Kansas City, Mo. – Native plants, trees, and green space add value and beauty to urban neighborhoods. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) offers an Urban Conservation Grant Program to help eligible partners carry out volunteer-based natural habitat improvement projects for streams, forests, parks, and landscape plantings.

“This is a way for government entities or non-profit groups to organize and do conservation projects that otherwise wouldn’t have funding,” said Stephen VanRhein, MDC community conservation planner.

The projects must be on public lands. Often, approved projects involve volunteer efforts. Some examples of past projects: bush honeysuckle removal at Kessler Park in Kansas City along Cliff Drive; a small prairie reconstruction at a city lake in Peculiar; a five-acre prairie reconstruction at a Lion’s Club property at Peculiar, and wetland enhancement or construction along lower Brush Creek in Kansas City.

Proposed projects should aim to improve terrestrial or aquatic habitat, engage urban residents in volunteer efforts, and coordinate efforts by organizations that share common conservation goals. Preference is given to projects in the Kansas City metro area that utilize dollar match or in-kind contributions. The maximum request for grants is $30,000 and the minimum is $1,000. Most grants awarded range from $3,000 to $11,000. Grant funds will be distributed in the fall of 2018.

Proposals must be received by May 30. For more information, contact VanRhein at 816-759-7305, ext. 1128, or by email at stephen.vanrhein@mdc.mo.gov (link sends e-mail).