Susquehanna Riverlands Mini-Grants

2024 SUSQUEHANNA RIVERLANDS CONSERVATION LANDSCAPE MINI-GRANT PROGRAM

The Conservancy and its partners are excited to announce that we are accepting applications through July 1 for the 2024 Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape (SRCL) Mini-Grant Program. This program provides small competitive grants, ranging from $2,500 to $25,000, towards projects that advance the SRCL mission.

The SRCL is a collaboration of communities and organizations working to protect land, steward natural and cultural resources, connect people with natural spaces, and promote sustainable economic development. Susquehanna Riverlands, which includes Lancaster and York counties, is one of eight conservation landscapes in Pennsylvania where partners work together to protect natural assets and improve quality of life for community members.

Are you proposing or working on a public-facing project in the SRCL that will improve habitat/trail connectivity, promote sustainable river access, benefit ecosystem health, or facilitate community partnership/collaboration?

If yes, consider applying for a 2024 Mini-Grant! Among the many potential project ideas is funding to assist with hiring a consultant for professional services – including planning – before applying for a bigger implementation grant, interpretive or wayfinding signage, or accessibility improvements.

Two grant applications for the work of one!

This year, we are partnering with the Lancaster Clean Water Partners, who manage the Clean Water Fund, to streamline application questions and timelines. Organizations with projects that may be a good fit for BOTH the Clean Water Fund and the Susquehanna Riverlands Mini-Grant programs can now more easily apply to both! Watch this recorded info session or read our joint info sheet to learn more! 

2022 Keystone Trails Association Conestoga Trail Saturdays

ABOUT SUSQUEHANNA RIVERLANDS MINI-GRANTS

 

The Susquehanna Riverlands Mini-Grant Program provides targeted funding opportunities in the form of small competitive grants, ranging from $2,500 to $25,000, towards projects that advance the mission of the Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape and focus on the following areas: (1) habitat and trail connectivity, (2) sustainable public access to the Susquehanna River and its surrounding natural lands, (3) community partnership and collaboration, and (4) ecosystem health. Projects that can demonstrate the greatest benefit and overlap between two or more of these areas are more likely to be funded. Mini-grant projects that are directly aligned with the mission and goals of the strategic plan will be given the most weight in the project ranking and evaluation process.

This mini-grant funding was financed by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, Environmental Stewardship Fund, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation. 

2019 Martic Township Enola Low Grade Enhancements

IMPORTANT DATES

    • Application opens: Tuesday, March 12, 2024 (email Jenn Teson a brief summary of your project to receive an application link) 
    • Joint info session with Clean Water Fund (virtual): Tuesday, April 23, 2024
    • Draft applications due for staff feedback (optional): Monday, June 3, 2024
    • Application Deadline: Monday, July 1, 2024 by 5 PM
    • Mini Grant Awards Announced on or before: Friday, August 30, 2024
    • Project Period of Performance: 18 months 

SUSQUEHANNA RIVERLANDS STRATEGIC PLAN

All interested applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Susquehanna Riverlands Strategic Plan, which outlines our landscape’s mission, vision and goals for the future, prior to pursuing a mini-grant. Applicants can also contact Jenn Teson (jteson@lancasterconservancy.org) to discuss their project before applying. 

Review & Download Strategic Plan

SUSQUEHANNA RIVERLANDS PARTNERSHIP

The Susquehanna Riverlands Partnership is a coalition of organizations working together to protect, preserve, and steward the natural lands along the Lower Susquehanna River, emphasizing connectivity, ecosystem health, and sustainable public access. For more information, visit www.SusquehannaRiverlands.com.

MINI-GRANT PROGRAM MATERIALS AND RESOURCES

INTERACTIVE MAP OF PREVIOUS MINI-GRANT AWARDEES (2019 – 2022)

This map depicts some of the projects previously funded by the Susquehanna Riverlands Mini-Grant Program. Click on the red dots in the map to learn more about each project.

 

 

CONTACT

For additional questions, please contact Jenn Teson at jteson@lancasterconservancy.org or by phone at (717) 392-7891 ext. 204.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVERLANDS 2024 MINI-GRANT PROGRAM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVERLANDS PARTNERSHIP?

The Susquehanna Riverlands is one of eight Conservation Landscapes supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and is a partnership between the Lancaster Conservancy, which serves as the program’s external lead, DCNR, and a constellation of community organizations. The Partnership is focused on advancing four key areas outlined in the Strategic Plan: (1) habitat and trail connectivity, (2) sustainable public access to the Susquehanna River and its surrounding natural lands, (3) emphasizing community partnership and collaboration, and (4) ecosystem health.

HOW DOES THE MINI-GRANTS PROGRAM WORK?

The Lancaster Conservancy, as the external lead of the Susquehanna Riverlands, administers the Mini-Grant Program with funding provided through DCNR. Single-year grant requests for a minimum of $2,500 to a maximum of $25,000 are considered for projects that work towards advancing the mission and goals of the Susquehanna Riverlands Partnership, outlined in the Susquehanna Riverlands Strategic Plan.  All interested applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Susquehanna Riverlands Strategic Plan, which outlines our landscape’s mission, vision, and goals for the future, prior to pursuing a Mini-Grant. Applicants can contact Jenn Teson to discuss their project before applying. 

2022 Keystone Trails Association Conestoga Trail Saturdays

WHAT ARE THE STEPS IN APPLYING FOR A SUSQUEHANNA RIVERLANDS MINI-GRANT?

Applicants should first review the 2024 Info Sheet before applying. All interested applicants must email Jenn Teson (jteson@lancasterconservancy.org) with a brief description of your project. If your project is eligible, you will receive a link to the application, which will ask for a detailed scope of work, budget, and related items due no later than 5 p.m. Monday, July 1, 2024. Click hereto preview the grant application. The review committee will make its final funding determination by August 30, 2024. 

DO I NEED TO SUBMIT A LETTER OF INTENT?

No. Letters of Intent are no longer required as part of the SRCL Mini-Grant application process.

WHAT ARE THE GRANT REQUEST LIMITS?

There is a minimum grant request of $2,500 and a maximum of $25,000.

WHAT COSTS ARE ELIGIBLE?

Because Mini-Grants are partially funded by DCNR, they must follow DCNR’s policies. Please refer to DCNR’s Partnerships Eligible and Ineligible Grant Project Activities, Costs, and Match policy.

DO CONTRACTORS HAVE TO BE SELECTED ON A COMPETITIVE BASIS?

Yes. Mini-Grants are partially funded by DCNR; DCNR requires that contractors be selected on a competitive basis. For construction projects, this may require grantees to follow DCNR’s Competitive Bid Policy depending on the cost of the project. For consultants, grantees will be expected to use DCNR’s selection process. Municipal entities must follow applicable bidding laws. Non-profit organizations should officially establish and follow a competitive purchasing policy. Non-profit organizations that do not adopt a purchasing policy must follow municipal bidding laws.

Upon written request from the grantee, DCNR may, at its sole discretion, waive its competitive contractor selection process policy.

DOES THIS GRANT PROGRAM REQUIRE A MATCH? 

Yes, a 1:1 match is required. At least 25% of the match must be in cash. Grants with higher than 25% match may be scored higher. 

WHO CAN APPLY?

Municipalities, including municipal and local government agencies, 501(c)(3) nonprofits that are registered with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Charities, and some educational entities are eligible to apply. 

Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape

WHAT KINDS OF PROJECTS ARE ELIGIBLE?

In general, projects should take place within the Susquehanna Riverlands region, which is a PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources designated region that includes all municipalities in Lancaster and York Counties that touch the Susquehanna River and boroughs surrounded by these communities (see map above). Projects that occur outside this region may be considered for funding provided they have a direct, tangible benefit to the region and demonstrably advance the mission of the Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape. Projects should also address two or more of the following priorities identified in the Susquehanna Riverlands Strategic Plan: (1) habitat and trail connectivity, (2) sustainable public access to the Susquehanna River and its surrounding natural lands, (3) a renewed emphasis on partnership and collaboration, and (4) ecosystem health. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Jenn Teson at jteson@lancasterconservancy.org to discuss their project before applying. 

I HAVE APPLIED TO THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVERLANDS MINI-GRANT PROGRAM IN THE PAST, THIS APPLICATION LOOKS DIFFERENT. HAS IT CHANGED?

Yes! This year we are partnering with Lancaster Clean Water Partners to streamline application questions and timelines for the SRCL Mini-Grants and the Clean Water Fund. Please see our joint info sheet or this recorded info session for more information. If you have any questions or technical issues with the online application form, please contact Jenn Teson at jteson@lancasterconservancy.org or 717-392-7891 ext. 204. 

HOW WILL THE APPLICATIONS BE EVALUATED?

A diverse committee made up of several partnering organizations and interests will rank the applications from 0-100 based on the criteria outlined in this document.

2019 Alliance for the Bay Riparian Reforestation

WHO DECIDES WHAT APPLICATIONS ARE AWARDED? 

A Mini-Grant Selection Committee comprised of Partnership Members will decide who will be awarded funding based on whether the project meets the above-stated criteria.

WHEN DO WE HAVE TO HAVE THE CASH MATCH AVAILABLE? 

Ideally, your cash match should be available when you list this match on your grant application, and your application should include support letters from partner organization/s that note their agreed upon donation amount. We understand that sometimes grant timelines do not line up, and you may not know if your grant is awarded. Should you be awarded a mini-grant, you will be required to show proof of match before a contract is executed.

CAN A NON-CASH MATCH BE USED?

Yes, but at least 25% of your match must be cash. Non-cash match can include donated materials, professional time, volunteer time, and services conducted in-house for which the grantee organization does not receive compensation. Your grant application must include a support letter from the partner organization(s) that notes the agreed upon donation amount. 

CAN I MATCH THE MINI-GRANT TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES (DCNR) GRANT?

No. The funding for the Mini-Grant Program is provided by DCNR, specifically the Environmental Stewardship Fund. Per DCNR policy, you cannot match DCNR funds to DCNR funds. 

IF AWARDED A MINI-GRANT, HOW MUCH MONEY WOULD WE GET UP FRONT?

Terms can vary, but generally you would get up to 50% of the amount up front and then 40%.  The final 10% will be provided after sufficient close out materials have been submitted. In most cases, you will need to submit proof of costs to receive each payment. 

WHAT ARE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE GRANT AGREEMENT IF I AM AWARDED A GRANT?

Mini-Grant funds originally come from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) as part of DCNR’s Environmental Stewardship Fund Program. The Lancaster Conservancy, which serves as the External Lead for the Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape, is the grant administrator and requires any mini-grant recipient to comply with standards that are expressed in DCNR’s terms and conditions. For a sample contract, click here. 

WHO SHOULD I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?

Jenn Teson
Lancaster Conservancy
117 South West End Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603
jteson@lancasterconservancy.org
(717) 392-7891 ext. 204

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