Grant Guide

Minnesota DNR

Natural & Scenic Area Grants


The program intends to increase, protect, and enhance natural and scenic areas not managed by the state.

Application & Review Process

Deadline: April 1, 2024

The DNR reviews all applications. Applications are judged based on consistency with strategic directions identified in the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. The proposed projects will be reviewed for natural resource and scenic qualities, educational and scientific values, adjacent lands, historical and cultural values, and local government commitment.

Funding Amount

$10,000 – $500,000

Grants are reimbursed up to 50% of the total eligible project cost. Costs must be incurred and paid for before reimbursement can be made. In the past, grants have been funded with federal dollars from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LAWCON) and state lottery proceeds from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF).



Fee title acquisition and permanent easement acquisition; minimal betterment activities (surveying, boundary signing) and active restoration efforts are eligible as part of an acquisition.

grass icon orange Land/Resource


Cities, counties, townships, and school districts. Applicant must be the current or intended owner and manager of the property.

columns icon orange Government Entity

Land Type & Geography

Land managed by the state is not eligible for this grant. Projects must be within Minnesota.

region icon orange Regional   local icon orange Local

orange tree Parks   orange trail icon Trails

Statistics & Examples

Funding History

YearFunds Awarded# ProjectsAverage Award
FY20No applications received0

FY21 Project Distribution

Past Award Examples

$65,000Wright CountyAcquire 20 acres within Stanley Eddy Park Reserve
$132,000Wright CountyAcquire 59 acres, seed native tree species, and install signs
$192,500City of Mendota HeightsAcquire .94 acres for Oheyawahe park on nat’l register of historic places
$290,000Washington CountyPermanent conservation easement for 31 acre parcel on Valley Creek.
$350,000City of BayportAcquire 11 acres along the St. Croix riverfront
$500,000Sherburne CountyAcquire 171 acres with Mississippi riverfront and an island

The information about this grant was last updated on 1/21/2021. Be sure to contact the granting organization directly to verify details.