MNDNR: Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program - Expedited Conservation Project Grant Cycle

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $50,000

Next deadline: Nov 18, 2019 2:00pm PST

Later deadlines: Jan 21, 2020 2:00pm PST, Mar 16, 2020 2:00pm PDT, May 11, 2020 2:00pm PDT, Sep 16, 2020 2:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Minnesota

Location of residency: Minnesota

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Note:  ECP funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for approved, eligible projects. Up to 5 Rounds will be held from Sept through May. Deadlines for each round are above. 

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:

Expedited Conservation Projects (ECP)

  • Total amount available: $3,000,000
  • Grants are limited to a maximum award of $50,000 (minimum $5,000)
  • Total project cost may not exceed $575,000
  • Projects must be on the ECP Activity List
  • Restoration and enhancement projects only (no acquisitions)
  • Projects must be on public lands or waters 

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


  • Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations and government entities
  • Projects must occur on public lands or waters that are open to all seasons of hunting and/or fishing
  • This program requires a 10% non-state match requirement and a total project cost cap of $575,000
  • Eligible projects that restore or enhance forests, wetlands, prairies & habitat for fish, game and wildlife in Minnesota (no acquisitions)


  • No acquisition projects are accepted in this funding cycle. 
  • 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. 
    • 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.