reach out to you. *Timing: you may schedule the inspection as soon as the project is nearing completion.
  3. Once your project has passed the inspection, the grant coordinator will submit a payment request to the District administrator for approval. Once approved, the reimbursement will have to be approved at the monthly board meeting. After the board meeting, payment will be in the form of a check mailed to your address (see timing info below).

When will I receive my grant reimbursement payment? That depends on when you submit your project report. If you submit all required information (including receipts) and there's enough time to perform a close-out site visit by the 15th of the month, then your reimbursement is likely to be mailed to you during the first full week of the following month.  If your report and close-out site visit occur after the 15th of the month, then your reimbursement would likely be pushed back to the next District finance cycle (month after next).

  1. Take care of your project. Depending on the type of project/location, you are required to to maintain your project for 5 years or 10 years (see program guidelines for full details).
  2.  Complete an online project report each year to let us know how things are going. Please do this annually for 5 to 10 years (depending on what's stated in your grant agreement).
  3. At the end of year two, the CCSWCD technician will stop out for a progress visit.
  4. Stay in contact! The watershed district often offers continuing education on topics such as maintenance plus other opportunities to learn and get involved.


Applications are typcally accepted on a rolling basis from April through October or until funds are committed. In 2022, we closed NEW applications on September 21 due to popularity of the program.


Contact the grant coordinator:

Liz Forbes


The District appreciates its partnership with Carver Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in their assistance with site visits and project inspections for this grant program.


Did you know?

Your city, county, lake owners association, or other local organization may also offer grant funds to help protect water quality and other natural resources. 

Tools and Resources



Native Plants


Help with Native Plant Selection

Native Plant Suppliers




Rain Gardens

  • Raingarden Plant List from RPBCWD (pdf) - information about proper plant placement and list of plants suitable for raingardens


Bee, Meadow, and Natural Lawns


Insect Conservation


Soil Health



Property Maps

Look up your address to find a map of your property and your Property Identification (PID) number.

Hennepin County online property map with natural resources info

Click "Map layers" and select "Hybrid" to add an aerial basemap; add topographic/contour lines by selecting "2 Foot Elevation Contours"

View map

Hennepin County online property map

Basic property map that does not include contour lines

View map

Carver County online property map

Click "Basemap" to see aerial basemap options; click "Theme" to turn on contours lines and other features

View map