How can I fund my monarch project?
Large and small scale monarch conservation projects can benefit from financial support, either to enhance an existing site with native, locally sourced milkweeds or nectar sources, or to establish a new site from scratch. If you are looking to install or enhance habitat for monarchs and other pollinators but don't have the funds available to complete the project yourself, here are a few tips to consider when looking for funding.
- For small-scale garden habitats, the primary funding opportunities are local to your state or community. Some national garden grant opportunities may be available, but these opportunities are not consistently available and may vary from one year to the next. Check the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab's list of garden grants from across the country. Search online for "garden grant" opportunities and find one that may apply to your area or planting objectives. Locally, you may also find support from a business or other local entity that may have resources to support community development or engagement, or from local clubs such as garden clubs or rotary, for example.
- It is important to connect with other stakeholders in your community that have similar conservation interests. These groups may have funding available for local projects, have information and expertise to share as your project progresses, and may be able to help you leverage opportunities for low-cost or free materials to use for your project. Connect with naturalist groups like Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, Pheasants Forever, or Wild Ones chapters (among others!) who have similar interests. These groups could provide local seeds they have collected, or may have plant materials to transplant from existing gardens.
- Community scale projects or public projects may be able to work with local native plant producers to provide seeds or plant at low or no-cost. Talk with local nurseries to see if there are opportunities to work closely with them on these types of projects.
- For private landowners with a bit more acreage, conservation resources and funding opportunities are listed by state on this website: http://www.privatelandownernetwork.org/. These resources should be explored thoroughly for funding or cost share opportunities for your state or region.
- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is currently operating a Monarch Butterlfy Conservation Fund for large projects, and typically have an annual request for proposals.
- Also keep in mind that restoring habitat for monarchs has many co-benefits. Leverage other funding opportunities that prioritize migratory bird habitat, water quality, or another conservation initiative. If you recognize and make connections to multiple species and environmental benefits, you will broaden your opportunities to support a habitat restoration project, even if your primary goal is monarch conservation. Search to find conservation minded funding opportunities through trusts, foundations, or other entities.