Huron Pines offering grants for groups in Rifle River watershed

Posted 10/14/16

ARENAC COUNTY — Organizations that promote conservation or economic development in Ogemaw and Arenac counties can apply for grants from Huron Pines to help with a specific project within the Rifle River watershed.

Huron Pines Community Program Lead Abigail Ertel said grant applications will be accepted through Nov. 23. There is a total of $15,000 available and grants will be awarded for $2,000-$7,500, she said. Funding for the grant cycle is courtesy of the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network, Ertel said.

Although the grants will be awarded to organizations working in the Rifle River watershed, Ertel said projects do not have to deal directly with the river.

“Certainly we expect to have a lot of applications that have to do with the river, but there are uplands in the watershed, too,” she said.

“I think everyone would agree the Rifle River is a known entity and a valuable asset to the region, but there’s also an understanding that people come up for hunting, hiking, camping and downtown activities, too,” Ertel said.

Grant applications will be reviewed by members of the Rifle River Prosperity Network, which along with Huron Pines includes representatives from several state and county agencies. Ertel said the network has been meeting for about 18 months and aims to promote natural resource conservation and economic development in the watershed.

The network focuses on four areas — placemaking and identity, tourism, business development and outreach — when promoting the Rifle River watershed, Ertel said. Grant applicants should consider that when preparing their submissions, she said.

“We really want people to think very creatively with what they put together for the application and project,” she said.

Organizations interested in applying for the grant can receive assistance in writing their applications during a Nov. 1 grant-writing workshop, Ertel said.

“This is for folks to come and, one, learn about the minigrant program, but also gain some technical guidance and experience in how to put an application together,” she said.

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