Does your organization want to launch a local conservation project next year but needs start-up funds? Apply for a Partners in Conservation (PIC) grant by Dec. 15.
The East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD) program provides funding to support conservation projects and conservation education that show a clear public benefit in any of these areas:
- Habitat restoration or watershed health
- Soil erosion prevention/control
- Soil health
- Water quality
- Water conservation
- Environmental education
Starting in 2011, EMSWCD provided three years of PIC funding for the nearby Cully Neighborhood Farm, supporting the Cully Young Farmers Project that provides gardening education for neighborhood youth. The urban garden sits on land owned by Trinity Lutheran Church and its school.
Today, the church leases the land to the urban farm in exchange for donations to the church food pantry, science and gardening lessons for its pre-K through 8th grade students, plus the opportunity to engage students in learning about healthy, local food sources.
“The project we funded fit our criteria for serving and engaging disadvantaged populations and diverse communities, as well as providing garden education opportunities for local youth.,” said PIC grants manager Suzanne Easton. “The three years of funding at $10,000 per year helped develop the garden education program, and these funds were matched by hefty donations of time and labor in creating the program.”
With the assistance of Concordia University and University of Portland students, the project developed and implemented weekly garden education curriculum for 103 students, many whom qualified for free or reduced lunches.
CNews youth writer Raven Pearce offered a first-person report on the garden in December 2016. (See her story at ConcordiaPDX.org/gardening-is-more). The types of organizations eligible to apply for grants include:
- Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations
- Nonprofit entities without 501(c)(3) status that retain qualified fiscal agents
- Educational institutions
- Government agencies
- Native American tribes
Funding for grants ranges between $5,000 to $60,000 for single-year projects, or up to $100,000 per year for multi-year projects. Grants less than $10,000 require no matching funds and, for grants more than $10,000, EMSWCD requires applicants to secure dollar-fordollar matches.