eLINK User Guidance Header

Purpose: This document provides basic guidance on how to complete a State Cost-Share Fund grant workplan in eLINK. Be sure to review any communications from BWSR about your grant prior to completing a workplan, as each grant program may have unique requirements. If you have any questions on the specific requirements for how to complete a workplan, please contact your Board Conservationist.

Creating a Grant Workplan

A workplan can only be created after receiving notification of grant award and workplan requirements. To create a workplan, find the approved grant on the Home page by either typing the Grant Title in the search field, or scanning for the grant (Stage/Status = Workplan – In Process) in the Grants window.  Select the workplan activities action icon for the grant found in the Action column.  This will bring you to the Workplan Activities page with the Activities & Expenditures grid filtered by the grant selected. 

Creating the Workplan Activity Budget for activities funded with State Cost Share fund dollars

To begin developing your workplan budget, select the button “Add New Activity Budget” and take the following steps:

  1. Grant: This field will automatically list the grant record you are working within.
  2. Activity: Select "Create New Activity" from the dropdown.
  3. Activity Name should reflect the primary purpose to be accomplished through the activity.  There should be at least two activities for each fiscal year.
    • Technical/Administration:  The funds that will be used for providing technical assistance to landowners and the administrative cost related to grant and contract processing.  This is capped at 20% of the state grant amount unless the district uses the Enhanced Technical/Administration option.
    • Best Management Practice Installation:  The funds that will be provided to landowners for the implementation of best management practices.  Not all activity categories have all potential eligible cost share activities.  Refer to the Chart of Practice by Activity Category to identify which conservation practices are associated with specific activity categories. 
  4. Budgeted Amount.  Enter estimated budgeted amount for this activity.
  5. Source Type.  Select the Current State Grant:  SWCD State Cost-Share Fund grant funds.
  6. Source Description:  This will auto-complete when Current State Grant is selected for source type.
  7. Match:  This will auto-complete when Current State Grant is selected for source type.
  8. Save:  If there are no errors, the system will indicate that this activity has been saved successfully.  If there are errors in one of the fields identified above, the system will display an error message above the line item with the error.  Users will need to correct the errors before they can save the activity. 
  9. Close:  Close out of the activity window.
  10. Repeat as many times as necessary to add all additional activities. 

Entering Activity Action and Planning Information

Activity Actions: Activity Actions are divided into different components that are related to the specific activities identified above by selecting each of four different action icons.  Changing the Activity Actions for any row of a given activity will change this information for all rows of this activity. 

  1. Click the edit activity icon to edit information about the activity such as the description and activity category.  Please refer to the Activity Categories Guidance document for a description of each activity category. Appropriate activities for the state cost share program are:
    • Administration/Coordination
    • Technical/Engineering Assistance
    • Agricultural Practices
    • Conservation Drainage
    • Forestry Practices
    • Groundwater
    • Livestock Waste Management
    • Non-Structural Management Practices
    • Streambank and Shoreland Protection
    • Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems
    • Urban Stormwater Practices
    • Wetland Restoration/Creation
    • Wind Erosion
  2. Complete the Activity Description by providing the name of the corresponding Comprehensive Plan(s) and provide details on what the activity will accomplish, then click Save.  Local Activity Number, Activity Lifespan, Start Date, Completion Date and Actual Results are not required fields for the workplan.
  3. Click Close to close the window and return to the Activities and Expenditures screen.

Additional Items

Conservation Districts are required to provide additional information if they choose to use the Enhanced Technical/Administration option or if they are going to cost share non-structural best management activities.

  1. Enhanced Technical/Administration Option
    • Within the Edit Activity Module-Activity Description, explain how the funds will be used to meet the requirements as found within the State Cost Share Policy.
    • Within the Activity Description, identify the board meeting at which the SWCD board made the request to use the Enhanced T/A option.
    • Within the Activity Description, state the number of months of unrestricted fund balance from the most recent SWCD audit.
  2. Nonstructural Land Management Practices
    • Within the activity description for the activity associated with the request to use funds for non-structural land management, state "See attached NLMP Policy".
    • Attached the SWCD's Non-Structural Land Management Practice Policy.
      • Within the eLINK grant screen, click on the attachments module.
      • Click "Add New Attachment"
      • Browse to locate the District's Non-Structural Land Management Policy on a local drive.  Select document and Click Open.
      • Choose "General Attachment" from the Document Type Drop down.
      • In the Document Name box, use "____ SWCD NLMP Policy".
      • Add Attachment.

Submitting the Workplan

To submit the workplan, select the Grant Title in the header of the Workplan & Activities page.  The current workplan stage will be displayed.  Select Submitted from the status dropdown in the header.  Click Go.  The system will lock the activities in your workplan and will notify your Board Conservationist that the workplan has been submitted and is ready for review.