MATCHMAKER, MATCHMAKER, GRANT ME A MATCH!
Grants and matches, grants and matches… they go together like love and marriage. Similarly, success is directly tied to the level of commitment and energy invested.
Since the official designation of the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway in June of 1998, support from local communities, businesses, organizations and residents has allowed the PBSBA to accomplish so much.
Outlined here are some of the major PBSBA grants and matches over the past few years.
Corridor Management Plan: In February of 2000, the PBSBA was awarded a grant of $58,000 through the National Scenic Byway Organization (NSBO). This grant required a 20% local match of $11,600. The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway Association was a fledgling group at that time, but the team effort of Association members resulted in the total match funds being raised over the course of the summer.
Birds of the Byway: The Minnesota Office of Tourism, through an LCMR grant (Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources) made funding available to organizations seeking to promote wildlife tourism. The PBSB was awarded a $4000.00 grant to create and distribute the Birds of the Byway brochure. The grant required a 50% local match. Two area organizations, Whitefish Area Lodging Association and Ideal Community Service Organization along with the DNR's Non-game Wildlife Program donated the funding for the local match.
Hiking Trails: The PBSBA submitted a grant request for $32,000 to the National Recreation Trails Program in February of 2000 to develop nearly 3 miles of hiking trails in two forested tracts along the Byway route; one at Chiarella Forest Management Area on CSAH #11 in Breezy Point and the other at Island Lake Woods on CSAH #16 in Jenkins Township. The application was recommended by the DNR for funding. The hiking trails were completed by August, 2002. The footbridge over Hay Creek, part of the Island Lake Woods Veterans Hiking Trail was completed late fall, 2003. Local match required for this grant was 50% or $16,000. In addition to organizational donations from Pelican Conservation Club and Ideal Community Service Organization, as well as one major donation by Dave and Mary Badger, area residents and visitors showered support onto this project by buying raffle tickets during the summer and fall of 2003. Area organizations partnered to help sell tickets and the Pequot Lakes Legion stepped forward as our strongest partner, selling thousands of dollars worth of tickets and hosting the final winners' drawing and party.
Interpretive Plan: Funding for this second major planning step for the PBSB came again from the National Scenic Byways Organization. The grant, awarded in May, 2002, for $65,000 required a 20% local match. Central Region Partnership, a branch of the University of Minnesota agreed to provide the matching funds of just over $13,000. Other donations to this project came from JM Plein Consulting.
The PBSBA Board extends a Paul Bunyan sized thank you to all of these supporters. Without the local match, there can be no grant. Thanks to you and to so many others for being matchmakers for the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway!