LANDSCAPE GRANTS

Looking to renovate your yard or business property, or improve a drainage issue? VLAWMO Landscape Grants are available by application to support the costs of watershed improvement projects. 

VLAWMO Landscape cost-share Grant funding has been renewed for 2021. In October 2020, the VLAWMO Board passed a resolution to restructure cost-share grant funding, as well as adding a new program, the Soil Health Grant. Please find information about the updated Landscape Level 1 & Level 2, and new Soil Health grants below. For further questions, or  to schedule a site visit for your property, please reach out to Tyler Thompson at tyler.thompson@vlawmo.org or (651) 204-6071.

Site visits must be scheduled and completed with Tyler prior to submitting an application for any of the cost-share grants. 2021 applications will be accepted beginning on January 1st, and applications will be taken until grant funding is depleted. Please refer to the grant guidance documents provided here for application deadlines and planning assistance.

Program Resources and Examples

For past grant recipients: 

Click here for resources and support on maintaining your project. 

For new applicants:

Find examples of successful projects below or check out our neighborhood spotlight articles for more details and the stories behind the projects. 

Apply for a landscape grant now

Landscape Level 1

Maximum $5,000

$7,500 for curb-cut raingardens

The Landscape Level 1 cost-share program funds projects such as raingardens, shoreline restorations, infiltration projects, and other projects that protect and enhance water quality and native habitat. This is a reimbursement grant program that will reimburse up to 75% of the cost of materials and approved labor, up to an amount of $5,000. This grant program does not fund traditional landscaping practices, but rather, Best Management Practices (BMPs) that provide water quality improvements and stormwater treatment. These projects help support the VLAWMO Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan. Funding is limited for the Landscape Grant programs, and renewed annually.  Applications are funded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you have an applicable project that you believe may qualify for Landscape Level 1 grant funding, please contact Tyler Thompson (contact information below) to schedule a site visit on your property and to discuss your project. It is requested that grant applications are not submitted before meeting and discussing with staff. To better understand what projects qualify for funding, please see the drop-down icon below or review the Landscape Level 1 Guidance  for specific details on eligibility and grant terms. 

2021 Landscape Level 1 Update

In October 2020, the VLAWMO Board passed a resolution that restructured the Cost Share program to allow for greater Landscape Level 1 grant funding amounts but focused qualifying projects for those that show a direct water quality benefit, or treat and remove stormwater runoff volume. An example of this would be a curb cut raingarden that captures and treats stormwater before going into the stormdrain system. For further information, please review the Landscape Level 1 application and guidance document

To view and download the Landscape Level 1 application PDF, please click here. Once you have consulted with staff, and a site visit has been completed,  please submit your completed application to Tyler Thompson either electronically via email at tyler.thompson@vlawmo.org, or by paper copy, either mailed or in-person to:

Tyler Thompson
800 County Road E East
Vadnais Heights, MN 55127

Please contact Tyler at 651-204-6071 for any questions or assistance regarding the program.

Examples of eligible projects
  • Raingardens and curb-cut raingardens
  • Stormwater filtration, retention, and reuse
  • Volume reduction and runoff treatment projects (infiltration basins and trenches, cisterns, green roofs, filtration)
  • Shoreline and streambank restoration of actively-eroding banks, or obvious sedimentation to downstream waterbody
  • Projects upstream from or contributing to priority waterways, lakes, ponds, buffers, and wetlands
  • Pervious asphalt and pavers

Examples of non-eligible projects include:

  • Aeration systems or chemical treatments for ponds and lakes
  • general landscaping with no water quality benefit
  • Vegetation restoration with no stormwater treatment
  • Erosion control or stabilization with no demonstrated water quality benefit

Landscape Level 2

Minimum project cost of $5,000

Landscape Level 2 Grant Guidance Document & Application

The Landscape Level 2 Program is for larger scale projects (minimum TOTAL cost of $5,000) and was updated for 2021 to only allow funding for projects with a direct water quality improvement or stormwater treatment on a neighborhood, lake, or larger scale. The grant can cover up to 90% of the costs and total amount awarded will depend on the decision of the VLAWMO Technical Commission who reviews the applications with final approval coming from the VLAWMO Board of Directors.  Past Landscape Level 2 Cost Share Projects include the raingardens in the playground area of White Bear Montessori School, the green roof on the City of White Bear Lake Public Works facility and the Lambert Creek restoration at the White Bear Preserve Townhomes.

View Level 2 Grant Guidance for more information about the terms of the grant.

Examples of eligible projects
  • Curb-cut raingardens
  • Stormwater retrofit projects that go above & beyond permit requirements
  • Redirect water runoff projects
  • Volume reduction and runoff treatment projects (infiltration basins and trenches, cisterns, green roofs, filtration)
  • Unique solutions for soil erosion and sediment control practices
  • Native habitat restoration with priority given to waterways, lakes, ponds, buffers, and wetlands
  • Pervious asphalt and pavers

Examples of non-eligible projects include:

  • Aeration systems for ponds installed mainly for aesthetics with limited water quality benefits.

  • Landscape projects that have little to no water quality benefit
  • Restoration work which the applicant has been required to complete

Soil Health Grant

Maximum $750

$1,000 if within priority zone

Soil Health Grant Guidance Document & Application

New for 2021, the Soil Health Cost Share grant program funds projects smaller residential projects such as native plantings, downspout raingardens, shoreline restorations, infiltration projects,  and other projects that protect and enhance water quality and native habitat. Most residential grants will fall under this grant category. Projects that treat stormwater on a neighborhood or greater scale may qualify for the larger Landscape Level 1 or Level 2 grant programs.

This is a reimbursement grant program that will reimburse up to 75% of the cost of project materials and approved labor, up to an amount of $750, or $1,000 if within a Targeted Priority Zone. This grant program does not fund traditional landscaping practices, but rather, traditional landscape alternatives or Best Management Practices (BMPs) that help to achieve the goals of VLAWMO's Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan, and provides water quality improvements and habitat enhancements. There is limited funding that renews annually for the Landscape Grant Programs, and applications are funded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you believe you have an applicable project that may qualify for Landscape Level 1 grant funding, please contact Tyler Thompson (contact information below) to schedule a site visit on your property and to discuss your project. It is recommended that grant applications are not submitted before meeting and discussing with staff. Please review the Soil Health Grant Guidance application and guidance document for specific details on eligibility and grant terms.

Examples of eligible projects
  • Native restorations & buffers
  • Rain gardens
  • Prairie plantings
  • Volume reduction and runoff treatment projects (infiltration basins and trenches, cisterns, green roofs, filtration)
  • Unique solutions for soil erosion and sediment control practices
  • Pervious asphalt and pavers

Examples of non-eligible projects include:

  • Aeration systems for ponds installed mainly for aesthetics with limited water quality benefits.

  • Native restoration costs for non-native plants, shrubs, or trees
  • Landscape projects that have little to no water quality or native habitat benefit
  • Restoration work which the applicant has been required to complete

Targeted Priority Zones:

For Landscape Level 1 and Soil Health Grants

The Landscape Level 1 and the Soil Health grants were updated in late 2019 to include special funding for qualifying projects within targeted areas. There are two types of new priority zone funding: Targeted Volume Reductions Zones (TVRZs) and Targeted Habitat Priority Zones (THPZs). Qualification for special funding is based on a project's geographic location within the VLAWMO Watershed. Grant program coordinator Tyler Thompson is available for assistance in determining if a potential project qualifies.

Why target special zones?

Targeted Habitat Priority Zones are locations that have been identified by the Minnesota DNR as either a Native Plant Community that has been minimally affected by human development and should be preserved, or high-potential areas for Rusty Patched Bumblebee habitat that should be preserved or restored. In these areas, VLAWMO incentivizes native and pollinator habitat plantings by offering grant funding up to a grant application amount of $1,000, with a 25% applicant cash match. Again, Tyler Thompson is available to help determine if an applicant meets the requirements for incentivized Targeted Priority Zone funding.

The Targeted Volume Reduction Zones have been identified as areas where increased stormwater runoff infiltration into shallow groundwater, via raingardens or infiltration projects, has a special priority. If the proposed project is within the TVRZ, a project funding amount up to $1,000 may be possible

Find if you're in a priority zone and how to get started:

To find out if your project may be in either priority zone, please enter your address into VLAWMO's interactive GIS map and select "Cost Share Targeted Volume Reduction Zones" or "Cost Share Targeted Habitat Priority Zones" within the layer list on the right.

To view and download the Landscape Level 1 application PDF, please click here. Once you have consulted with staff, and a site visit has been completed,  please submit your completed application to Tyler Thompson either electronically via email at tyler.thompson@vlawmo.org, or by paper copy, either mailed or in-person to:

Tyler Thompson
800 County Road E East
Vadnais Heights, MN 55127

Please contact Tyler at 651-204-6071 for questions or assistance regarding the program.

Examples of completed grant projects

Neighborhood Spotlights

Dozens of residents have used the Landscape Grant program to improve their properties and the watershed.  Read about the stories behind the projects here.