Financial Assistance


Securing grant funds may make the difference in accomplishing project goals and objectives. There are a variety of grants available to private landowners from local to state to federal agencies. The key is finding out what grant(s) fits the project you have identified.

If you already have a well defined project, we can help you decide the appropriate source to pursue. If your project is not yet ready for submitting to a funding source, then you can work with Conservation District staff to complete a plan. Typically, program managers meet with landowners to view their land, talk about the issues they face and discuss possible solutions. During this process, managers can direct landowners to funding agencies or identify District funds that may be appropriate to partially or fully fund the project. Landowners often need a project site and plan to qualify for funding, the total of which is usually shared with the landowner (from 25-75% of the total project cost).

Incentive programs provide money to landowners for conservation practices that improve wildlife habitat, water quality, stream & riparian health, ecosystem & watershed function.

Local incentive programs are available from:

Soil & Water Conservation Districts

Local Governments

State Government

  • Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
    • Small grants: Up to $10,000 / cost share up to 75%
    • Restoration & Technical Assistance: Over $10,000 / usually for large restoration projects
    • Outreach grants

Tax Credits & Easements

  • Local land trusts, such as Columbia Land Trust
  • Metro and Portland Parks & Recreation have active acquisition programs
  • Portland: Due to zoning, this isn’t a major urban funding source for most projects

Federal Programs

Private Foundations

  • Often require 501 (C)(3) status
  • Often less paperwork required
  • Could be highly competitive – look locally
  • Often helps to know someone in the organization

When writing grants:

  • Read and follow instructions and view sample grants
  • Contact the grant coordinator well ahead of time
  • Only pursue grants that closely match your project goals
  • Write in a concise manner and be accurate
  • Budgets take the longest time – get real numbers from bids / retailers
  • Get as many support letters as possible
  • Get as much matching funds as possible

Grant Writing Tips

For tips on the best way to construct your grant, please read our Grant Writing Tips document.


Hummingbird Hill Forest Restoration Project

In 2013, West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District board member Jane Hartline met Carol Canning at a gathering in Linnton.  They quickly bonded over their distaste of English ivy, in particular the ivy covering […]

Lakeside Pollinator Habitat

When we’re approached by woodland owners in our District, they have lots of plans and ideas.  The first step is to help them create a  management plan that covers their ideas and plans for the […]

Balch Creek Pollinator Habitat

We create management plans with many woodland owners in our District and often recommend ways to improve wildlife habitat. We like to recommend enhanced pollinator habitat, and woodland owners are frequently interested in adding this […]