Clean Lakes Alliance Community Grants:
2018 Request for Applications

UPDATE: Clean Lakes Alliance announces 2018 grant awards

Clean Lakes Alliance is offering grants to build support and capacity around shared community goals as defined in Plan 2020: A Clear Path Forward.

In 2018, Clean Lakes Alliance will award up to $60,000 in grants to support innovative projects by our community partners. Average awards are expected to be approximately $5,000-$10,000 but we will consider any size grant.


Funding is available for projects in the following five categories:

  1. Farmland Management: Projects to help farmers adopt practices that reduce build up of phosphorus in the soil and/or minimize erosion from farm fields.
  2. Leaf Management: Projects that help create a cultural norm of removing leaves and other debris from the street.
  3. Construction Erosion: Projects that create a community expectation that disturbed soil from construction stays on-site.
  4. Lake Access and In-Lake Management: Projects that foster improved access, water quality and recreational enjoyment of the lakes.
  5. Youth Education: Projects to educate K-12 students about the lakes.

Project Location and Project Period

Projects must be located in the Yahara River watershed with priority to areas that drain to the five Yahara lakes. Grants may start no earlier than June 1, 2018 and must be completed by May 31, 2019.

Eligible Applicants 

Local units of government, colleges and universities, watershed and community groups, and 501(c)(3) non-profits may apply.

Application Timeline

  • Application period opens – Friday, December 1, 2017
  • Information Session – Tuesday, January 9, 2018
  • Application Deadline – Thursday, February 1, 2018
  • Award Announcements – Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at Save Our Lakes Community Breakfast
  • Project Period – June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019

Review Process

Following an eligibility review by Clean Lakes Alliance staff, a panel of technical reviewers for each project category will review proposals, provide comments, and assign points using the project evaluation criteria outlined below. Clean Lakes Alliance staff will use technical scores to compare projects and make funding recommendations to Clean Lakes Alliance boards and committees for final funding decisions. All project categories are important and will be considered equally.

Project Evaluation Criteria

  • Impact 0-15 points
  • Methods & Deliverables 0-5 points
  • Timetable 0-5 points
  • Budget 0-5 points

Grant Information Session

Applicants may attend an informational session to discuss the grant application process and funding priorities. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 8 a.m. at Clean Lakes Alliance, 150 E. Gilman St. Please RSVP to Dea Larsen Converse at in advance if you plan to attend.

Category Description and Example Projects

Farmland Management
Clean Lakes Alliance is working to build coalitions and support policies, research, and sustainable best farm practices. Eligible projects in this area include:

  • Projects that advance innovative and sustainable farm conservation and manure management practices.
  • Projects that promote sustainable farm practices and expand opportunities to involve urban audiences through education.
  • Projects that provide ways for consumers to support best farm practices.
  • Projects/research that advance our knowledge of ways to farm sustainably, decrease soil phosphorus levels and meet our water quality goals.

Leaf Management
Clean Lakes Alliance is supporting community efforts to engage the public in effective leaf management through pilots, research, outreach, and marketing.

Eligible projects in this area include:

  • Efforts by municipalities to start or expand leaf-free street projects.
  • Projects that promote the need to keep our streets clean and free of leaves through pilot projects, research, outreach, or marketing.
  • Social marketing campaigns to influence and measure behavior change as it relates to sustaining leaf-free streets.
  • Programs that reward/recognize lake-friendly yard-care practices, including rain gardens, end of driveway infiltration, and native plant landscaping.

Construction Erosion
Clean Lakes Alliance is working to proactively communicate with businesses, elected officials, and the public about the importance of keeping the soil disturbed during construction on-site.

Eligible projects in this area include:

  • Projects that promote green approaches to building and maintaining our homes.
  • Projects that help citizens understand the rules governing construction and how to effectively promote best construction practices.
  • Projects that encourage builders to voluntarily go above and beyond current construction standards.

Lake Access and In-Lake Management
Clean Lakes Alliance is supporting ways to improve our community enjoyment of the lakes by improving our lake access points and providing assistance for projects that improve in-lake management.

Eligible projects in this area include:

  • Projects that promote action at our lake access points to improve sustainability, beachfront water quality, access, and place making.
  • Projects that improve the water quality of the lakes through in-lake management efforts like: carp removal and lakeshore enhancements.

Youth Education
Clean Lakes Alliance is supporting K-12 programs that promote our local lakes and the practices that sustain healthy lake ecosystems.

Eligible projects include:

    • Summer youth camps
    • In-school curriculum or implementation
    • School field trips

How to Respond to this Request for Applications

  1. Review the Grant Application and Instructions at
  2. Fill out the Grant Application form according to the instructions
  3. Submit the online application to To meet the deadline, online applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 1, 2018.

Questions? Please direct questions to Clean Lakes Alliance at (608) 255-1000 or Please RSVP to the information session to Dea Larsen Converse at

Apply today

Please follow the below link to view the online application form. You may also plan your answers by referring to the PDF overview of the application. Please submit all applications online.


Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 1, 2018.