March 28, 2024

Contact: Mary Juhl;, 612-358-5733

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is now accepting applications for two initiatives that protect pollinators by funding new habitat projects in communities across Minnesota.

The Habitat Enhancement Landscape Program (HELP) aims to establish and improve habitat on existing conservation areas. Pollinator Pathways grants — part of BWSR’s Lawns to Legumes program — fund community efforts that help residents create smaller-scale pollinator habitat projects in residential and community spaces such as yards, schools and community centers.

“Over the past several years, we’ve seen Minnesota residents and local organizations use BWSR grant programs to make great strides in protecting vulnerable pollinator populations,” BWSR Executive Director John Jaschke said. “These grant opportunities will help build on those successes and further equip Minnesotans to make a difference in the ecosystems they call home.”

Grant opportunities include:

Habitat Enhancement Landscape Program (HELP)

HELP supports efforts to restore and enhance strategically located diverse native habitat found in Minnesota’s natural areas, conservation lands and open spaces to benefit declining populations of bees, butterflies, dragonflies, birds and other wildlife species that are essential for ecosystems and food production. HELP prioritizes large-scale initiatives on the landscape that support these declining populations, with an emphasis on protecting pollinators. With HELP, BWSR intends to build new partnerships and fill gaps left by other conservation programs.

  • $3.5 million available in grant funding
  • Eligible applicants: tribal governments, soil and water conservation districts, watershed districts, watershed management organizations, local government joint powers boards, counties, municipalities, non-government organizations, park districts and contractors
  • Applicants can apply for a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $500,000
  • Applications will be accepted through June 27, 2024
  • Apply on BWSR’s website.

Pollinator Pathways grants

Pollinator Pathways grants (formerly called Lawns to Legumes Demonstration Neighborhood grants) support community projects intended to enhance pollinator habitat in key corridors, raise awareness about residential pollinator protection and showcase best practices. Organizations overseeing a Pollinator Pathways grant work with local residents and organizations to install new pollinator habitat in residential and community spaces. Previously, grants were awarded in 32 communities across Minnesota.

  • $1.1 million available in grant funding
  • Eligible applicants: tribal governments, soil and water conservation districts, watershed districts, counties, municipalities, non-government organizations and pre-k through grade 12 schools (public and non-profit)
  • Applicants can apply for a minimum of $50,000; there is no maximum
  • Applications will be accepted through June 20, 2024
  • Apply on BWSR’s website.


BWSR is the state soil and water conservation agency, and it administers programs that prevent sediment and nutrients from entering our lakes, rivers, and streams; enhance fish and wildlife habitat; and protect wetlands. The 20-member board consists of representatives of local and state government agencies and citizens. BWSR's mission is to improve and protect Minnesota's water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners