The Minneapolis-based McKnight Foundation has announced fourth-quarter grants totaling more than $14.3 million to a hundred and fifteen organizations.
In support of efforts to restore the water quality of the Mississippi River, the foundation awarded grants totaling $1.2 million to fifteen groups working to reduce high nitrogen and phosphorus runoff in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. Grant awards include a $75,000 grant over two years to the Allamakee Soil and Water Conservation District to help strengthen lease agreements in the region by taking into account soil and water conservation best practices; $125,000 over two years to the American Farmland Trust to accelerate agricultural conservation practices in Illinois; and $70,000 over two years to the Iowa State University of Science and Technology to develop an online tool that helps farmers and conservation planners make land-use decisions with an eye to improving water quality in the Mississippi River basin.
The foundation also awarded grants in the areas of the arts, community development, education, affordable housing, and youth development, including a general operating support grant of $525,000 to CommonBond Communities, a regionally significant affordable housing developer, to build its capacity to track self-sufficiency outcomes in its resident tracking system; and a total of $75,000 to the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in support of various St. Paul Promise Neighborhood projects and a tri-annual statewide homeless survey.
"The water quality of the Mississippi River directly impacts eighteen million people and countless wildlife that depend on it for their health and livelihoods," said Ted Staryk, chair of the foundation's board of directors. "McKnight is proud to support organizations like these and others who explore creative and forward-thinking farming solutions to protect this vital national resource."
For a complete list of the foundation's fourth-quarter grants, visit the McKnight Foundation Web site.