View Community Leaders Enhancing Area Rivers statement
*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
- Grant designations were announced September 21st, 2007, with the earliest disbursal date of September 28th. The second grant cycle, if applicable, will have a postmarked deadline of February 8th, 2008, an announcement date of February 22nd, and a disbursal date of February 29th. The third grant cycle, if applicable, will have a postmarked deadline of July 11th, 2008, an announcement date of July 25th, and a disbursal date of August 1st. Up to ten grants will be awarded during the first cycle, while the remainder will be awarded during the second and third cycle(s).
- A Project Report must be submitted to the CLEAR coordinator upon successful completion of the grant (see mini-grant project report requirements section below).
- It is the responsibility of the mini-grantee to write and distribute press releases regarding their REAP CEP/CLEAR funded cleanup to local media outlets. Two press releases are required: 1) Pre-event press release that details the plan and encourages local participation; 2) Post-event press release that includes the results (volunteer numbers, junk removed, junk recycled, and river miles cleaned) of the event and recognizes the sponsors who contributed to it. These press releases will also be sent to the CLEAR coordinator.
- It is the responsibility of the mini-grantee to distribute and collect river cleanup evaluations, which are to be completed by event participants and submitted to the CLEAR coordinator.
- Upon receipt of the grant award money, mini-grantees have no longer than one year to complete their proposed projects and spend allocated funds. Failure to do so can result in repayment of unspent funds or refusal of the Iowa DNR to disburse remaining funds. Requests for project extensions must be approved in advance by the CLEAR coordinator.
- Administering organizations will be required to submit copies of all project records to the CLEAR Coordinator upon completion of the project, and retain originals for a period of no less than three years after completion of the project.
Mini-Grant Applicant Requirements
- A budget detailing how the money will be spent must accompany the application (NOTE: salaries, food, and political activities cannot be paid with grant money)
- Upon approval of the grant, the applicant must sign a contract with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources
- Local governments (cities, counties, school districts) and service organizations with 501(c)(3) status are eligible to receive funds. Individuals and groups lacking this status can attain eligibility by involving their local governments or non-profit groups in the handling of the funds. If such is the case, the grant application should be made by the group or unit of government that will hold the funds, and reference the non-tax exempt group or individual leading the effort.
Mini-Grant Project Report (To be submitted upon completion of the project)
- The mini-grant project report should include:
- A general narrative of the event that includes what was planned, what happened, results, and future plans.
- List of volunteers who were involved in the event.
- Names of partners and sponsors who contributed to the event.
- Detailed summaries of the event that include:
§ 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.
- Please provide a narrative of your plan - what do you want to do and why do you want to do it? (10 points)
- How does your project seek out and include a diverse mix of partnerships, participants, and sponsorships? (10 points)
- Does your event have the potential to be self-sustaining in the future? If so, please explain how. (10 points)
- 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)
- Please explain how a cleanup might benefit your local community. (10 points)
- 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)
- Extra points may be awarded for creativity, uniqueness, impact, and/or success. (5 points)
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 www.lowerwapsicleanup.org
¨ 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