DNR Approves Local Grants Totaling More Than $2.7 Million

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The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has approved grants totaling $2,763,000 to local governments and organizations throughout Minnesota for a variety of park, natural area, habitat improvement and other conservation projects.

Funds for these grants are provided through state appropriations from the Environmental Trust Fund, state bonding, and from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. Grants were awarded through five separate programs.

"I'm pleased that we could work together to fund Minnesota's natural and scenic areas, our regional parks, conservation partners, and the environmental partnership in the 2005 bonding bill and the Environmental Trust Fund," Gov. Tim Pawlenty said. "This funding will help maintain and improve our environment and natural heritage for our generation and the next."

NATURAL AND SCENIC AREA GRANTS

These grants help local governments acquire high quality natural areas or areas with outstanding scenic values. Three grants, totaling $975,000, were awarded to the cities of Elk River and St. Cloud and to Dakota County for combined acquisitions totaling about 110 acres.

REGIONAL PARK GRANTS

This program provides grants to local governments for regional parks located outside the Twin Cities seven county area. Two grants, totaling $820,000, were awarded to the city of Austin for acquisition of 148 acres to be added to the existing Hormel Nature Center and to Wright County for acquisition of 138 acres to be added to the existing Robert Ney Regional Park.

OUTDOOR RECREATION GRANTS

These grants help local governments acquire, develop and renovate local parks. Grants to nine cities, totaling $595,000, were approved for funding from state bond funds and Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars. The successful applicants include the cities of Worthington, Dalton, Eveleth, New Prague, Clara City, Newfolden, Welcome, Claremont and Green Isle.

CONSERVATION PARTNERS GRANTS

This program helps local governments and organizations complete fish, wildlife and native plant habitat improvement projects; $209,000 was provided for 16 projects.

ENVIRONMENTAL PARTNERSHIP GRANTS

A wide variety of conservation and environmental service projects are funded through this program. A total of $164,000 was awarded for 16 projects.

More information about these grants can be obtained from the Local Grants Program, DNR, Office of Management and Budget Services, Box 10, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4010.