Resource Directory

Rural Economic Development

RESOURCES AND GRANTS FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES

Whether you’re an individual, a business or a community organization, you can use the directory below to search a vast library of resources, tools and services. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), its economic development partners and other organizations around the state offer a range of resources on all aspects of economic well-being, from childcare and education to businesses and housing. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Reach out to us directly, we want to help.

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  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Sustainability

    Clean Water Fund Program

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The purpose of the Clean Water Fund Program is to administer affordable financial assistance to communities within Wisconsin for wastewater infrastructure projects that protect and improve public health and water quality for current and future generations.

  • Forestry & Paper, Sustainability

    County Forest Sustainable Grant

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    County Forest Sustainable Grants are used for special, short term or unanticipated projects that promote sustainable forestry.

  • Sustainability

    E-Cycle Wisconsin Collection Grant Program

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    To provide more electronics recycling opportunities in underserved areas of the state, grants under this program must be used for hosting an electronics collection site or event or series of collection sites or events.

  • Business, Start-Up & Entrepreneur, Sustainability, Workforce

    Enviro-Check

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    Enviro-Check helps ensure your business is in good standing with environmental requirements. By voluntarily auditing your practices, you can reduce risks and limit liability. Whether you’re looking for efficiencies or want to verify your environmental performance, DNR’s Enviro-Check program enables you to proactively evaluate compliance.

  • Forestry & Paper, Other, Parks & Outdoor Recreation

    Forest Fire Protection (FFP) Grant Program

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    Forest Fire Protection (FFP) 50% cost-share grants are available to Wisconsin fire departments and county/area fire associations.

  • Agriculture, Economic Development, Energy, Food & Beverage, Forestry & Paper, Other, Sustainability, Transportation, Workforce

    Green Tier

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    Green Tier recognizes businesses that go above and beyond environmental regulations and works with you to acknowledge your commitment to continual environmental improvement. We look forward to working together to enhance your productivity, cut your costs and strengthen the health of your community. Dynamic, forward-thinking businesses, communities and associations are encouraged to apply.

  • Business, Economic Development, Energy, Parks & Outdoor Recreation, Sustainability, Tourism, Transportation

    Green Tier Legacy Communities

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    Green Tier Legacy Communities Charter focuses on building sustainable and resilient communities. Those that participate benefit from the knowledge and experiences of fellow members. This shared, relevant information allows members to leap-frog technology or implement tried and true practices that stretch local resources.

  • Parks & Outdoor Recreation, Sustainability

    Knowles-Nelson Nonprofit Conservation Organization Grant Subprograms

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The eight Stewardship grant subprograms to help fund the acquisition of land and conservation easements. Four grant subprograms are open only to NCO applicants.

  • Parks & Outdoor Recreation, Tourism, Transportation

    Knowles-Nelson Stewardship – Local Government Assistance Grant Program

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    Knowles-Nelson Stewardship funds support several DNR-administered grant programs. Available to local governments and nonprofits, Stewardship grants fund nature-based recreational development and conservation land purchases statewide.

  • Parks & Outdoor Recreation, Tourism, Transportation

    Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant program was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1965 to develop high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities for the public. LWCF grants provide 50% cost-share to state, tribal, and local governments. Since its inception, more than 1800 projects have been completed in Wisconsin with more than $81M in federal LWCF funds.

  • Education & Schools, Health & Mental Health, Housing, Sustainability

    Lead Service Line Replacement

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The purpose of the Private Lead Service Line Replacement Program is to provide principal forgiveness (i.e., grant) funding to communities in Wisconsin to replace lead service lines on private property to protect public health for current and future generations.

  • Other, Sustainability

    Ready for Reuse Loan and Grant Program

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    Ready for Reuse loans and grants are used for environmental cleanup of hazardous substances or petroleum at brownfields throughout Wisconsin.

  • Agriculture, Parks & Outdoor Recreation, Tourism, Transportation

    Recreational Boating Facilities Grant Program (RBF)

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The Recreational Boating Facility grant program may award funding for up to 50%* of the total eligible costs for a recreational boating facility project. Past projects have included ramps and service docks to gain access to the water, purchase of aquatic weed harvesting equipment, navigational aids and dredging waterway channels associated with launch facilities.

  • Parks & Outdoor Recreation, Tourism, Transportation

    Recreational Trails Program

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds through the transfer of federal gas excise taxes paid for fuel used on off-highway vehicles. These funds are used to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail uses.

  • Health & Mental Health, Sustainability

    Safe Drinking Water Loan Program

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The purpose of the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program is to administer affordable financial assistance to communities within Wisconsin for drinking water infrastructure projects that protect public health for current and future generations.

  • Agriculture, Economic Development, Energy, Sustainability, Workforce

    Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP)

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    Wisconsin’s Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) provides free and confidential assistance to help small businesses proactively understand and comply with environmental requirements.

  • Forestry & Paper

    The Future of Wisconsin’s Forest Products Economy – Summary of Focus Group Discussions

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The Council on Forestry held listening sessions in May 2021 to help inform the development of actionable initiatives as part of an effort to pursue a Regional Economic Diversification Summit. This report highlights the key findings from the discussions.

  • Housing

    Well Abandonment Grant

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The grant program provides funding to protect natural resources, the environment, and outdoor recreational opportunities. Grants are monetary awards that do not have to be paid back.

  • Housing

    Well Compensation Grant Program

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The grant program provides funding to protect natural resources, the environment, and outdoor recreational opportunities. Grants are monetary awards that do not have to be paid back.

  • Economic Development, Health & Mental Health, Sustainability

    WI Brownfields Cleanup and Development Informational Website

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    Information and resources for cleaning up and redeveloping community blight into valuable property.

  • Sustainability

    WI Climate Change Information

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    This website details the science, impacts, and solutions related to climate change in Wisconsin.

  • Sustainability

    WI County Conservation Aids

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The County Conservation Aids Program provides financial assistance to counties and tribal governing bodies to enhance county fish and wildlife programs.

  • Health & Mental Health, Sustainability

    WI DNR Climate Action Webpage

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    This page lists resources and products related to climate change and environmental justice/equity.

  • Economic Development, Health & Mental Health, Sustainability

    WI DNR Environmental Protection Informational Webpage

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    A list of topics related to environmental protection.

  • Sustainability

    WI Environmental Contamination and Cleanup Information and Resources

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    This DNR webpage contains information and resources related to environmental contamination and cleanup.

  • Forestry & Paper, Sustainability

    WI Forest Sustainability Framework

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    Wisconsin's Forest Sustainability Framework (Framework) lays out a blueprint for gathering data to assess the sustainability of forests in Wisconsin.

  • Parks & Outdoor Recreation

    WI Hunter R3 (Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation) Grant Program

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    This program was developed to focus hunter training, development and education programs on adults, females and families.

  • Forestry & Paper, Parks & Outdoor Recreation, Sustainability

    WI Invasive Species Best Management Practices

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The Invasive Species Best Management Practices (BMPs) website includes Forestry BMPs, Recreation BMPs, Urban Forestry BMPs, and Rights of Way BMPs.

  • Sustainability

    WI Landowner Incentive Program (LIP)

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The goal of the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) is to help private landowners create and manage habitat for species that are rare or declining.

  • Business, Sustainability

    WI Liability Exemptions for Lenders

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The lender liability exemption provides conditional environmental liability protections to lenders and representatives.

  • Parks & Outdoor Recreation

    WI Shooting Range Grant Program

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    The Shooting Range Grant Program funds the construction of outdoor shooting ranges. Indoor ranges may be eligible as well, including classroom, storage and restroom facilities.

  • Sustainability

    WI Site Investigation Toolkit

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    This toolkit is provided as a "one-stop shop" for site investigation-related resources and guidance for environmental professionals and others working with the DNR.

  • Parks & Outdoor Recreation, Sustainability

    WI Summer Tribal Youth Program

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

    Matching funds are available to Wisconsin tribes for the development of a summer program that provides tribal youth (ages 13-19) with an opportunity to work on projects related to natural resource conservation.