Douglas County community members will have an opportunity next week to learn about nearly $300,000 in grant funding available for projects that conserve cultural, natural, agricultural or environmental resources.
The Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council has $210,000 available through its 2023 Natural & Cultural Grant program, plus an additional $75,000 for projects that inform the county’s open space planning, according to a county news release.
Projects can include educational programs or products. All projects must take place within the county and be completed within two years.
Douglas County-based nonprofit organizations, businesses, schools and universities, and units of local government may apply for the grants. Organizations based outside of the county must have an in-county partner, according to the release.
To be eligible for funding, projects must fall into at least one of the following categories, according to the release:
• “Elevating under-told stories or magnifying the narratives from indigenous communities, immigrant or refugee populations, BIPOC, LGBTQIA or marginalized groups; give visibility to little known places; record oral histories.”
• “Prairie; woodlands, waterways; habitat restoration/preservation; cultural landscapes; recreational and historic trails; inform Open Space planning; audit existing conservation efforts with a lens of diversity, equity, justice and inclusion.”
• “Agriculture (agrotourism; heritage farms; high-quality agricultural soils; working farms).”
• “Adaptive reuse of historic structures; access to historic sites and historic cemeteries; conservation of designated structures, districts and landscapes.”
An information session is set for 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28 in Meeting Room C at the Lawrence Public Library. No registration is required, and you don’t have to attend the session to be eligible to apply.
Complete guidelines and an application are available on the county’s website at douglascountyks.org/hcc. You can also find information about previous grant recipients, such as a project last year that aimed to restore 5 acres of natural space at Prairie Park.
Applications will be accepted through May 4; however, interested parties are required to discuss their projects with Heritage Conservation Program Coordinator Kaitlyn Ammerlaan by April 21. Contact Ammerlaan at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a meeting.
The HCC will review all proposals and make funding recommendations to the Douglas County Commission in June.