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Clear Mini-Grants 

View   Community Leaders Enhancing Area Rivers statement

 ***Press Release***

 *CLEAR Grant Funds Available to Prior CLEAR Funded Cleanup Events!*

Click here to  Apply for a Mini-Grant

Click here to view a map of the REAP CEP-Funded CLEAR Grant Locations

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is seeking proposals for a mini-grant river cleanup program, which is funded by the REAP CEP (Resource Enhancement And Protection – Conservation Education Program) and known as CLEAR (Community Leaders Enhancing Area Rivers). Through the CLEAR initiative, 18 - $1,000 mini-grants will be made available to support local river cleanup efforts throughout the state.

Since 2003, over 2,000 volunteers have contributed thousands of hours towards beautifying Iowa’s aquatic resources. By participating in Project AWARE (A Watershed Awareness River Expedition), these volunteers are proving they can make a difference - one river, one week a year, one piece of trash at a time. This event, which lasts for one week, is organized by the Iowa DNR’s IOWATER and Keepers of the Land volunteer programs. Over the last three years, a flood of requests have come from citizens who are interested and excited about developing their own river cleanup events. While many of these groups have tremendous local support (from both a participation and sponsorship standpoint), they oftentimes lack adequate funding needed to dispose of river trash in an environmentally ethical manner (recycling instead of landfilling) and to fully educate the public about not only how our actions on land impact the quality of our waters, but also about the responsibility Iowans have to care for our natural resources.

 Using Project AWARE as a promotional and marketing tool to spread the word about CLEAR, the 2006 CLEAR initiative kicked off its mini-grant program with the 4th Annual Project AWARE. Application postmark deadline is September 7th, 2007. If funds remain, there will be a second grant application deadline of February 8th, 2008, and a final cycle deadline of July 11th, 2008. Grant money will be awarded in a two-step process - 75% of the grant will be paid at the start of the project, while the remaining 25% will be paid at the project's completion.



Mini-Grant Project Requirements


Mini-Grant Applicant Requirements


Mini-Grant Project Report (To be submitted upon completion of the project)

§         Itemized list of trash items removed from the river

§         Pounds of trash removed and cubic yards removed

§         Pictures of cleanup trash and participants

§         Percentage of trash that was recycled

§         Percentage and pounds of trash that was landfilled, with an accompanying list of items that were landfilled.

§         Number of river miles impacted.

§         Number of volunteers from each cleanup who have participated in other cleanup events, as well as the number of volunteers who would participate in future cleanups (which will be determined through evaluations).


How will grant awards be determined?

The CLEAR mini-grants are intended to reward cleanup projects that focus on community involvement, natural resource stewardship, and environmental education. Applications will be scored, averaged, and ranked by Iowa DNR staff, using the following evaluation criteria.


CLEAR Mini-Grant Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be reviewed on a 60-point scoring system. Grants must receive an average score of at least 35 points in order to be funded through CLEAR. Point values have been assigned to the various questions in the application as indicated below.

  1. Please provide a narrative of your plan - what do you want to do and why do you want to do it? (10 points)
  2. How does your project seek out and include a diverse mix of partnerships, participants, and sponsorships? (10 points)
  3. Does your event have the potential to be self-sustaining in the future? If so, please explain how. (10 points)
  4. Does your project provide educational opportunities that focus water quality, watersheds, best management practices, or other conservation efforts? Please describe all those that apply. (10 points)
  5. Please explain how a cleanup might benefit your local community. (10 points)
  6. Please identify your need for these funds and explain how these funds may be used in conjunction with other funds (grants, donations, etc.) to complete the project. (5 points)
  7. Extra points may be awarded for creativity, uniqueness, impact, and/or success. (5 points)


Application Submission

Applications must be mailed in full to:

Brandon Harland – Iowa DNR
Wallace State Office Building
502 E. 9th Street
Des Moines, IA  50319

Apply for a Mini-Grant  (MS Word  or Adobe Pdf)

Coordinator Evaluation Form (MS Word  or  Adobe Pdf)

Participant Evaluation Form (MS Word  or  Adobe Pdf)

First Round Application Results Data Final Report

First Grant Final Report

For questions, contact Brandon at or 515-281-3150.


List of Completed 2006 & 2007 CLEAR funded cleanup events:

¨      Mahaska County Ikes, Oskaloosa: South Skunk River Cleanup, May 20 – June 6, 2006.

¨      Contact: Larry Anderson at (641) 673-0090

¨      Clayton County Conservation Board, Elkader: Tidying the Turkey, Aug. 19, 2006.

¨      Contact: Angi Reid at (563) 245-1516 or

¨      Friends of the Wapsi Center, Inc., Dixon: Grove to Grove Lower Wapsipinicon River Cleanup Project, Aug. 25, 2006.

¨      Contact: Melisa Petersen at ([email protected]) OR

KJ Rebarcak () or

¨      Iowa Whitewater Coalition, Inc., Des Moines: Clean Rivers Team, May – November 2006.

¨      Contact: Don Propst at (515) 265-8733 or

¨      Missouri River Relief, Council Bluffs: Back to the River, Inc, Aug. 22-23, 2006.

¨      Contact: Gayle Malmquist at (712) 328-4631 or

¨      Keep Boone County Beautiful, Boone County: Dragoon River Romp, Sept. 23, 2006.

¨      Contact: Scott Smith at (515) 433-0591 or

¨      Carter Lake Clean-up, April 14

¨      Contact: Jeanne Eibes at (712)347-6455 or [email protected]

¨      (Sat); 2007 Big Rock Volga River Cleanup, April 14

¨      Contact: Katherine McCarville at (563) 425-5233 or [email protected]

¨      Muddy Creek Watershed Coalition Cleanup Days, April 16-27

¨      Contact: Sherri Proud at (319) 248-1750 or

¨      Minding the Maquoketa, June 10th or 17th

¨      Contact: Ann Burns at (563) 652-3783 or [email protected]

¨      Riverbend Middle School’s Iowa River Clean-up, May 19 & 26

¨      Contact:  Karen Koenig at (641)648-6430 or [email protected]

¨      Middle Raccoon River Cleanup:  Riverside Park-Whiterock, June 16

¨      Contact:  Carroll Co. Consv. Board at (712)792-4614 or [email protected]

¨      West Fork Des Moines River Cleanup, June 30

¨      Contact:  Palo Alto County Conservation Board at (712)837-4866 or [email protected]

¨       Boone River Cleanup, August 4

¨      Contact: Brian Stroner at (515) 832-9147 or [email protected]

¨      Franklin County Iowa River Cleanup Project

¨      Contact: Jackie Dohlman at or (641) 456-4811

¨      Iowa River Cleanup – Steamboat Rock to Pine Lake State Park

¨                  Contact:  Rod Scott or Lisa Hein at (515) 288-1846

¨      Jones County - Keeping Our Rivers Clean Project (Maquoketa River:  Mon-Maq Dam to Pictured Rocks), August 11

¨      Contact:  Michele Olson at (563)487-3541 or [email protected]

Click here for a complete list of 2008 CLEAR funded events and other cleanup events