EMSWCD Partners in Conservation Grant

The East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District (EMSWCD)

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Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $300,000

Anticipated deadline: Dec 15, 2019

Applicant type: Nonprofit Indigenous Group Government Entity College / University

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Multnomah County, Oregon

Location of residency: Oregon

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The East Multnomah SWCD Partners in Conservation Program was established to advance the mission of EMSWCD by leveraging District funds through conservation-related work that is carried out by other organizations. This program provides funding to support conservation projects and conservation education in the EMSWCD service area. We specifically encourage projects that serve or engage disadvantaged populations and diverse communities. In all cases, projects must show a clear public benefit in one or more of the following: habitat restoration, watershed health, soil erosion prevention/control, soil health, water quality, water conservation, environmental education.

Vision and Program Goals

Conservation of EMSWCD land and water resources involves the efforts of many organizations, public agencies and community groups. We recognize that conservation goals can best be achieved by helping to create a strong network of local organizations and concerned residents working together in common purpose. By providing grant support to organizations, schools and communities, we hope to enable each to become more effective contributors to conservation efforts. We believe that multiple and complementary strategies and approaches with diverse participation can strengthen outcomes on the ground. We also recognize that everyone deserves the benefits of healthy soil and water and environmental education, and we look for opportunities to broaden participation and expand the impact of our grants. The goals of the EMSWCD Grants Program reflect a commitment to cooperation and support that will produce lasting, deeply rooted efforts to protect our natural resources and sustain our communities.

In its Strategic Plan, the EMSWCD has identified four goals for the Grants Program:

  • Goal 1: Complement other EMSWCD program efforts by providing grants to partners that will improve surface water quality, decrease soil erosion, enhance and protect natural habitats, and promote sustainable agriculture.
  • Goal 2: Reach a broad cross-section of school age children in the District with profound experiential education regarding soil and water conservation-related issues.
  • Goal 3: Establish an equitable distribution of sustainable community and school gardens throughout the urban areas of the District.
  • Goal 4: Equitably build conservation capacity in community-based organizations throughout the District. 

Grant Types

Two categories of grants are now available: 

  • PIC Grants: Intended for shorter term projects with a one year time frame. The minimum grant award is $5,000 and the maximum is $60,000.
  • PIC Plus Grants: Intended for projects with a time frame of two to three years. The minimum grant award is $5,000 and the maximum is $100,000 per year for up to three years.

PIC vs PIC Plus Projects

  • PIC projects are typically short term (usually taking one year or less to implement), discrete projects that advance the mission of the District. Take a look at this sample PIC application from Depave for an example.
  • PIC Plus projects are larger, complex projects that extend over multiple years and must align with the District’s mission and core priorities as outlined in our Strategic Plan. Download the sample PIC Plus Application from PFTP for a good example of a PIC Plus project.
  • PIC Plus projects must also be able to demonstrate that multi-year funding will result in a significantly higher level of sustainability and effectiveness, as well as significantly enhanced leveraging opportunities including enhanced partnerships, community involvement, funding and on-the-ground delivery.
  • We anticipate that the PIC Plus process will continue to be extremely competitive and only a very few PIC Plus grants will be awarded.
  • Both types of projects should have strong, long-term viability and plans for future monitoring and maintenance.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • In order to be eligible for funding, projects or events must be located within the District Service Area (all Multnomah County east of the Willamette River) or serve its residents.
  • Eligible applicants include:
    • Nonprofit organizations (501(c)(3) status is not required if there is a qualified fiscal agent)
    • Educational institutions
    • Government agencies
    • Native American tribes
  • Eligible projects for funding include:
    • On-the-ground conservation or restoration projects
    • Sustainable agriculture or gardening projects
    • Engineering of a conservation project
    • Pollution prevention projects
    • Sustainable stormwater management projects
    • Monitoring projects
    • Environmental education of youth and/or adults.
  • In all cases, projects must show a clear public benefit in one or more of the following: soil erosion prevention/control, soil health, environmental education, water quality, water conservation, watershed health or habitat restoration.
  • For grants up to $10,000, no matching funds are required. For grants over $10,000 we require the applicant to secure at least a 1:1 match (for every dollar of EMSWCD funding, applicant must match with at least one dollar of funding from another source) to support the project.


  • We specifically encourage projects that serve or engage disadvantaged populations and diverse communities. 
  • We also encourage projects with a plan for long term maintenance and viability.