The City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department is inviting organizations to apply for mini-grants of up to $5,000 by September 23 to help engage with communities that have been excluded from past planning processes. This input will help create Rain to River, a strategic plan that will guide the work of the Watershed Protection Department for the next 10 years.
The department is inviting organizations that represent and/or serve racially and economically diverse Austinites to help gather input from the people in their networks on topics such as the impacts of flooding, erosion, and water pollution as well as access to Austin’s creeks and waterways. Through partnerships with community-based organizations, the department hopes to gain a better understanding of the issues our community is facing, identify our shared goals, and consider what approaches we should take in amplifying the voices of Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color. The department also hopes to build lasting relationships with the community organizations and leaders with whom they collaborate for this project.
The department is interested in organizations that have strong, well-established relationships with communities of color and low-income communities, are skilled at gathering input from these groups and apply an equity lens in their work. If selected, each organization will receive a mini-grant of up to $5,000 to cover the costs associated with gathering input from their networks over a period of roughly four months. Up to $25,000 in grants are available.
The Rain to River plan will update and replace the current Watershed Protection Strategic Plan, which was developed over 20 years ago with little to no input from racially or economically diverse communities. The Watershed Protection Department will use this plan to set goals, prioritize work, and guide decision-making to tackle urgent challenges such as climate change and racial inequities.
We are looking for organizations that can meaningfully engage with the following groups:
- Black, Native American/Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian Communities of Color
- LGBTQIA+ Communities
- Immigrant, Migrant and/or Refugee Communities
- People with Disabilities
- Low-income Communities
- People Experiencing Homelessness
- People with Past Criminal Records
Applications will be accepted until September 23, 2022. City staff will contact selected organizations by September 30, 2022.