Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Nonprofit Conservation Organization Grant

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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Predicted Deadline
The next cycle for this opportunity is predicted based on past data. If you save this grant, we’ll notify you if there are any changes.

Next predicted deadline: Aug 1, 2024

Later predicted deadlines: Nov 1, 2024, Mar 1, 2025

Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Fields of work: Land/Habitat Conservation Habitat & Ecosystem Restoration Environmental Stewardship Freshwater Conservation

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Wisconsin

Location of residency: Wisconsin


NOTE: Applicants should contact a DNR Grant Project Manager as early as possible. Project Managers can evaluate whether or not a project is likely to qualify for Stewardship funding and identify questions that need to be addressed early in the application process.

Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Nonprofit Conservation Organization Grant

Nonprofit conservation organizations (NCOs) may apply for funding from eight Stewardship grant subprograms to help fund the acquisition of land and conservation easements. Grants subprograms are described in the “subprogram” tab below.

Four grant subprograms are open only to NCO applicants:

  • Natural areas:
    • Stewardship natural area grants complement the State Natural Areas (SNA) Program, dedicated to the preservation of Wisconsin's native natural communities and habitat for rare plant and animal species. Land purchased with natural area grants must be open to the public for low-impact nature-based recreation and scientific study. Natural areas are not intended for intensive recreational use such as mountain biking, motorized vehicle use, horseback riding or camping.
  • Habitat areas:
    • Habitat area grants are awarded to conserve wildlife habitat in Wisconsin in order to expand opportunities for wildlife-based recreation such as hunting, trapping, hiking, bird watching, fishing, nature appreciation and wildlife viewing. Land purchased with habitat area grants must be open to the public for low-impact nature-based recreation. Habitat areas are not intended for intensive recreational use such as mountain biking, motorized vehicle use, horseback riding or camping.
  • Stream Bank protection:
    • Streambank protection grants are awarded to protect water quality and fish habitat. Priority is given to land or easement purchases along designated Outstanding or Exceptional Resource Waters, projects that connect sections of protected stream corridor, and projects that will mitigate the impact of agricultural runoff.
  • State trails:
    • State trail grants are awarded to purchase lands or easements identified as part of the State Trail system including designated State Water Trails. Priority is given to lands along nationally designated Ice Age and North Country trail corridors and to lands that connect established trail systems.


    Stewardship grants cannot exceed 50% of eligible project costs. Applicants must provide the remaining funds, known as "sponsor match" from non-state sources, including federal funds and private contributions. 

    You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


    • An eligible nonprofit Stewardship grantee is defined in state statute as "a nonprofit corporation, a charitable trust of other nonprofit association whose purposes include the acquisition of property for conservation purposes and that is described in section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code and is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(a) of the internal revenue code."
      • In addition to the eligibility requirements described above, any organization applying for a grant must also be able to demonstrate that it has the capacity to finance a land purchase and long-term management obligations of Stewardship property.
    • Grants to NCOs must fund land or easement acquisition.


    • Stewardship grants cannot fund:
      • property acquired more than one year before a grant application is submitted;
      • property subject to use restrictions that prevent the property from being managed for conservation or public recreational purposes;
      • property used for licensed game farms, deer farms, shooting preserves, forest nurseries or experimental stations;
      • property that will not be used for nature-based outdoor recreation.
        • "Nature-based outdoor recreation" is defined as activities where the primary purpose is the appreciation or enjoyment of nature, including hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting, cross-country skiing, canoeing and multi-use trails.
          • Land purchases for activities not defined by appreciation or enjoyment of nature, such as sports fields, swimming pools or skate parks are not eligible; or
      • property purchases not conducted on a willing seller - willing buyer basis.

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    This page was last reviewed January 02, 2024 and last updated January 02, 2024