MNDNR Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program: Traditional Grant Cycle

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $400,000

Next anticipated deadline: Sep 23, 2020 2:00pm PDT

Later anticipated deadlines: Jan 27, 2021 2:00pm PST

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Minnesota

Location of residency: Minnesota

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Grant Program Summary

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages the CPL program to provide competitive matching grants from $5,000 up to $400,000 to local, regional, state, and national nonprofit organizations and government entities. Grants must restore, protect or enhance prairies, wetlands, forests, or habitat for fish, game, or wildlife in Minnesota. A 10% match of non-state funds is required for all grants. The match may be cash or in-kind resources. The amount and source of match must be identified at the time of application. Total project costs may not exceed $575,000. CPL is a reimbursement-based grant program.

Goals and Priorities

The CPL program is habitat-focused. Grant activities include the enhancement, restoration, or protection of forests, wetlands, prairies, and habitat for fish, game, or wildlife in Minnesota. All applications should identify the direct habitat benefit of the project. All projects must adhere to MS 97A.056.

Restoration and enhancement projects will only be funded on lands that are:

Acquisition projects may include acquiring land through fee title or permanent conservation easement.

Lands acquired in fee title must be open to the public for hunting and fishing during all open seasons unless otherwise provided by law.

Traditional (Statewide) Funding Cycle

  • Total amount available - $4,815,000 
  • Up to 2 funding cycles
  • All eligible projects (restorations, enhancements, or acquisitions) on all eligible lands
  • Grant requests between $5,000 and $400,000
  • Total project cost may not exceed $575,000

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


  • Nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible for CPL funding.
  • This program requires a 10% match of non-state funds.
  • Projects must occur on public lands or waters or lands protected by a permanent conservation easement
  • Eligible expenses are expenses (contracts, supplies and materials, salaries, etc.) directly incurred through project activities that are direct to and necessary for the project described in the application.
    • These expenses must be specified in the application and documented during the grant period as indicated in the Payment Manual.


  • Private individuals and for-profit organizations may not apply. Partnerships are encouraged.
  • State Grant Policy 08-13, Grant Closeout Evaluation, requires state agencies to consider a grant applicant’s performance on prior grants from that agency before making a new grant award of over $5,000.
    • Applicants who performed poorly on prior grants may not be funded, or may be only partially funded until performance has improved.
  • Indirect costs (overhead costs for basic operational functions such as lights, office rent, water, phone) are not eligible grant or match expenditures.
  • Below are some common requests for funding that the CPL program will NOT fund with grant dollars or allow as match (unless specified). These requests will be removed from any application prior to review and may result in the rejection of the entire application.
    • Work on project sites not identified in the Work Plan or approved by CPL staff.
    • Engineering and Design Costs*.
    • Grant funds may not be used to pay for engineering and design costs for any activity.
    • Engineering and design work must be substantially complete before requesting grant funds for a project.
    • CPL staff may request engineering and design plans from applicants during the review process to validate cost estimates and ensure the project will be completed within the allowed timeline.
    • *These costs may be used for Pre-Award Match if incurred within 18 months prior to the application submission date. See page 5.
    • Research, education, interpretive signs, or planning activities
    • Capital Equipment including but not limited to vehicles, trailers, chainsaws, sprayers, etc.
    • Acquisition of land that is owned by the state or a political subdivision of the state.
    • Activities on conservation easements that are the responsibilities of landowners under the terms of the easement.