Cover photo for Iowa Urban Conservation Projects Grant

Iowa Urban Conservation Projects Grant

Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

Closed November 18, 2022

IDALS is accepting pre-applications for projects that demonstrate strong ties to the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. These projects will focus on adoption and implementation of urban conservation practices that provide nutrient load reductions to water resources in combination with outreach and education components demonstrating how projects will work to support the nonpoint source action items outlined in Section 1 of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy can be viewed here.

Applicants should demonstrate the ability to deliver stormwater management strategies and practices.

Strong partnerships must be demonstrated with any stakeholders that will be contributing significant resources to the project. These projects can range from site scale to watershed scale stormwater management practices (a single bioretention cell vs a stormwater wetland). Projects may utilize one or multiple stormwater management practices in order to manage the water quality improvement goals. The practices must treat for water quality volume, but they may comprehensively manage multiple storm events including the entire unified sizing criteria storms, when possible or practical. This approach can provide large scale water quality and quantity benefits to the applicant. There continues to be an emphasis on implementing urban conservation practices in communities where these practices have not been utilized in order to demonstrate their effectiveness to manage stormwater. Outreach and educational activities are also encouraged to inform the public, designers, developers, and city staff about how these practices function in order to increase adoption across the state. 


Cities, counties, county conservation boards, Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCDs), or other units of government, not-for-profit non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) authorized by the secretary of state, public water supply utilities or watershed management authorities are eligible to submit applications. Applicants must be able to demonstrate legal authority to construct and maintain practices in the intended location prior to submittal of applications. Due to the nature of this program and the emphasis on implementation of urban conservation practices and documentation supportive of the nutrient reduction strategy, applicants must collaborate with IDALS Urban Conservation Program staff. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to partner with stakeholders that will benefit from installation of urban conservation practices and would be able to assist with education and information transfer. 

Eligible expenses include:

  • Project costs (State funds not to exceed 50% cost) for the design and installation of urban conservation practices that are included in the Iowa Stormwater Management Manual (ISWMM) and designed according to the design guidelines of the ISWMM.

  • Other practices (State funds not to exceed 50% cost) included in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and designed and implemented according to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) standards and specifications.

  • Outreach/education components such as field days, publications, signs, and informational meetings (within program guidelines and limitations)

Application Instructions

Pre-applications must be submitted following the format and page limits provided. Maps and letters of support will not count against stated page limits. Letters of support are not required as part of the pre-application but an indication of primary partners and their roles/contribution to the project should be provided. Letters of support documenting partner’s roles/contributions will be required if a full application is requested. Potential applicants must schedule a meeting with an IDALS Urban Conservationist to help formulate strong projects and pre-applications. Urban Conservationists are available to assist from concept phase to application submittal. They can review draft applications and budgets and can assist on practice design guidance to ensure they meet standards. If you are farther along in the design process, please provide detail information in the application. Pre-applications will be reviewed by IDALS, and applicants requested to submit full applications will be no

Full-applications will be requested by a select number of pre-applications based on internal review by IDALS. Applicants requested to provide full applications to IDALS will be notified by December 15, 2023, and additional guidance on developing a full proposal will accompany notification. Full applications are due by February 9, 2024. The projected timeline for the complete application process is detailed below:

  • Pre-applications open: September 5, 2023

  • Pre-applications due: November 17, 2023

  • Selected pre-applications notified: December 15, 2023

  • Full-applications due: February 9, 2024

  • Selected full-applications notified: February 23, 2024

  • Anticipated project start date: March 15, 2024 



November 18, 2022

Financial Instrument

Grant, Cost Share

Updated April 24, 2024

Image Credit: Bill Benson

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