LANDSCAPE GRANTS

Interested in reducing stormwater runoff and flooding, preventing erosion, and reducing pollutants entering waterways? A VLAWMO Landscape Grant may be available to support installing a water quality improvement project, or Best Management Practice (BMP), that will benefit our lakes, streams, and wetlands. 

Find out if you live or work in the VLAWMO watershed through our interactive web map

The VLAWMO Landscape grant programs have been renewed for 2022, which include the Landscape Level 1, Landscape Level 2, and Soil Health programs. If you would like to apply for a grant, please contact staff in the application section below to schedule a site visit at your property.

Site visits must be scheduled and completed depending on project scope prior to submitting an application for any of the grant programs. The 2022 application window started on  January 1st. Applications will be taken until grant funding is depleted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please refer to the grant guidance documents provided, and consult with staff for application assistance.

Check out this summary for an overview of how each project adds to the larger effort of watershed improvement: 2021 Summary.

Program Resources and Examples

For grant recipients: 

Click here for resources and support on building and 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. 

 VLAWMO_Cost_Share_Policy_Chart_2022.jpg

Apply for a landscape grant now


Landscape Level 1

Maximum $5,000

$7,500 for curb cut raingardens

The Landscape Level 1 Grant Program funds projects such as raingardens and infiltration practices, shoreline and streambank restorations, permeable pavement, and other projects that directly protect and enhance water quality and native habitat. This is a reimbursement grant program that will reimburse 50-75% of the cost of materials and approved labor, up to $5,000. This grant program does not fund traditional landscaping practices, but rather, Best Management Practices (BMPs) that treat stormwater runoff and improve water quality. These projects help support the VLAWMO Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan. Funding is limited and is renewed annually.  Applications are funded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you have a project that may qualify for Landscape Level 1 grant funding, please contact Lauren Sampedro (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. 

lauren.sampedro@vlawmo.org

651-204-6071

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 staff by email, mail, or in-person at the Vadnais Heights City Hall. 

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 or stabilization 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 (LL2) Grant Program provides funding for eligible large-scale projects (minimum TOTAL cost of $5,000) that provide measurable water quality improvements in partnership with communities, organizations, and municipalities. This grant may provide 25-75% of eligible project costs, or up to 90% for highly beneficial projects. All grant requests are subject to approval from VLAWMO's Technical Commission and Board of Directors. The LL2 program allows VLAWMO the flexibility to partner with its communities on stormwater retrofit projects, such as adding water quality improvement practices in conjunction with street rehabilitation, which provide stormwater treatment where none existed prior to reconstruction.

Examples of LL2 projects include a parking lot raingarden at Bridgewood Park in the City of Vadnais Heights and a residential curb cut raingarden added during street mill & overlay in the City of White Bear Lake.

View Landscape Level 2 Grant Policy & Guidance for more information about the grant program.

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 & Application

The Soil Health Grant Program funds smaller residential projects such as native plantings, downspout raingardens, native plant buffer strips, turf replacement, and stabilization 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 (25% match requirement). This grant program does not fund traditional landscaping practices, but rather, landscape alternatives or Best Management Practices (BMPs) that help to achieve the goals of VLAWMO's Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan, and provide 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 a Soil Health Grant, please contact staff 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 and Application for specific details on eligibility and grant terms. For planting plan templates, visit the BWSR Residential Pollinator Habitat resource page. 

Examples of eligible projects
  • Native restorations, stabilization plantings & 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.

  • Revegetation or stabilization 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 Soil Health Grant Programs may include special funding for projects geographically located within targeted areas of the VLAWMO watershed. Priority zone areas include the Targeted Volume Reductions Zone (TVRZ) and Targeted Habitat Priority Zone (THPZ). 

Why Target Areas?

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 may incentivize native and pollinator habitat plantings by offering Soil Health Grant funding up to $1,000, with a 25% applicant cash match.  Grant program staff are 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 stormwater runoff capture and reduction via raingardens or infiltration projects are a special priority to reduce flooding. If the proposed project is within the TVRZ, a higher grant award may be possible.

How to Get Started:

To find if your project may be located in either priority zone, 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 of the map. Some devices may need to turn off the "municipalities" layer that can be selected by default to better see the other layers. 

To view and download the Landscape Grant program applications and policies, please see above. Once you have consulted with staff, and a site visit has been completed,  please submit your completed application to Lauren Sampedro or Nick Voss either electronically via email, or by paper copy either mailed or in-person to:

VLAWMO Office
800 County Road E East
Vadnais Heights, MN 55127

Examples of Completed Grant Projects

Neighborhood Spotlights

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