The Minneapolis-based McKnight Foundation has announced fifty-one grants totaling more than $11.6 million.
Of the more than $11 million awarded in this quarter, $445,000 was allocated to organizations working to reduce agricultural pollution in the upper Mississippi River (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois), a key strategy of McKnight's Mississippi River program. Those grants include one of $350,000 over two years to the Center for Rural Affairs in support of its work through the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, which is leading local and national efforts to develop a strong and unifying message on the role that sustainable agricultural practices play in protecting the country's soil and water. In addition, the Freshwater Society will receive $45,000 to develop a set of recommendations on how best to manage Minnesota's Clean Water Fund; and the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation will receive $50,000 to create a plan for northwest Illinois that targets permanent land protection, land retirement, and other interventions designed to reduce agricultural pollution and improve water quality in priority watersheds.
"The restoration of the Mississippi starts with a thriving agricultural economy that not only produces abundant food but also healthy soil and clean water," said McKnight board chair Meghan Binger Brown. "We believe these grants will help revitalize the river by supporting sustainable agricultural practices in the upper Mississippi River states and reducing agricultural pollution."