The Upper Loup Natural Resources District (ULNRD) is pleased to offer a Nature in Neighborhoods Restoration and Enhancement Grant to nonprofit organizations residing in the District. This grant program, funded by the ULNRD, is designed to distribute funds in amounts up to $1,000 to organizations interested in developing or enhancing a current outdoor learning site or for developing or enhancing an outdoor area in their community.
The ULNRD Nature in Neighborhoods grant program supports hands-on activities and environmental education programs that protect and contribute to watershed health in the District. The program connects community-minded people to their neighborhoods, natural areas, backyards and beyond. In addition, this program is intended to encourage awareness,appreciation, knowledge and active conservation of natural resources.
Any nonprofit organizations such as schools, 4-H clubs, FFA Chapters, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, business groups, etc. that are located within the Upper Loup NRD’s boundaries, which includes the counties of Grant, Hooker, Thomas, Blaine and Logan. Schools and clubs are limited to submitting one application per school year.
Nature in Neighborhoods Grant Application
Proposal Period and Funding
The maximum grant request is $1,000 per application. Applicants are limited to submitting one application per year. Applications must be turned into the Upper Loup NRD by December 31 for the following years funding. Applications will be evaluated on the projected environmental benefits and awards to be announced by January 31.
Upper Loup Natural Resources Nature in Neighborhoods Grant Project Funding Guidelines
Projects must meet one of more of the following objectives:
* link participants to their watershed and or work towards educating participants about watershed health
* educational programs that teach ecological concepts and build awareness about the connections between our actions and how they affect our watersheds
* conservation, restoration, enhancement or similar projects where a need for the project
has been demonstrated
* projects that can serve as models for new, innovative ideas that benefits watershed health
Grant funds can be used for most materials needed to create or improve a site. Materials included, but not limited to, include:
* native plants including trees, shrubs, flowers, grasses and seeds
* materials for the development of a pond or wetland habitat
* wildlife feeders and shelters
* soil and soil amendments
Approved applications will receive 50% of their grant award following project approval by the ULNRD and the submission of a signed cooperative agreement to the ULNRD. The remaining 50% will be reimbursed after the project is completed, an on-site visit by the ULNRD and upon submission of a final grant report.
The final grant report shall be:
* submitted to the ULNRD no later than January 31
* provide a reflective narrative of the project
* provide a summary of how the project will be maintained and used in the future
* provide an actual budget / expenditure summary to include legible copies of dated, itemized, detailed receipts or invoices with clear explanations for all expenditures paid from grant funds
* if applicable time sheets for donated services and detailed recipes or invoices with clear
explanations for donated materials
Mullen Elementary Students that helped with the "Landscape Project 2015"
In April of 2015, Mullen Public Schools was awarded by the Upper Loup Natural Resources Distrtict with their “Nature in Neighborhoods” grant. The grant, funded by the Upper Loup NRD, is designed to distribute funds up $1,000 to organizations in the district that want to develop or enhance a current outdoor learning site, or develop or enhance an outdoor area in their community. The intentions of this grant are to encourage awareness, appreciation, knowledge and active conservation of natural resources.
“We wanted to beautify a scarred area,” said Roxann Brown, Mullen Elementary teacher. And that is just what they did. Students helped with planting flowers, decorating stepping stones, moving dirt, and placing landscaping materials in the area northeast of the grade school. A bench was built in the middle of the area to sit and enjoy the outdoors, and even catch a few butterflies landing on the flowers.
The intentions of this project were to diminish sandburs, attract wildlife, create a garden, and involve students to bring life back to an area of the playground that was scarred from installing a modular building for more space for the school. The “Landscape Project 2015” received a gracious amount of help from the elementary students, teachers, maintenance worker Mr. Ewoldt, and NRD representative Anna Baum. Together they developed a design for the area and work on the project started in late April.
The Kindergarten, First, and Second grade students planted perennials and annual flowers in retaining bricks along the modular building, and in the center area of the garden. Fourth grade students, with the help of Elementary staff, set up a compost bin. A tree that was removed from the playground was turned into a bench and placed in the garden area. The Upper Loup NRD donated weed barrier for the students to place in the garden area. The area is maintained by the maintenance personnel at the Elementary and the Brownie Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts will weed the area and remove annuals in the fall. Each spring, two classrooms will be selected to plan new annuals flowers.