DNR Grants Journal #3: July 2013

DNR logo

The DNR Grants Journal

Courtesy of the DNR Grants Unit

July 2013- Issue #3

Visit our website at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/grants/passthrough/


Topics Include:

  • FY14 Grant Agreements Update
  • Returning Funds
  • Prairie Woods wins Education Award

Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources

500 Lafayette Road

St. Paul, MN 55155-4010


Amanda Graeber

Grants Manager

(651) 259-5533



Patrick Donnell

Grants Specialist Sr.

(651) 259-5543



Jason Tidemann

Grants Specialist Sr.

(651) 259-5534


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The DNR’s Mission Statement:

Our mission is to work with citizens to conserve and manage the state’s natural resources, to provide outdoor recreation opportunities, and to provide for commercial uses of natural resources in a way that creates a sustainable quality of life.



Canoeing Photo

Fiscal Year 14 Grant Agreements Update


The DNR Grants Unit is preparing to send out FY 14 contracts to all ENRTF and OHF ML 2013 appropriation recipients in July. If your organization is a prior recipient, you will notice a few changes to contract agreements, Attachment E, and the Reimbursement Manual. 


Modifications from FY13 to FY14 contracts include:

  • Addition of Single Audit clause
  • Updating of Invasive Species clause
  • Addition of Pollinator Habitat Enhancement clause
  • Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form attached
  • Reimbursement Manual attached to contract


Modifications to Attachment E include:

  • Clarification of “appraised value” for grant program purposes with examples
  • Pre-closing documentation required at least 10 days before closing
  • Landowner Disclosure Form must be submitted to the Grants Unit
  • Addition of title insurance to eligible cost list (pre-approval required previously) and requiring title insurance, not just title commitment
  • Clarification of what documents satisfy the “evidence of the amount to be paid” pre-closing requirement
  • Addition of new ML 2013 requirements (OHF: mapping; ENRTF: commissioner approval of acquisitions and value assessments)

Modifications to the Reimbursement Manual include:

  • New, more user friendly Project Activity Summary spreadsheet replaces the Expenditure Description by Activity/Outcome form
  • Inclusion of Grant Monitoring (and, related to that, proof of payment and subcontracting documentation to be kept on-file rather than sent in)
  • Brief land acquisition requirements summary
  • Clarification on required payroll documentation, expense eligibility, and turnaround time    

The new Reimbursement Manual and Attachment E will be sent out to all appropriation recipients, not just those with new FY14 contracts, via email. All modifications to the documents will be summarized in the email.

These modifications were made with appropriation recipient comments and interactions through FY13 in mind as well as with Lands and Minerals and other involved DNR staff consultation. We hope they will make for a clearer document and process for all involved.

The Grants Unit will be offering an online training on the Reimbursement Manual/process in the fall.


Returning Funds

Rapid River Photo

On occasion, organizations may determine they must return funds after they have submitted for, and been paid on, eligible reimbursable expenses. There can be a variety of reasons for this, but in any case, it is important to contact your assigned Grants Specialist immediately once it has become a necessity. Grants Specialists will ask for a narrative on why the return of funds is necessary and advise the organization to return the amount to the DNR in the form of a check, which will be deposited back into the organization's appropriation account.


Environmental Initiative Awards: Prairie Woods Takes Home Education Honor

Awards Ceremony

The Pass-Through Grants Unit would like to congratulate the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center, the Southwest Initiative Foundation, and the school districts in 32 greater Minnesota communities for winning the 2013 Environmental Initiative Award in the category of Environmental Education. These partners collaborated as part of the Youth Energy Summit (YES!) program, with funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.