Apply for a Community Stewardship Grant

These grants support community-based projects that serve to protect and restore the local environment.
Karajarri Ranger holding bushfood
Karajarri Ranger holding bushfood

Community Stewardship Grants are available for community-based projects that help conserve, restore, rehabilitate or enhance a local natural area, conserve WA’s biodiversity and maintain or build the capability of NRM community groups across the State.

In 2021, $7 million is available for the 2021 Community Stewardship Grants round.

The 2021 Community Stewardship Grants program involves two components: a small grants round and a large grants round.

Their respective features include:

  • Small grants:
    • valued between $1,000 - $35,000
    • commencing on or after 1 January 2021
    • for up to 18 months duration.
  • Large grants
    • valued between $35,001 - $450,000
    •  intended for more strategic, complex projects
    • commencing on or after 1 January 2021
    • for up to 3 years duration.

Diverse environments - coastal and marine; agricultural, pastoral and urban; river and estuarine; natural bush; and wildlife sanctuaries - have been conserved and restored through the activities funded by the program.

In June 2018, the State Government announced $31 million in funding, over three years from 2018/21, for the continuation of the State NRM Program. 

When do applications open?

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When can I expect to be able to apply for a Community Stewardship Grant?

Applications are open annually for an extended period of time. Prospective applicants can expect calls for applications between February and May each year.

For updates direct from the State NRM Program, subscribe here .

Am I eligible?

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Is my group or organisation eligible to apply for a Community Stewardship Grant?

Applicants from the following groups or organisations are encouraged to apply:

  • Community groups including:
    • Landcare groups
    • Land Conservation District Committees
    • production or grower groups
    • ‘friends of’ groups.
  • Aboriginal community organisations including Registered Native Title Bodies Corporates
  • Community Resource Centres
  • local government authorities
  • regional NRM groups
  • primary and secondary schools
  • recognised biosecurity groups.

The following groups are not eligible to apply:

  • WA Government departments
  • tertiary education institutions
  • individuals
  • Unincorporated Associations.


My organisation is not incorporated

Unincorporated Associations are not eligible to apply directly for Community Stewardship Grant funding, but may seek funding under the auspices of a third party that is an Incorporated Association.

If a group is not incorporated or does not have an ABN, it is technically ineligible to apply for a Community Stewardship Grant.

However, the group may still be able to access funding by establishing an auspice (sponsorship) arrangement with a third-party organisation. Under this arrangement, the third-party organisation applies for, and receives, project funds on behalf of the unincorporated community group that delivers the project activities.

For the purpose of the Community Stewardship Grants, the organisation agreeing to receive funds is the Sponsor and the nature of the arrangement is detailed in a Sponsorship Agreement. Any incorporated group with a current ABN, and which meets the eligibility criteria provided above, may act as a Sponsor.

How does it work?

The Sponsor must apply for the grant on behalf of the intended recipient. If successful, the grant contract and any payment instalments will be issued to the Sponsor.

The Sponsor will then ‘subcontract’ the unincorporated community group to deliver the project with the details of the arrangement set out in the signed Sponsorship Agreement.

What can I apply for?

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What activities can be funded through the community stewardship grants?

The grants can be used to fund a wide range of NRM activities that will improve an organisation’s capacity and/or facilitate on-ground, local NRM actions.

Examples include:

  • Regenerative agriculture
    • farm planning that supports regenerative farm management
    • implementation of regenerative farm plans
      demonstrating innovative techniques that support a regenerative approach
    • planning, observing and measuring change
    • sharing and learning opportunities that support regenerative approaches.
  • Coastal and marine protection
    • protection of dune systems and biodiversity
    • pest weed and animal control in coastal and marine areas
    • protection of marine resources (plant and animal)
    • education and training that leads to on-ground activity
    • plans that lead to on-ground activity.
  • Peri-urban
    • engagement that improves the capacity of residents to adopt NRM practices
    • control of weeds
    • revegetation
    • fences to protect remnant vegetation and waterways.
  • Remnant vegetation protection
    • connectivity between remnant patches or revegetated corridors
    • high-quality representative plant communities
    • incorporate buffer zones
    • incorporate cross-boundary remnant protection.
  • Fencing
    • stock exclusion fencing
    • predator-proof fencing
    • vermin-proof fencing.
  • Remnant vegetation protection
    • connectivity between remnant patches or revegetated corridors
    • high-quality representative plant communities
    • incorporate buffer zones
    • incorporate cross-boundary remnant protection.
  • Revegetation 
    • planting of native seedlings
    • native seed collection and/or propagation
    • native seeding.
  • Pest plants, animals and diseases
    • control of plant and animal pests in marine, coastal, estuarine, wetland and/or river areas (subject to licensing and permit conditions)
    • control of Weeds of National Significance (WONS)
    • control of Declared Plants of Western Australia
    • innovative and integrated weed control methods
    • control of feral animals
    • control of fungal and other diseases affecting remnant vegetation.
  • Infrastructure
    • signage for educational purposes or to protect the environment
    • bird hides or bird viewing platforms that have environmental benefits
    • infrastructure that contains or controls vehicle or pedestrian access (such as bollards)
    • nature playgrounds that clearly demonstrate an NRM education benefit
    • pathways that assist in access control and preserving the environment
    • earthworks that clearly demonstrate a NRM benefit.
  • Devolved grants
    • devolved grants are a particular type of grant in which a lump sum of money is granted to the applicant. The applicant would then ‘sub-contract’ private landholders or others to deliver the proposed works. Projects that involve devolved grants should describe: a) the purpose of the devolved grants b) why devolved grants are considered the best/most strategic approach c) what strategies will be used to guide the assessment/approval process and d) how you will ensure the grants achieve a predominately public benefit.
  • Monitoring
    • establish a monitoring and evaluation framework
    • purchase equipment for monitoring (such as remote sensing cameras).
  • Training and skills development
    • projects that build the capacity of an organisation through training and skills development should describe the training need, how it was identified, and how the training need or skills-gap will be addressed.
  • Technical advice
    •  engage the services of advisers or consultants who can help volunteers and community groups access, interpret and better understand technical information.
  • Information sharing
    • events such as seminars, workshops, field trips, citizen science
    • information products such as booklets, brochures, websites, GIS systems, peer-to-peer learning systems
    • skills development and training programs including Aboriginal Ranger Group training
    • education programs that focus on school children's environmental education.
  • Planning
    • projects that include the development of a plan (e.g. action plan or management plan) should clearly indicate how the plan will be used in future management of the area and how it will contribute to decision making.
  • Traditional ecological knowledge
    • applications must demonstrate how Traditional Owners will be involved in project activities, how the knowledge will be stored and how the knowledge will be used in future land and sea management.
  • Research
    • research activities and investigations that build on current knowledge can be funded if it is to identify how the results will be used in the future to preserve or protect a specific area or species
    • research that focuses on practical implementation of activities which are not common practice in an area can be funded.
  • Data collection
    • activities that collect data should clearly show how it will be used to improve the condition of the area and how it will be stored, managed and shared.
  • Resource condition assessment
    • resource condition assessments could include:
      • flora, fauna or vegetation surveys and mapping
      • weed mapping or monitoring
      • pest animal surveys or mapping
      • water quality surveys
      • plant survival surveys.

Helpful grant writing hints and tips

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Things to consider while preparing your application.

Applications are judged on merit by an assessment panel and competition is often fierce. Some tips to assist applicants include:

  • WA is a large State, so applicants should avoid assuming the assessors are familiar with the local area or the background to the project
  • approach this application process as an opportunity to sell your project concept and help the assessment panel understand why the project is important
  • applications that clearly demonstrate how the grant will enable activity and outcomes that otherwise will not occur are highly regarded
  • projects that involve collaboration among multiple stakeholders are highly regarded
  • State NRM grant funding MUST NOT be used to supplement activities or resources that are already funded; if aspects of your proposal are already partly funded, you must make this clear in the application, detailing what is already ‘committed’ and what additional positions/outputs/deliverables the grant funding will create
  • wherever possible, provide a rationale; describe why you have chosen that particular site or activities, why your selected method or approach is most suitable, and why the listed resources are essential for the task
  • use the planning process to reflect on the design of your project: Have you considered all alternatives? Why is the proposed method the most effective and economical approach?
  • consider providing evidence such as quotes, management plans or maps
  • aim to be as clear and concise as possible
  • avoid using acronyms and jargon.

Contact us

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State NRM Program

Level 4, 1 Nash Street 

Perth 6000 Western Australia

Phone: (08) 6552 2158

Page reviewed 29 October 2021