Table of contents

Important dates

Applications for this program are now open.

The deadline to apply is September 15.

Overview

In Alberta, the conservation of private land supports natural landscapes that sustain healthy fish and wildlife populations, protects ecological services that benefit the economy and human health, and enhances recreational opportunities for Albertans.

Alberta Land Trust Grant Program helps establish and administer new conservation easements on private land and/or administer new conservation projects on existing land trusts. Any registered Alberta land trust organization with the stated mission of land conservation can apply for funding from the program.

About the program

The Alberta Land Trust Grant program aligns with Alberta Environment and Parks’ conversation priorities:

  • maintaining large areas of native landscape
  • conserving connecting corridors
  • sustaining disconnected pockets of native habitat within fragmented landscapes
  • support watershed functions for healthy aquatic ecosystems and water quality.

Funding for the program is from the Land Stewardship Fund and is generated from the proceeds of public land sales.

Eligibility

  • Eligible projects

    Funding can be used for:

    • securement of a conservation easement
    • land assessment and planning involved with a new conservation easement or donated title (for example, undertaking a baseline survey)
    • administrative costs involved in obtaining or maintaining the conservation easement or donated title.
      • costs must be directly related to the project
      • examples include legal fees, accounting and book keeping
    • staffing costs directly related to the project
    • extension directly related to the project (for example, educational signage)
      • grant funding cannot be used to raise funds or increase membership
    • Stewardship Endowment to ensure the continued protection and maintenance of the property
    • when funded, the development of new projects

    Conservation easements are legally binding voluntary agreements between a landowner and a land trust. When placed on the land title, an easement restricts future surface development but allows current activities, such as grazing, to continue. The landowner retains title of the property.

    Grants approved through this program are not available for the purchase of land.

    Funds can be placed into a Stewardship Endowment Fund, but the funds must be earmarked for the project that they were awarded for. Project funding must be used within 3 years of the funding allocation date

    Grants from this program are intended to enable "new" conservation projects, therefore funding requests for existing conservation projects will not be considered. Conservation easements obtained or land titles donated more than a year prior to the application closing date are not eligible.

    There are no limits on the number of projects or locations a land trust can apply for. Each project will require an individual application and will be evaluated independently.

  • Ineligible projects

    Funding cannot be used for the following:

    • land purchases
    • existing conservation projects – Grants from this program are intended to enable new conservation projects only.
    • conservation easements obtained or land titles donated more than a year prior to the application closing date
    • expenses not directly related to the costs of this project
  • Who can apply

    A land trust is a not-for-profit, non-government organization established to promote the conservation of biodiversity on private land. Any land trust currently registered in Alberta is eligible to apply but must provide other funding and demonstrate that their project aligns with the government’s overall conservation objectives.

    The Alberta Land Stewardship Fund was established following changes in 2010 to the Public Lands Act, resulting from the Alberta Land Stewardship Act.

How to apply

Grant applications from eligible Land Trusts are open from June 1 to September 15, annually. Complete the Land Trust Grant Application Form (PDF, 152 KB).

Interested land trusts can connect with Alberta Environment and Parks to discuss potential projects by emailing [email protected].

  • After you apply

    All Alberta Land Trust Grant applications will be reviewed for completion and eligibility. An internal review committee will verify that the proposed project aligns with the Department’s conservation objectives and that the appropriate amount of leveraged funding is available.

    Recommendations from the review committee will then be submitted to the Deputy Minister for final approval.

  • Internal review committee

    The internal review committee comprises representatives from:

    • Grants and Program Delivery Section
    • Rangeland Resource Stewardship
    • Fish and Wildlife Policy
    • Regional Planning and Finance

    The internal review committee also consults with field staff located near the project areas for expert opinion.

  • Evaluation criteria

    Project proposals will be evaluated on the following:

    1. Alignment with Alberta Environment and Parks Conservation priorities.
    • maintaining large areas of native landscape
    • conserving connecting corridors
    • sustaining disconnected pockets of native habitat within fragmented landscapes
    • support watershed functions for healthy aquatic ecosystems and water quality
    1. Ability to Leverage Funds.

    For each grant application, a land trust must be able to leverage or provide funds for the project. Successful grant applications shall be awarded a base grant leveraging exemption of $30,000. Every dollar above this base amount shall be leveraged at least 2:1.

    For example, if a land trust applies for a grant of $250,000, the land trust must leverage at least $440,000 (i.e. $250,000 - $30,000 = $220,000 x 2 = $440,000). If a land trust applies for a grant less than $30,000 the leveraging ratio is 2:1 and there is no exemption awarded.
    Leveraging categories include:

    • cash
    • the value of the donated land or conservation easement
    • in kind services such as manpower and equipment donations directly related to the project
    • other committed grants
  • Reporting

    Land trusts must submit an annual report to Alberta Environment and Parks that outlines the land trust’s achievements and funding used to date. Land trusts must also submit a final report at the conclusion of their project that describes the conservation outcomes achieved by the grant.

Contact

Connect with the Grants Program Delivery Section:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 310-3773 (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

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