By Joan Herriges
Every fall, Sweet Water promotes its Water Quality Mini-Grant Program asking for proposals from grassroots organizations that want to do projects that help protect and restore waterways in the Greater Milwaukee area. The projects can range from reducing polluted stormwater runoff to teaching students how to identify contaminants in their local waterway. Grant awards range from $1,000 to $5,000.
This year, the Mini-Grant Program volunteer panel of judges and Sweet Water’s staff want to see a bigger impact in our watersheds with the funding we receive for the Program. Our new plan to accomplish this goal includes assigning a staff liaison to each winner in order to create a working relationship with each project winner/organization.
The liaison will arrange a few visits to the project during the season, being a source of information and ensuring that workers and volunteers have what is needed in order to progress and complete the projects. We hope that the workers and volunteers involved in the project will feel satisfaction not only from creating a highly functional project, but from the enjoyment of being involved in the process as well. We want to work with our winners to reach the goals set in their proposals, and to give our staff the opportunity to learn with them. We believe this process will produce a more informed and connected community involved in cleaning up our waterways.
Sweet Water is proud to announce the following winning organizations of our 2016 Water Quality Mini-Grant Program and with which we will be forming new relationships in 2016 (in no particular order):
These winning organizations will be honored during a presentation at Sweet Water’s Clean Rivers, Clean Lake Conference at Discovery World in Milwaukee on April 28th , 2016.
Improved project outcomes; organization and community interaction; cleaner waterways; that’s what our new Mini-Grant Program objectives are all about. The Sweet Water staff looks forward to cultivating our new, working relationships this coming spring and summer.