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1404 Goodale Boulevard, Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43212
Phone: (614) 486-9613
Fax: (614) 486-9614

Conservation Mini-Grants

The 2024 Grant Cycle is now closed. The 2025 grant cycle is expected to open in February!

Info Sessions

There are no upcoming info sessions. Previous info sessions were held on 2/6/24 & 2/21/24 covering the Mini-Grants, Columbus Tree Assistance Program, and Columbus Business Rebate Program (slide deck, recording link). 


Franklin Soil and Water’s annual Conservation Mini-Grant program continues in its ninth year by offering up to $2,000 to three organizations that demonstrate the need and ability to carry out on-the-ground conservation projects.

All local conservation projects within Franklin County, Ohio will be considered and encouraged. Franklin Soil and Water’s preferred projects are those directly benefitting Underserved Communities.

Examples of potentially underserved communities include City of Columbus Celebrate One neighborhoods, Opportunity Zones, and areas that feature less than 20% tree canopy cover as determined by Columbus Recreation and Parks.

Franklin Soil and Water’s Conservation Fund is a pool of fees and proceeds originating from donations and events including the Annual Meeting and Tree Sale. This fund supports our Mini-Grant program and allows the District to support partner programming and projects throughout the year. Nearly 35 organizations have been awarded full or partial funding in the last 9 years.

Grant Application

To apply for the grant, please fill out the online application.

Please call our office if you have any questions or concerns.


501(c) non-profit organizations such as schools, watershed groups, municipalities, and community groups in Franklin County, Ohio may apply. This includes governing bodies and associations such as HOAs, condo associations and civic associations. These types of organizations may also serve as a fiscal sponsor for another organization.

Organizations can apply for multiple programs (i.e TAP & mini-grant) for different projects (i.e. residential tree planting project & rain garden project).
Projects may only be awarded from one program.

Ranking and Criteria

The following criteria are considered when evaluating your project:

• Environmental Impact: Environmental improvement and ecological benefit.
• Connection to SWCD Mission: Demonstrates clear promotion of responsible land use decisions for the conservation, protection, and improvement of soil and water resources.
• Visibility: Potential number of people reached/impacted by the project.
• Cost Efficiency: The impact of the project relative to the funds requested.
• Underserved Community: Whether the project will be located in a historically underserved community.

Each project application will be evaluated by the FSWCD Conservation Implementation Team. Each project will be individually scored on how well it meets the five criteria. The score for each project will then be totaled, with the Underserved Community criteria being weighted 20% more than the other criteria. The FSWCD Conservation Implementation Team will then choose the awardees based on these scores and discretion.

Project Examples

• Rainwater storage/harvesting with rain barrels/cisterns
• Reducing or slowing stormwater runoff by planting rain gardens or buffer zones
• Green infrastructure with blue or green roofs, underground detention, and pervious surfaces
• Landscaping and gardening with native trees and plants
• Invasive species removal
• Habitat improvement, such as litter collection, addition of wildlife shelter(s), bird houses, or pollinator sites
• Soil improvements such as the addition of compost, green manures, or cover crops

How to Apply

This is a competitive grant issued on a reimbursement basis. Applicants’ score is based on their project's relative strength and adherence to "Ranking & Criteria" metrics, listed above. Please contact our office to sign up or for additional details. We regret that not all applicants will receive funding. However, in most cases, technical assistance is available regardless of award granted.

Simultaneous in-person/virtual Q&A sessions for interested parties are available in February, and first-time applicants are especially encouraged to meet with us prior to submitting their application.

Award Details

1. Funds are issued on a reimbursement basis, with documentation (receipts, photos, etc.) of work completed. Some exceptions may be made for organizations that are unable to provide up-front expenses. Funds must be used by the end of the year.
2. Grant recipients must review and sign our Grant Agreement, provide brief progress updates and final report, and host a final site visit upon project completion. Updates may be simple phone calls and emails to ensure progress. Final report consists of a few visual aids such as photos/video, and 1-page written summary.
3. Only one application per organization/individual is accepted. Awardees will not be considered for funding two consecutive years in a row.
4. Primary expenses should include supplies and tools for permanent on-the-ground materials. Signage, outreach, and single-use items are limited to 20% of the total cost.
5. Grant proposals are reviewed by Franklin Soil and Water staff with final approval of the Director and Board of Supervisors.
6. Ineligible expenses include:
o projects previously completed or in progress
o design and consulting fees
o research
o salary and administration
o food or gifts
o sales tax
o pass-through costs like subsidies, discounts, or contractor fees
o educational displays that exceed more than 20% of the total cost

Important Dates

Application accepted: February 1, 2024 - February 29, 2024
Congratulations to the 2023 Conservation Mini-Grant Recipients!
    • Netcare Tree Planting
    • FLOW Tree Nursery Improvements

    We appreciate all of the hard work you are doing for conservation in Franklin County!

    2022 Mini-Grant Awardees

    • Friends of Franklinton Forest- Supplies to plant 250 trees on private properties and Community Gardens in Franklinton
    • Brown Elementary School Rain Garden
    • Clintonville Greenspot- Fire Station Pollinator Garden
    • Green Columbus- Southside Tree Planting

    2021 Mini-Grant Awardees

    • Heart of Ohio Family Health- Community Garden in Northern Lights for Using Urban-Runoff to Grow a Pollinator Habitat
    • Village of Marble Cliff for Tarpy Woods Stream and Wetland Restoration
    • South Side Family Farms for Urban Garden Rainwater Collection and Living Hillside

    2020 Mini-Grant Awardees

    • City of Grove City Native Plantings at Hoover Crossing Park
    • Jones Middle School for Habitat Restoration at OSU golf course
    • Willow Brook Condominium Association for Turkey Run streambank stablization and revegetation

    2019 Mini-Grant Awardees

    • City of Gahanna Department of Parks & Recreation: West Side Park native habitat install
    • Clinton Township: Native Plantings in two community pocket parks.
    • Ecole Kenwood Parent Teacher Organization: Dry Stream Bed and Mini-wetland Outdoor Classroom. 
    • Franklin County Public Facilities Management: Early Run North Tree Planting 
    • South Eastmoor Civic Association: Park Sign Pollinator Plot

    2018 Mini-Grant Awardees

    • Canal Winchester Human Services: Rainwater storage and soil improvement for use with community garden
    • Southeach, Inc. (Friends Community Garden): Enhancing community garden and green space with native trees and plants
    • Worthington Hills Garden Club: Bioretention/rain garden installation for filtering runoff and habitat improvement at Worthington Hills Golf Course
    • Worthington Parks and Recreation Department: Landscaping and gardening with native plants at East Granville Road Park-Moses Wright Nature Area

    2017 Mini-Grant Awardees

    • Jefferson Township: Kitsmiller Crossing Pond bank stabilization and landscaping. The proposed project will serve as a Township-wide education and outreach program for HOA-managed stormwater ponds.
    • The City of Reynoldsburg Parks and Rec Department: Establishment of 10acre native prairie from seed at 3 locations within Civic Park
    • High Point Elementary: An outdoor reading garden expansion project adjacent to FSWCD'd Tripp conservation easement
    • Ohio Association of Garden Clubs: Installing native trees and plants, along with soil prep, plant ID at Natural Resources Park's kayak pond and pioneer cabin.