MDC seeks grant applications for urban conservation in KC

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is accepting applications for the Kansas City Urban Conservation Grant Program. This program provides funding for conservation efforts on public lands in the metro area. Applicants should be non-profit organizations or government entities such as park departments or schools.

The maximum request for grant awards is $25,000 and the minimum is $1,000. Partial funding for projects may be granted. Preference will be given to projects which utilize matching funds or in-kind contributions. Conservation opportunities exist within urban areas to protect rare or remnant habitats such as prairies or glades, or to establish native plants such as those that help birds and butterflies.

“We’re helping people get more engaged with native landscapes in urban areas,” said Stephen Van Rhein, an MDC community conservation planner.

Projects must be land or stream management activities that improve or protect natural habitat on public lands or right of ways. Examples would be establishing native grasses or wildflowers in a park, innovative stormwater management practices, or controlling invasive species such as eliminating bush honeysuckle. Outreach activities and trail development may be eligible for funding if they are part of a larger habitat improvement project. Priority is given to projects in Jackson, Platte, Clay and Cass counties.

Projects awarded grants are often partnerships between MDC, public entities and non-profit groups that utilize volunteers. For example, in 2015 a grant for $3,000 was awarded for establishing a two-acre prairie plot and planting trees and shrubs at Cleveland Lake in Belton. The grant was awarded jointly to the city of Belton and the non-profit South Grand Watershed Alliance.

Grant proposals must be received by May 15. For more information, contact Van Rhein at 816-759-7305, ext. 1128, or