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Small Grants at work in the Community

Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District (DSWCD) is thrilled to announce the successful completion of small grant funding for the 2021 – 2023 biennium. This funding is allocated from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board to be utilized by DSWCD and the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council with a project cap of $15,000. With an allocation of $60,000, DSWCD has received funding to complete four meaningful projects within Deschutes County to drive positive change in our community and address important environmental issues.  

One portion of the funding was focused on wildlife conservation. This project will collaborate with 5 private landowners to install seven guzzlers on private land west of Bend, spanning across an area of 36,000 acres. These guzzlers serve as important reliable water sources for wildlife in the region.  

Additionally, grant funds were leveraged to promote the presence of native pollinator plants and water savings throughout the city of Bend. Five private properties removed traditional grass lawns, which require extensive watering and maintenance, and replaced it with native pollinator plants. Sprinkler systems were replaced with more efficient drip kits, reducing water usage and promoting sustainable landscaping practices. This transformation, covering a combined area of 5,500 square feet, not only beautifies these public spaces but also provides important habitat and food sources for local pollinators. 

Water conservation was also a large focus in this grant-funded initiative. In collaboration with local farmers, we provided financial assistance for two flood to sprinkler conversion projects, spanning a total of 14 acres. By transitioning from flood irrigation methods to sprinkler systems, landowners will be able to achieve significant water savings while maintaining agricultural productivity. This initiative is emblematic of our commitment to promoting sustainable farming practices that reduce water waste and conserve our natural resources. 

DSWCD and UDWC will be receiving another round of funding to implement additional small grant projects to address instream, wetland, riparian, and upland health as well as water quality and quantity in the Upper Deschutes Watershed. If you have a possible project or would like to learn more about the small grant program, please contact: Erin Kilcullen, DSWCD District Manager at 541-550-6834 or