DES MOINES, Iowa (Sept. 13, 2023) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is now accepting pre-applications for cost-share grant funding to support urban conservation projects.
“Communities of all sizes can utilize urban conservation cost-share grants for locally led projects that help manage stormwater, reduce runoff and improve water quality,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “Whether a community is pursuing a first-time project or looking to build upon larger ongoing efforts, these grants will aid in the acceleration of our statewide water quality progress.”
Examples of eligible urban conservation projects include but are not limited to bioretention cells, bioswales, native landscaping, permeable pavement, rain gardens, tree trenches, and wetlands. These practices capture and treat rainwater to help reduce sediment entering local waterways.
The proposed urban water quality improvement projects should be spearheaded and implemented by local leaders, organizations, and volunteers. Successful pre-applications should leverage existing partnerships with local stakeholders who can help contribute financial and technical resources to ensure their success. Cities, counties, county conservation boards, Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCDs), other units of government, not-for-profit non-governmental organizations (NGOs), public water supply utilities or watershed management organizations are eligible to submit pre-applications.
Projects should include a strong education and outreach component that helps raise awareness among homeowners, municipalities, businesses, and other communities to encourage the adoption of urban water quality practices. The full list of urban water quality projects funded during the last grant cycle is available on the Department’s website.
Pre-applications must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 17, 2023. Pre-application guidance can be found on the Department’s website or by contacting the Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality at 515-281-5851. Stakeholders will be notified by December 15, 2023, if they are invited to submit a full application. Full applications are due on February 9, 2024, and selected projects will be announced in the spring of 2024.
The Department has offered cost-share to help support urban conservation projects through the state’s Water Quality Initiative (WQI) funding since FY2015. To date, the state has awarded over $10.9 million in funding to support 110 urban water quality projects. The state’s funding has spurred an additional $41.3 million in project contributions from private partners and landowners.