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Grants

Clean Lakes Grants

History of the program

Since 2011, Clean Lakes Alliance has provided more than $1,300,000 in project support! This landmark achievement honors our goal of helping to build partner capacity among our partner organizations and supporting on-the-ground projects and initiatives. We believe that a community engaged in our lakes and working in concert on shared water quality goals is the most effective force for improving and protecting our lakes.

Clean Lakes Alliance continues to raise funds and strategically target resources to reduce phosphorus runoff, improve watershed health, and address the root cause of our water quality problems. The figure below illustrates the percentage of Clean Lakes Grants invested in various action areas from 2011-2021. An additional $100,000 in grants was approved to support partner efforts in 2022.

Clean Lakes Grants 2011-2021
Grant projects since 2011, by type. Agriculture represents the majority of the Yahara Watershed by area and the largest potential for phosphorus reduction, as per the Yahara CLEAN Strategic Action Plan for Phosphorus Reduction.

Funding priorities

  1. Farmland Conservation: Supports farmers and producers in adopting conservation practices that reduce phosphorus sources, build soil health, control runoff, and/or prevent soil erosion.
  2. Leaf-Free Streets: Supports municipalities and residents in removing leaves and other debris that accumulates on urban and residential streets each fall.
  3. Resilient Landscapes/Green Infrastructure: Supports projects and initiatives that use nature-based and green-infrastructure practices to improve habitat and reduce the amount of runoff, phosphorus, and E. coli entering the lakes. Examples include rain gardens, native plantings, bioswales, infiltration devices, permeable surfaces, etc.
  4. Beaches & In-Lake Management: Supports efforts taking place at the shoreline and within the lakes themselves that foster improved access, better water quality, and enhanced understanding and enjoyment of the resource.
  5. Youth & Family-Friendly Education: Supports efforts that connect K-12 students and families to the lakes, foster inclusivity among diverse communities, and generate greater awareness about our lakes and watersheds.
2018 Grants - 1
Clean Lakes Grants projects

Eligible project locations

Projects must be located within the Yahara River Watershed, with priority given to project areas that drain directly to one of the five Yahara lakes.

Grant period

Project work promised under the grant must be complete within one year of the official award date.

Eligible applicants

Local units of government, colleges and universities, schools, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

Application review process

Following an eligibility review by Clean Lakes Alliance staff, a panel of technical reviewers for each project category will review proposals, provide comments, and assign points using the project evaluation criteria outlined below. Clean Lakes Alliance staff will use technical scores to compare projects and make funding recommendations to relevant boards and committees for final funding decisions. Applicants should expect the review process to take 30-60 days following receipt of a complete application.

Evaluation criteria

Priority consideration is given to proposals that support:

  1. The mission and goals of Clean Lakes Alliance
  2. Action recommendations in RENEW THE BLUE: A Community Guide to Cleaner Lakes & Beaches in the Yahara Watershed

Distribution of grant funds

Successful applicants will receive their awarded funds on a reimbursement basis. Funds will be released within 45 days following notification of project completion through the submission of a final report documenting outcomes and project-eligible expenses.

2018 Grants - 2
Clean Lakes Grants projects

Following a Clean Lakes Alliance invitation to submit a funding proposal:

  1. Fill out the grant application form according to the instructions.
  2. Submit a digital copy of your application and any attachments by emailing it to info@cleanlakesalliance.org. Please put “Clean Lakes Grant Application” in the subject line of your email.
  3. Applicants should expect the review process to take 30-60 days following receipt of a complete application. Approved funding awards will be released within 45 days following notification of project completion through the submission of a final report documenting outcomes and project-eligible expenses.

Questions?

Please direct questions to Clean Lakes Alliance at (608) 255-1000 or grants@cleanlakesalliance.org.

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