By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: February 27, 2023

Missoula, Montana – At the February meeting of the Missoula Conservation District (MCD), the Board of Supervisors approved a total of seven grants from their winter grant cycle to support local conservation efforts.

A private homeowner along Rattlesnake Creek was awarded a $1,000 Riparian Planting Mini Grant to develop a streamside management plan and plant native vegetation at a site currently occupied by nothing but lawn down to the creek’s edge. A LaValle Creek landowner was awarded a small $35 Continuing Education Mini Grant to cover registration expenses to attend the upcoming Forestry Mini College that will be held March 4, 2023 at the University of Montana. These courses will assist the landowner in managing their forest and riparian habitats.

The Great Bear Foundation was awarded a $2,580 Education Cost Share grant to support an education and social marketing campaign for the Missoula Bear Smart Working Group, which the Missoula Conservation District is a member of. Recently, the Missoula County Commissioners along with the Missoula City Council and Mayor of Missoula unanimously approved a resolution launching a joint City and County effort to make Missoula and the surrounding Missoula Valley a “Bear Smart” community and have pledged to formally incorporate methods and actions to reduce human-bear conflicts mostly resulting from attractants such as unsecured trash cans, fruit trees, bird feeders, and compost piles. The Education Cost Share grant will assist the Missoula Bear Smart Working Group in developing and distributing various outreach materials to aid these efforts.

Big Sky High School and Seedlings 4 Solidarity were each awarded Education Mini Grants in the amount of $500. The award to Big Sky High School will allow the IB Environmental Class the opportunity to visit Grass Valley Farm this spring to learn about regenerative farming and partake in a lunch made from locally sourced foods. Seedlings 4 Solidarity (S4S) is a mutual food aid sovereignty project that is volunteer-run and fiscally sponsored by the Community Food & Agriculture Coalition. S4S will use the Education Mini Grant funding to produce and print 200 ten-page color gardening guides specific to the Missoula area and which focus on sustainable practices such as soil health, companion planting, water conservation strategies, and native pollinator-friendly plant species.

Lolo Watershed Group (LWG) and Seedling 4 Solidarity were each awarded a $500 Operations Mini Grant. LWG will utilize the funding to help implement their recently revised strategic plan focused on youth education and promoting a “community watershed” concept for the Lolo Creek Watershed. The award to S4S will assist them in purchasing soil block equipment they will use to plant, grow, and distribute 10,000 seedlings in partnership with the Missoula Food Bank, Soft Landing Missoula, All Nations Health Center, and the People’s Food Sovereignty Program.

The next quarterly MCD grant cycle will open on March 1, 2023 and close on April 15, 2023.

To learn more about the Missoula Conservation District’s grant program visit www.missoulacd.org or call 406-214-5131. 

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