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Douglas County accepting grant applications to fund conservation, educational projects

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The Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council has launched its application cycle for the 2022 Natural and Cultural Grant program.

The council encourages projects related to educational programs and those that focus on conservation of cultural, natural, agricultural or environmental resources, according to a news release.

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Nonprofit organizations, businesses, K-12 schools, universities and local government offices are encouraged to apply for funding. The Douglas County Commission has authorized grant funds up to $200,000 in its 2022 budget for the program. Organizations, businesses or units of government outside of Douglas County must partner with an eligible applicant within the county to qualify.

Eligible projects will fall into at least one of these categories:

  • Stories of underrepresented people: Indigenous communities, immigrant or refugee populations and marginalized groups; giving visibility to little-known but significant places and narratives.
  • Stories spanning pre-Civil War era to present, including Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area themes: pre-Civil War and Civil War heritage; pre- and post-Civil War settlement stories; struggle for freedom; and pre-settlement history.
  • Archeological sites and historic structures, sites and cemeteries.
  • Natural areas: prairies, woodlands, waterways, habitat restoration/preservation, cultural landscapes and trails.
  • Agricultural: farms and high-quality soils.

An information session will be held via Zoom at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, at this link. The passcode is 258672. Registration is not required.

The application deadline is 5 p.m. March 10. Interested parties are required to discuss their proposal by Feb. 25 with Kaitlin Stanley, Heritage Conservation program coordinator. To schedule a meeting, email the office at heritage-coordinator@douglascountyks.org. In May, the council will make recommendations to the Douglas County Commission for approval. Projects must begin after awards are announced.

For more information, visit the grant program’s website at this link.

Tricia Masenthin (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at tmasenthin (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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