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Landowner Assistance Program (LAP)
The Landowner Assistance Program (LAP) is a core conservation program for Marion SWCD. The program allows for the installation of conservation practices on properties throughout the county. The LAP enables landowners to implement conservation projects via a 50% cost share in which Marion SWCD pays half of the project cost, up to $7,500, and cooperators are required to provide remaining project funds using labor (i.e., sweat equity), materials, and/or cash. Projects must address a specific natural resource issue based on defined natural resource concerns that have been identified by the Marion SWCD Board of Directors and are synchronized with the state-wide priorities defined by the Department of Environmental Quality, the Oregon Water Resources Department, and the Agricultural Water Quality Management Plan (AgWQMP).
There were 51 applications for funding received in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, with funding approved for 51 projects in the total amount of $295,352. During the 2019-2020 fiscal year there were 29 LAP projects completed, which resulted in $179,558 in grant assistance provided from District funds; this amount was matched by $760,116 in landowner contributions. That’s $932,674 in conservation dollars on the ground!
Special Projects Grant (SPG)
The Special Projects Grant (SPG) program provides financial assistance to demonstrate innovative and sustainable conservation projects and speed the development and availability of new and effective conservation practices in the District. Projects require a 50% cost share in which Marion SWCD pays half of the project cost, up to $7,500, and cooperators are required to provide remaining project funds using labor (i.e., sweat equity), materials, and/or cash. There were 2 applications received for the SPG program during the 2019-2020 fiscal year: one for streambank stabilization and one for innovative tillage technique. Previous projects have included an integrated rainwater catchment system, an urban rain garden, hydroponic fodder feeder, innovative geotextile streambank repair, and a precision GPS guided planter.
Cover Crop Program
The Cover Crop Program was a pilot program for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The Cover Crop Program provided financial incentive to land operators to plant a winter cover crop to improve soil health and reduce soil erosion. Projects received the incentive on a flat rate per acre basis, up to $7,500 per cooperator. There were 9 applications received for the program: with 7 projects funded and completed, putting cover crop on 780 acres of otherwise bare ground for the winter of 2019-2020.
Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) Small Grants
Every two years the Mid-Willamette East OWEB Small Grant Team has $100,000 available for landowner projects that enhance the function of local watersheds. Marion SWCD is a participant in the Mid-Willamette East OWEB small grant program which supports implementation of the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds by funding projects designed to improve water quality, water quantity, and fish and wildlife habitat. This program funds on-the-ground watershed restoration and enhancement projects on forest, agricultural, range, urban, and rural residential lands. During the 2019-2021 biennium, seven projects were awarded funding totaling $100,000; four of the projects were for Marion SWCD cooperators with awards totaling $58,212, not including match funding. Projects include erosion control, manure storage facilities, irrigation improvements, and wetland habitat improvement.