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Funding for the 2023 year is no longer available.

We appreciate your interest in the Mini-Grants Program and encourage you to apply in 2024. Applications will be accepted starting January 1st. The application for 2024 will be posted to this page mid-December, 2023.

The Mini-Grants Program provides an exciting opportunity for individuals and organizations to make a difference in their local communities. It funds and supports projects that contribute to the improvement and protection of the watershed’s water resources, while also fostering community engagement and environmental education.

Below is information including eligibility criteria, application guidelines, and past project examples.

Program Details

Grants are awarded on a first come – first serve basis to eligible and complete applications. Funding is limited. Applying does not guarantee grant approval. 

Do NOT start work until you have received a grant award letter.

Funding Details

This is a reimbursement grant. The amount of the grant cannot exceed the cost of the actual project and maximum $500 limit.

Applicant labor or time is not eligible for payment.

Projects must be completed no later than December 1, 2023. Receipts dated before the grant award is made will not be accepted or reimbursed.

Who is Eligible

All land or home owners in the district are eligible. This includes residents, churches, schools, communities, and businesses. 

You are limited to one application per year. Single family landowners cannot receive funding in consecutive years. Applications from single family landowners who have received funds previously will not be considered until May 1st, 2023.

HOAs and other group organizations can apply for grants yearly, but funding is not guaranteed.

What Projects Are Eligible?

  • Native plants (including pollinator gardens)
  • Small buffer strips
  • Turf alternatives
  • Waterspout gardens
  • Rain barrels
  • Targeted water education, information, or outreach activities

What Projects Are Not Eligible?

  • Landscaping or purely decorative activities
  • Riprap
  • Retaining walls
  • Applicant labor or time
  • Projects that have received funding from other RCWD cost-share programs

Application Process

  1. Identify a project (Contact the district if you need to discuss your project idea)
  2. Complete the grant application
  3. Submit the application by mail to
    Rice Creek Watershed District
    Attn: Mini Grants
    4325 Pheasant Ridge Dr. #611
    Blaine, MN, 55449 
    by email to Molly Nelson at
  1. Receive approval and grant agreement from RCWD
  2. Make eligible purchases under the project in accordance with the grant agreement
  3. Complete all work by the project deadline of December 1, 2023
  4. Submit a cover letter describing the project including the requested amount of reimbursement, copies of (paid) receipts, and photos of the completed project
  5. After completing the project and receiving mini-grant payment, maintain the project for a minimum of 5 years and participate in RCWD’s outreach and project sharing efforts

Additional Funding Sources and Information

Looking for additional funding for pollinator projects? Visit Lawns to Legumes 

Looking for more funding opportunities? Visit Blue Thumb’s Grant Resources

Looking to purchase native plants? Visit Blue Thumb’s Resources 

Looking for native plant suppliers, landscapers, and restoration consultants? Visit MN DNR Contractors List 

Workshops, programs, and information on native plants and projects, visit Blue Thumb 

Previous Projects


If you have questions about the Mini-Grants Program, please contact:

Molly Nelson

Watershed Technician / Water Resource Specialist