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Applications due January 23, 2024
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Metro's Nature in Neighborhoods grants provide opportunities to support and create partnerships in local communities that improve water quality, fish and wildlife habitat and connect people with nature.
Funding is available for projects that:
- preserve and restore local fish and wildlife habitat
- create, support and/or deepen partnerships in local communities
- address inequities in the conservation movement
- support larger conservation initiatives
- increase people's awareness of the need for protecting and managing natural areas
- engage people in protecting and managing natural areas at the community level
- increase the expertise and capacity of organizations to lead habitat restoration and land management activities
- provide environmental resources and economic opportunities to communities of color and other historically and continually marginalized groups
- offer direct access to protected natural areas and the positive impacts of clean land, air and water to communities of color and other historically and continually marginalized groups.
Program purpose and goals
Community stewardship and restoration grants support and create partnerships in local communities that improve water quality, fish and wildlife habitat and connect people with nature.
All applications must clearly meet the grant program’s overall purpose. Priority will be given to applications that meet each of the grant program’s three goals.
Goal 1: Improve water quality, fish and wildlife habitat
These grants will preserve and restore fish and wildlife habitat in local communities and support larger environmental justice and conservation initiatives.
Goal 2: Community partnerships, collaboration and accountability
These grants create, support and/or deepen partnerships in local communities. Strategies for community engagement fall on a spectrum from deep, personal engagement to outreach via mass media, but should aim for transformational partnerships rather than transactional information sharing.
Goal 3: Economic and environmental equity
The community stewardship and restoration grants help address inequities in the conservation movement. The grants provide outdoor, environmental, and natural resources; economic opportunities; direct access to protected natural areas; and the positive impacts of clean land, air and water to Indigenous communities, Black communities, communities of color and other historically and continually marginalized groups in greater Portland.
Community stewardship and restoration projects are as diverse as the region’s habitats and waterways. Grant recipients have planted native species at Ross Island, improved water quality and amphibian habitat in Willow Creek, and restored habitat at the Sandy River Delta for fish, migrating birds and turtles all while engaging local residents in being stewards of their local natural areas.
Metro grants expand partnerships to inspire new approaches to restoration, including economic and environmental equity. In the Jade District, APANO, Columbia Land Trust and Audubon worked together with private landowners to increase community stewardship and improve habitat. In Hillsboro, Depave transformed the M&M Marketplace’s parking lot from gray to green by engaging community members that included pavement removal, rain garden creation, and native plant installation. Momentum Alliance and Northwest Youth Corps co-created a diverse conservation leadership program for youth interns with year-round programming and coaching.
Who is eligible?
Community groups, watershed councils, neighborhood associations, nonprofits, faith groups and service groups with nonprofit or other tax-exempt status may apply. Grants may only be awarded to projects and programs that benefit Metro-area residents.
When do I apply?
The pre-application for the 2023 round of nature education and outdoor experiences grants is now open. Pre-applications are due January 23, 2024. For more information please see the pre-application handbook which is available in the Related Documents section of this page, below.
Learn about past projects
Past grantees have connected students to nature, created a nature park and given youth of color job trainings. That's just three of the dozens of project supported by Nature in Neighborhoods.
View examples of past projects