Watersheds Small Grants Program

About the Small Grants Program

Pierce County partners with local organizations and agencies to provide grants to raise environmental literacy and improve habitat and water quality in Pierce County. The small grant programs are available in the four watersheds described below: Nisqually, Puyallup, Chambers-Clover, and KGI. You can find supporting documents and priorities of the councils posted online by viewing the appropriate council page. Each council's priorities are unique, so do not overlook this step if you are applying for more than one grant in different watersheds. Applications are ranked and reviewed separately with slightly different criteria and different priorities based on the watershed.


Successful applications support one or more of the goals outlined in the current Action Agendas (or work plans) of the watershed councils. Examples of successful past projects include volunteer riparian plantings, invasive species removal, stream clean-up events, nature-based education preK-16 such as nature-themed school camps, community science, outreach to shoreline property owners, rain garden installations, rain barrel workshops, development of educational materials or purchase of equipment, signage or supplies for projects that benefit water quality or riparian habitat in public spaces such as parks, schools and libraries. Grant funds may not be used for lobbying activities.


Regional_Watersheds map



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2021 Grant Recipients


From funding stream clean-up events to contributing to nature-based education camps, the Watersheds Small Grants Program allows community organizations to focus on environmental education and implement projects that protect our watersheds.


Click the button below to see how the 2021 grant recipients are using the funds to bring environmental benefits to their communities.


The 2022 Grant Cycle Is OPEN. Grant Applications are due April 7.

New in 2022: we are expanding the small grant program to the Nisqually watershed. Grants are available in four watersheds: Nisqually, Chambers-Clover, Key Peninsula-Gig Harbor-Islands (KGI), and Puyallup-White. Select the watershed that applies to your project. View the individual council pages to learn about current priorities. The project should be located in the selected watershed and/or serve residents of selected watershed. Applicants may submit more than one application per watershed, and similar projects taking place in different watersheds are accepted. All watersheds offer grant awards up to $2,500 per grant proposal.


Presentation slides from the March 2nd virtual grant info session are available here. You can view a recording of that meeting here.


If you have any questions about the application process, forms, or if you have a project idea that you'd like to get some feedback on before applying, please contact Rebecca Lee at [email protected] or Barbara Ann Smolko at (253)798-6156 or [email protected].


Thanks to all of our 2022 funding partners leveraging matching dollars to bring a combined $62,500 in funding for small environmental projects across Pierce County: 

  • Greater Gig Harbor Foundation
  • City of Lakewood
  • Puyallup Watershed Initiative - Stormwater Community of Interest
  • Peninsula Light
  • Pierce County
Puyallup-White River Watershed Small Grants

Introduction Video by Carrie Hernandez, PRWC President


Puyallup Watershed Grant Applications are due April 7, 2022. This program provides small grants to nonprofit organizations, schools, teachers, businesses, and individuals wishing to enhance water quality and habitats in the Puyallup-White River Watershed (WRIA 10). This program is a partnership with Pierce County and the Stormwater Community of Interest (SCOI), a part of the Puyallup Watershed Initiative with grant administration provided the Puyallup River Watershed Council


Up to $20,000 will be awarded to highly qualified applications this year.


2022 Grant Cycle Materials:

Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed Small Grants

Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed Grant Applications are due April 7, 2022. Up to $20,000 will be awarded to the highest scoring applications.


Read about the grant awards project summaries here: 2021 Grant Awards Summary


This year $20,000 will be available for funding, with a maximum grant award of $2,500 per project. Small grants are available to assist local nonprofit organizations, jurisdictions, schools, teachers, and individuals wishing to enhance water quality and habitat in the Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed (WRIA 12). Pierce County partners with the City of Lakewood to fund this grant program.


2018-23 Action Agenda (view CCWC priorities)


2022 Grant Cycle Materials:


Key Peninsula-Gig Harbor-Islands (KGI) Watershed: Lu Winsor Environmental Grants

Lu Winsor Grant Applications are due April 7, 2022 For more information or to submit a grant application, visit the Lu Winsor Grant Program page. This program provides small grants to nonprofit organizations, schools, teachers, and individuals wishing to enhance water quality and habitat in the Key Peninsula - Gig Harbor - Islands Watershed (WRIA 15). We will partner with the Peninsula Light Co. and the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation to provide and estimated $15-20,000 in grant awards.


To apply: All grant applications must be submitted to the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation. View the Lu Winsor Environmental Fund page to apply for a grant or donate to the fund.  You can also access the grant application PDF here: Common Grant Application (gigharborfoundation.org) Review the application materials for submission instructions.

NEW in 2022: Nisqually Watershed Grants

Nisqually Watershed Grant Applications are due April 7, 2022. This program provides small grants to nonprofit organizations, schools, teachers, businesses, and individuals wishing to enhance water quality and habitats in the Nisqually River Watershed (WRIA 11), at this time funding is limited to the portion of the watershed that is located in Pierce County. We are seeking additional funding partners to expand the program watershed-wide in the future. Grant administration is generously provided by the Nisqually River Foundation. 


Up to $10,000 will be awarded to highly qualified applications this year. Additional funding may become available. Check back here in March for updates.


2022 Grant Cycle Materials: