Mini Grants Program
OLP has dedicated funding for eligible recipients to help establish public outreach and education projects involving Onondaga Lake and its watershed. The funding is allocated across four categories: environmental stewardship, environment education, organizational assistance, and
public information and involvement.
February 24, 2012
Early April, 2012
Please note: The Mini Grants Program has a shorter timeline
this year, than in prior years.
Project applications are due February 24, 2012, awards will be made in early April, 2012 and projects must be completed no later than August 31, 2012. No extensions. No exceptions. The OLP grant will be ending in September 2012 and it is imperative that all OLP Mini Grants are completed and final reports are received by August 31, 2012.
- Promote community-based stewardship activities for water quality and habitat of Onondaga Lake and throughout its watershed
- Sustain projects and/or promote participation of Indian Nations or their designated organization (i.e. inter-tribal consortia, consultants, etc.), local governments, environmental organizations, citizen and youth groups, and other organizations in environmental activities and sustainable projects
- Strengthen environmental links between the OLP and the public, Indian Nations, local governments, environmental organizations, citizen and youth groups, and educational institutions (teachers and students).
Individual grants will be awarded in various amounts up to $5,000. Projects may be funded in whole or in part. Matching funds are not required.
Funds used for this Mini Grants program are provided from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to the OLP and are administered through the OEI. Applications must be addressed as follows:
Onondaga Environmental Institute
Attn: OLP Mini-Grants Program
102 West Division Street, 3rd Floor
Syracuse, New York 13204
The OLP Outreach Committee will select Mini Grant recipients. Award funds will be remitted by the OEI and required reports are to be submitted to OEI.
Eligible projects should have a high probability of reaching a target interest group (students, lake park users, Indian Nations or their designated organization, consultants, minority, or under-represented population), and assist those interests in understanding the challenges facing the Onondaga Lake watershed. Habitat restoration and water quality improvement projects should have educational or public involvement aspects.
Mini-grant project categories
Potential Mini Grants projects must fit into the categories listed below; proposals can overlap among categories:
1. Environmental stewardship:
This category supports projects that are designed to be hands-on and result in direct improvements to the environment. For example: area clean-ups; habitat restoration projects; invasive species eradication or prevention projects; native plant reintroductions; recreational improvements, events, or activities to increase public use and/or access to the lake, its tributaries, and/or overall watershed.
2. Environmental education:
(Please note: This category is not intended to fund new curriculum development)
This category supports projects that provide educational experiences, particularly those that encourage students (under the guidance of teachers or coordinators of education and/or outreach based organizations) to interact directly with Onondaga Lake and/or surrounding aquatic and wetland habitats throughout the watershed. For example: science experiments, studies, outdoor activities, field trips, OLP project site visits, actions to enhance lesson development, environmental journalism, and nature photography. The use of OLP outreach products as supporting materials or informational background for the project is highly recommended.
3. Organizational assistance:
This category provides additional financial support to organizations that work directly on environmental or outreach projects related to Onondaga Lake and its watershed. For example: Increase an organization’s work capacity and project scope, resulting in additional products; increase outreach to target interest groups; or other tangible outcomes that can be demonstrated by the organization.
4. Public information and involvement:
This category supports disseminating information and interacting with diverse audiences about Onondaga Lake and its watershed using OLP outreach materials and/or appropriate environmental products. For example: development of outreach products such as kiosks or promotional boards with informational displays; recreational trail guides; wildlife and habitat maps; children’s books, puzzles, and games and street stenciling.
- Fish consumption advisories
- Public and youth education and outreach about Onondaga Lake issues
- Green Infrastructure
- Indian Nations or their designated organization
- Local government or public agencies, such as municipalities and environmental commissions
- Educational institutions, public and private schools or school districts
- Non-profit organizations and associations of specific interests, including citizen and youth groups, professional, civic, environmental, educational, and business associations
Grant recipients will be required to submit a written final report and expenditure documentation to the OEI via email or mail. A more detailed description of reporting requirements will be provided to those receiving a Mini Grant award.
- Previous Mini Grants recipients with outstanding final reports and/or lack of expenditure documentation will be ineligible for current or future Mini Grant funding. Applicants with poor reporting histories or incomplete projects will also be exempt from Mini Grant funding.
- The Mini Grants Program cannot fund projects designed to implement regulatory requirements or conduct surveys with collection of information from 10 or more people.
- Full-time staff salaries, recurring costs such as rent or utilities, non-expendable equipment purchases (e.g., computers), or expenses not directly related to the project will not be eligible.
- Part-time staff wages unless the work represents additional staff hours for which the employee has not been contracted for previously or prior to application for the grant. The grant cannot cover a part time staff person who shifts his/her work load into Onondaga Lake activities.
- Consultant fees
- Expendable or “one-time” equipment rental or material costs
- Printing, copying and mailing expenses related to the project
Eligible project proposals will be evaluated based on the following:
- Applicability of project to the goals and project categories of the Mini Grants Program
- Clear description of project, goals, and distribution plan for final product
- Experience in performing the project or similar projects
Partnerships with others (Indian Nations, non profits, businesses, environmental organization, schools)
- Ability to complete the project on schedule and within 5 months
- Size/scope and diversity of targeted audience
- Detailed budget
- Successful past performance of OLP Mini Grants including submittal of final report, expenditure documentation, and other required information
Application Deadline: February 24, 2012
Award Notification: Early April, 2012
Projects must be completed no later than August 31, 2012. No extensions. No exceptions.
The OLP grant will be ending in September 2012 and it is imperative that all OLP Mini Grants are completed by August 31, 2012.
For more information, please contact Onondaga Environmental Institute at (315) 472-2150 or OLPoutreach@oei2.org.