Community Conservation Funding Opportunities
Community Conservation Cost-Share
MDC’s Community Conservation Cost-Share Program promotes sustainable development practices and the establishment of natural resource conservation practices in municipal and developing areas.
Eligibility is determined by the project planner and regional supervisor based on regional priorities. Due to the limited dollars available, proposed projects may be reviewed as needed by the Regional Community Conservation Team based on regional priorities. Eligible property includes lands in public ownership or open to the public, such as, but not limited to, municipal and county parks and schools. Private property that extends or connects to projects on public land providing stormwater conveyance, habitat connectivity, or other public benefits is eligible.
Cost-share is authorized for activities such as native grass and pollinator plantings, forest and woodland management, invasive species control, and aquatic resource management. In addition, other practices eligible for cost-share include urban green space planning, engineered drawings, and training of staff on conservation-related programs.
Cost-share funds are available beginning in July. Due to limited funding, applications are funded on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information about the Community Conservation Cost-Share opportunities, please contact your regional office.
Community Forestry Cost-Share
Community Forestry Cost-Share is designed to assist Missouri communities with improving their community forest. This cost-share program encourages communities to have a sustainable, balanced, and comprehensive community forestry program based on a current tree inventory and managed with the guidance of a community forestry professional. Lastly, Community Forestry Cost-Share is designed to promote community forest benefits through the proper management and care of trees.
Eligible applicants include (1) government entities (e.g., municipal and county parks departments, schools), or (2) non-profit corporations. Applications from schools and school districts must identify a full-time staff member as project manager. If the applicant is not the property owner, a letter of permission must accompany the application.
Cost-share opportunities available under the Community Forestry Cost-Share include municipal tree ordinance development, development of a written community tree management plan, or community readiness plan for addressing exotic insect disease outbreaks, community tree inventories, management of ash (Fraxinus sp.) trees, training of city employees and volunteers to improve community forestry, purchase of tree-care education materials, development and/or distribution of tree-care-related educational materials, removal of critical-risk trees, pruning, tree planting, and other opportunities to further community forestry.
Cost-share opportunities are available beginning in July. Due to limited funding, applications are funded on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information about the cost-share opportunities, please contact your regional office.
The Land Conservation Partnership Grant is a competitive, matching grant to help communities acquire land or easements and provide opportunities for land conservation or outdoor recreation access.
We are accepting applications for the Land Conservation Partnership Grants (LCPG)
The Land Conservation Partnership Grant has four partnership opportunities:
- The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Program is a reimbursement-based grant program for enhancing public access and opportunities for citizen engagement in conservation-related outdoor recreation through the development of outdoor recreation infrastructure. Examples of possible projects include a community trail system that connects urban residents to natural habitats, an outdoor pavilion, an outdoor community archery range, or a public fishing dock. Funding will be based on available funds, viability of the proposal, and the extent to which the project advances MDC’s goal to connect people to nature. The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Program will utilize a formal Request for Proposals process. Applications must be received by August 18, 2023 to be considered.
- The Conservation Land Acquisition Program provides financial assistance to local governments and non-profit organizations for acquiring lands through fee title to be held and managed by the partner. The purposes of the grant are to: 1) provide public access to lands which allow citizens to discover and connect to nature and participate in related outdoor recreation activities, and 2) enhance long-term conservation of wildlife species, habitats, and ecosystem services through protection of lands having important conservation value. Applications for the Conservation Land Acquisition Program can be submitted and considered on a rolling basis at any time.
- The Conservation Easement Assistance Program provides financial assistance to land trusts and local governments for acquiring conservation easements on privately-owned land having especially high conservation value. The primary purpose of the grant is to provide long term habitat protection of land that has especially high conservation value for wildlife, water quality, outdoor recreation, and/or other ecosystem services. Projects selected for funding will be eligible for 100% MDC reimbursement of the costs associated with establishing a donated conservation easement (e.g. drafting, closing costs, stewardship fees, etc.). The program currently does not pay landowners for the value of the conservation easement, but is being reviewed to assess the feasibility of doing so for especially important tracts. For projects in which funding to pay the landowner for the easement value is needed/desired, applicants should wait until after our review before applying. Applications for the Conservation Land Acquisition Program can be submitted and considered on a rolling basis at any time.
- The Land Conservation Innovations Program is an open-ended solicitation of ideas for partnership to advance land conservation in Missouri. Although we will have a critical eye in selecting projects, we are maintaining flexibility in the types of projects partners can submit. We don’t want to stifle creativity. Funding will be based on available funds, viability of the proposal, and the extent to which the project advances MDC’s land conservation goals. This program is about looking for innovative ways to advance protection of important tracts and landscapes across the state, or for building organizational/collaborative capacity that will ultimately lead to these protections. Examples include funding for training that Missouri land trusts could attend to bring them closer to accreditation, funding a partner position geared towards orchestrating land conservation opportunities in a priority landscape, or conducting landowner outreach. The Land Conservation Innovations Program will utilize a formal Request for Proposals process. Applications must be received by August 18, 2023 to be considered.
If you have questions about the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Program, please contact your MDC region’s Recreational Use Specialist. Find the Specialist assigned to your county below:
- Northeast Region and Central Regions: Tyler Blake, 660-785-2420 ext. 6508
- Northwest and Kansas City Regions: Emily Porter, 816-525-0300 ext. 1248
- Ozark Region and Southeast Region: Bridget Jackson 573-290-5858 ext. 4490
- St. Louis Region: Lafe Schweissguth, 636-441-4554 ext. 4177
- Southwest Region: Phillip Stearns, 417-334-4865 ext. 1622
If you have questions about the Conservation Land Acquisition Program, Conservation Easement Assistance Program, and Land Conservation Innovations Program you can contact: Gus Raeker at Gus.Raeker@mdc.mo.gov or by phone: 573-522-4115 ext. 3129.
You can also reach out to our Headquarters about the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Program by contacting Jake Buxton at Jake.Buxton@mdc.mo.gov or by phone: 573-522-4115 ext. 3264.