Funding Priorities

Pierce Conservation District’s mission is to equitably support community-driven solutions to our most pressing local environmental challenges. The District works with the community to improve water quality, promote sustainable agriculture, create thriving habitat, increase climate resiliency, and build a just and healthy food system for all, through education, community engagement, and financial and technical assistance. Project proposals should align with our mission and core program areas and reference at least one Key Action and/or Five-Year Target from our 2021 -2025 Strategic Plan, found here: https://piercecd.org/DocumentCenter/View/2662/Pierce-Conservation-District-2021-2025-Strategic-Plan. Please limit the listed Strategies and/or Five-Year Targets to no more than 3; it is not necessary to list every strategy and target your project aligns with, simply choose those that the project aligns with best.

Projects that do not directly align with strategies or five-year targets may select the “Other” category. If selecting the “Other” category, two additional questions will appear that must be answered pertaining to a) how the project provides significant ecosystem and/or community benefit; and b) how the project supports the District’s mission by filling a service gap not identified in our Strategic Plan.

Students learn about beekeeping with Sustainable Roots.

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Example Strategies and Associated Targets*:

  • Strategy 2: PROTECT AND RESTORE FUNCTIONING ECOSYSTEMS: Advancing life-giving relationships between humans and nature is the greatest challenge of our time. Pierce Conservation District works toward this balance by sustaining functioning habitats, improving the quality of fresh and salt waters and improving conditions for healthy salmon runs, making Pierce County a better place to live, work and play.
    • Five Year Target: By 2025,
      • 5,000 pollinator plants installed.
      • Programs and services delivery are representative of Pierce County demographics
      • Greater diversity of Pierce County habitat types are improved.
  • Strategy 4: IMPROVE WATER QUALITY: Clean water is vital for all of us and for maintaining the biological diversity and health of Pierce County. It will take all of us working together to clean up impaired streams, rivers, lakes, and Puget Sound, but by combining meaningful community engagement with science-based solutions, our local water quality will improve.
    • Five Year Targets: By 2025,
      • 5,000,000 gallons of stormwater infiltrated.
      • 14 acre increase in urban tree canopy.
      • 200 acres of Shellfish areas opened for commercial and/or recreational harvest.
  • Strategy 6: PROMOTE COMMUNITY-BASED FOOD SYSTEMS: The food system we are working to create is equitable, resilient, and economically sustainable. It connects people back to the land and to food so that they can create health for themselves and their families, and reaffirms the relationship that people have historically had with food, nature, and community.
    • Five Year Target: By 2025,
      • 20% increase in number of gardens.
      • 25% growth in harvested gleaning sites
      • Develop 3 new distribution channels for urban and rural farmers for more resilience in sales (i.e. healthy corner store, food hub, etc
  • Strategy 9: CREATE CLIMATE-RESILIENT COMMUNITIES: Our work is to engage and build trust collaboratively with local communities and diverse stakeholder groups to help identify, plan for, and address the most pressing risks our communities face in a changing climate. Together, we can make our communities more resilient to climate change impacts and reverse climate change trajectories by implementing carbon mitigation and sequestration strategies.
    • Five Year Target: By 2025,
      • 15,000 tons of carbon sequestered across all programs
      • Climate science is integrated into all program prioritizations, planning, and implementation

*These are not exhaustive lists, if you have a project idea that doesn’t fit these examples and you’re unsure of how it fits with our funding priorities, please reach out to the grant manager to discuss your idea.

Example Project(s)*:

  • Rain Garden Installation: Rain Gardens are on-the-ground projects that protect water quality (Strategy 4), but also include project-specific and ongoing education and outreach opportunities with the finished product. (Strategy 1)
  • Tree Planting Projects: restoration activities that install native plants or trees along salmon bearing streams or create green space in the urban environment, help improve habitat for Endangered Species Act listed salmon, improve water quality, and increase climate resiliency.
  • Planting Cover Crops: A project that coordinates several crop farmers in a sub-basin to cooperatively purchase and use cover crops would help not only maintain clean water for healthy salmon runs (Strategy 3), but by retaining our valuable soil helps ensure a sustainable agriculture economy (Strategy 5).
  • Improve the Community Based Food System: Projects that create greater food access by either improving or expanding an existing garden; doing an outreach campaign to historically underserved members of the community to participate in community food projects; or a project that improves the environmental impacts of community food projects such as stormwater catchment, reducing heat-island effect, or fruit tree plantings that help clean the air. (Strategy 6)
  • Environmental Education Projects: Projects that engage school-age children with hands on learning opportunities tied to the District’s Ecosystem Values and/or lead citizens to take action to directly conserve or protect the natural resources defined in Pierce Conservation District’s strategic plan. (Strategy 1)
  • Energy Conservation/Renewable Energy Projects: Community energy projects; education and outreach projects that recruit landowners and/or rural businesses into energy conservation programs. (Strategy 9)

Example “Other” Project(s)*:

  • Non-Prioritized Ecosystems: The District’s Strategic Plan covers priority habitats that we work in, however there are other important ecosystems that we do not work in, such as prairie-oak woodlands. If your project addresses an important ecosystem for fish or wildlife that we don’t prioritize in our plan, it can still be eligible.

*These are not exhaustive lists, if you have a project idea that doesn’t fit these examples and you’re unsure of how it fits with our funding priorities, please reach out to the grant manager to discuss your idea.

Project Criteria:

To qualify for a grant from the Green Partnership Fund, projects must address one of the above-mentioned Funding Priorities and serve citizens in an above-mentioned area.  
 
 In addition, projects will be evaluated on:

  • Alignment with Strategic Plan (50 points): Project aligns with at least one strategy and/or 5-year target in the District’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan or qualify under the “Other” category as described above.
  • Measurable Benefits (10 points): Project will show measurable benefits in Pierce County within five years.
  • Community Involvement (10 points): Project implements an effective strategy to involve the public.
  • Commitment to Equity (10 points): Project supports District goal to serve all people of Pierce County and recognizes that people of color, indigenous communities, low-income people, immigrants, and refugees are disproportionately impacted by ecological decline. (For greater context on the District’s equity initiative, please see our Equity and Inclusion Statement here and our Tribal Treaty Statement here).  
  • Evaluation Strategy (5 points): Project demonstrates the means to measure its effectiveness.  
  • Project Partners (5 points): Project involves multiple partner groups or agencies.
  • External Resources (5 points):  Project uses Green Partnership Funds to leverage additional resources (Although there is no requirement for matching funds, projects capable of leveraging private foundation and/or federal and state resources will receive additional credit during ranking).
  • Project Sustainability (5 points): Project demonstrates ability to maintain the measurable benefits beyond the grant period.