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Frequently Asked Questions

This information is intended as a guide only and should not be considered a substitute for the information contained in the official Watershed Stewardship Grant (WSG) Program documents.

If you have additional questions about the WSG program that are not answered here, or if you are still uncertain whether your group or project is eligible for funding, please contact the Stewardship Program Coordinator or 1–877-727–5276 extension 227 before completing the application form.

Who is eligible to apply for a Watershed Stewardship Grant?

Only Alberta-based groups are eligible to apply for and receive WSG funding. In 2018, Land Stewardship Centre expanded the program so that a broad variety of Alberta-based stewardship groups, which includes naturalist organizations, synergy groups and community associations, are eligible to apply for and receive WSG funding for projects that directly impact or enhance their local watershed.

These groups are community-oriented, volunteer-based partnerships that actively engage in environmental stewardship of their watershed. They set common goals to achieve shared outcomes and they actively engage individuals, organizations, agriculture, industry, municipalities and other forms of local government in their efforts. These groups take community-level action to safe guard our water sources.

Stewardship groups may apply for funding under this program as either an:

Unincorporated group The applicant is a group or community-based partnership that supports environmental stewardship of the local watershed, but is NOT a legal entity (i.e. is NOT a registered society or non-profit organization). The partnering legal entity is prepared to accept all financial and legal responsibility for this project and manage the grant funds on behalf of the group.

Incorporated group The applicant is a legal entity (i.e.registered society or non-profit organization) whose purpose, mandate and activities support environmental stewardship of the local watershed. The applicant is prepared to accept all financial and legal responsibility for the project.

Individuals, for-profit businesses and corporations, educational institutions or previous grant recipients with outstanding reporting obligations are NOT eligible to receive funding under this grant program. Government agencies, municipal governments and other Water for Life partners (e.g. Watershed Planning and Advisory Councils – WPACs) are NOT eligible to apply directly for this grant. They may, however, serve as the partnering legal entity for a group that does not have legal status.

How does my group or organization apply for a Watershed Stewardship Grant?

Step 1: Ensure your group or organization is eligible to receive WSG funding. Only Alberta-based stewardship groups are eligible to receive WSG funding.

Step 2: Ensure your project is eligible. Proposed projects must meet the requirements outlined in the WSG application form. If you are uncertain if either your group or your project is eligible for funding under the WSG Program, please contact the Stewardship Program Coordinator at or 1–877-727–5276 extension 227 before filling out and submitting a WSG application form. Step 3: Complete and sign the WSG application form. Make sure you complete the entire application form, providing all information as requested. Ensure the completed application form is dated and signed. Step 4: Submit your completed application. Send your completed application to Land Stewardship Centre on or before the application deadline.

Should we contact someone before submitting an application?

You are strongly encouraged to contact the Stewardship Program Coordinator to discuss your application prior to completing and submitting the application form. Contact the Stewardship Program Coordinator at 1–877-727–5276 extension 227 or

How can we verify that our group and our project meet the eligibility criteria?

Detailed eligibility criteria for groups and projects are outlined in the Application Process. Review this information carefully prior to submitting an application to ensure your group is eligible and your proposal aligns with the WSG funding criteria. You can also contact the Stewardship Program Coordinator to discuss your group’s and project’s eligibility for funding.

My group is not formally registered as a non-profit organization, a society or a charity. Can we still apply for a Watershed Stewardship Grant?

Yes, provided you partner with another legal entity such as another local registered society, non-profit organization, municipality, summer village council, or other legally recognized organization (with the exception of for-profit businesses or corporations).

In this case, applications should be completed as an unincorporated group as outlined above. The signing authority in this case should be aware that as they sign the Grant Agreement they will be assuming the banking role for the project and legal responsibility for the project. In these instances, it is very important that regular and consistent communication occur between the Primary Project Contact and the person designated as Signing Authority. This is particularly important when two different organizations are involved in the project.

Our group is planning to undertake activities on public land. How do we get permission and how we find out about any permits we may need?

Performing work on public land requires the permission of the agency responsible for managing the property. Contact the appropriate Alberta Environment and Parks office for information about and requirements for accessing and working on and with provincial public land and water bodies.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada and your local municipality should be consulted prior to planning any projects involving work in a fish-bearing water body or waterway.

What are considered eligible project expenses?

Materials and supplies (e.g., office supplies, food for events, machinery and equipment rentals, and hall rentals, etc.), salaries and wages, contract services, travel, honorariums, and certain capital expenses are considered eligible project expenses.

Capital expenses are generally ineligible except where they can be proven to be essential to the success of the project. In this case, use of the item by the group during and once the project is completed should be submitted as part of final reporting on the project. Eligible capital expenses may include items such as off-site watering systems, bridges on trails, laptops, data projectors,scientific equipment or other technical devices. Up to 100% of the total WSG funding received can be used to cover the cost of eligible capital purchases.

To be considered eligible for reimbursement, all expenses (with the exception of mileage and travel meals) MUST be accompanied by receipts.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is NOT an eligible expense and will not be covered by WSG funds. Project expenses incurred before notification of approval of a Watershed Stewardship Grant are NOT eligible.

Are we required to have matching funding in order to be eligible for the grant?

No, but it will strengthen your application to include an estimate of in-kind support and/or committed funding from your group and/or other partners.

How does having partnerships and collaborating with others on our project help? Why is it important to show this in our application?

There are many great reasons to look for opportunities to collaborate with others on your project.For example, partnerships and collaborations can help you:

  • Access additional funding support or sponsorships to cover the cost of your project
  • Avoid duplication and deliver stronger projects
  • Obtain in-kind support for your project such as technical expertise, reduced rates for services provided or even free materials
  • Take advantage of established and proven services or resources so you are not spending time and money developing them yourself
  • Help ensure local and regional needs and considerations are taken into account by networking with your watershed planning and advisory council (WPAC)
  • Connect with local businesses that are willing to lend a venue or provide part of catering needs for free or at a discounted price
  • Provide university or college students with an opportunity to participate in your project as a practical learning opportunity in their field of study. Whether they are science,communications or business students, they can assist your group with numerous activities like designing brochures, setting up websites or helping you do a business plan.
  • Your WPAC may be able to provide technical expertise on your project.

You are encouraged to contact the WPAC for your area to discuss your project. Communicating about your project with your WPAC is your opportunity to provide input into regional watershed planning and ensures local needs are taken into account.

Can we submit more than one application if we have multiple projects?

Eligible organizations may submit multiple applications but can only receive a maximum of $20,000 from the WSG per year.

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