Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund now open

Deadline for applications is July 15

The 2022-23 Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund grant application window is open now through July 15.

The 2022-23 Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund grant application window is open now through July 15.

Photo courtesy of Ice Mountain

MECOSTA, OSCEOLA COUNTY — The 2022-23 Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund application period is now open to groups within the Muskegon River watershed.

The fund provides up to about $50,000 annually, with individual grants ranging from $1,000 to $20,000, according to a news release from the organization.

Grant applications are welcome for watershed conservation, enhancement or restoration projects of all sizes. The grants support a diversity of projects, large and small, built around those three pillars, the news release said.

Conservation projects help protect the environment throughout the watershed by addressing needs such as litter prevention, litter and pollution clean-up, recycling and more.

Enhancement projects support access and enjoyment of the watershed lands and waterways, educational projects and responsible use of natural resources and the outdoors.

Restoration projects help reverse degradation of the watershed and improve the physical, chemical and/or biological integrity of the watershed.

"Healthy freshwater watersheds are vital to the quality of life for people, wildlife, recreation and our economy," according to a news release announcing the application period.

"For 20 years, the Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund through its annual grant making program, has supported the important work of community, conservation, environmental, academic and local government groups to enhance the water quality throughout the Muskegon River Watershed."

To apply for the Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund grant visit facommunityfoundation.org/icemountain. Applications are due by July 15. 

Recipients will be announced and notified by the end of 2022, and funds will be distributed in 2023.

The Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund was established in 2002 through the generosity of Great Spring Waters of America, Inc., now BlueTriton Brands. Throughout its history, the fund has awarded over $800k in grants to 25 partners located throughout the Muskegon River Watershed.

In 2018, BlueTriton Brands and Ice Mountain renewed their investment in the fund with a $2 million commitment to support conservation projects for the next 20-plus years, according to the news release.

Previously funded projects have included erosion control, rain gardens, restoration to creeks, dams and nature areas, site clean-ups and improvements, watershed research, among many others.

The IMESF is managed by the Fremont Area Community Foundation, in Newaygo County. The Community Foundation connects the needs of the community with generous donors who want to make a difference. The foundation’s strategic framework focuses on grantmaking intended to improve key areas that will have the greatest impact on the community.

The Muskegon River watershed is one of Michigan’s largest, spanning nine counties and more than 2,700 square miles of central and west Michigan. The river, its tributaries, and connected waterways start at Houghton and Higgins lakes and flow southwest to Muskegon Lake and into Lake Michigan.