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Stewardship program logo
Apply (LUG)
for grants eligible for local units of government.
Apply (NCO)
for grants eligible for nonprofit conservation organizations.
Find
Stewardship Grant lands.
Contact information
For more information, see:
Stewardship grant contact list

Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program grantsGrants to nonprofit conservation organizations for escrow closings

In an escrow closing, a third party escrow agent, typically at a title insurance company, receives all funds for the transaction and handles the closing. The DNR provides partial grant payment for the portion of the purchase price covered by the grant. Those funds are wired to the closing agent with specific instructions regarding recording the contract and the DNR's interest in the deed. Final payment of related acquisition costs is issued once the contract has been recorded and the sponsor has submitted payment request and all associated documentation of project costs.

Before we can send payment to an escrow agent, sponsors must provide the following:

  1. the name, address, email and telephone number of the escrow agent;
  2. a completed and signed grant calculation worksheet with escrow payment request completed (see the NCO Application Appendix A [PDF] for a sample)
  3. a copy of the signed grant contract.

DNR requirements for real estate closings

DNR staff will work directly with the escrow agent to insure that all of our conditions are met before any Stewardship funds are released. We strongly encourage that you also communicate with the escrow agent to ensure that all DNR requirements are addressed prior to the closing. Those conditions include the following:

  1. removing unacceptable exceptions from the title commitment;
  2. ensuring that the DNR's interest is listed on the warranty deed (DNR grant staff will provide this language. If a warrantee deed is not available, the use of other types of deeds may suffice. Please let your region community services specialist (CSS) know if this is the case.);
  3. ensuring that the legal description on the deed, title policy and grant contract all match (unless the DNR is giving a grant on only a portion of the land you are purchasing); and
  4. ensuring that the warranty deed and grant contract are recorded immediately after the closing.

Submitting final documentation

Within 60 days of the closing, you must submit final documentation for the transaction. The items you need to submit include:

  1. completed Grant Payment Request Form 8700-001 [PDF] and Grant Payment Worksheet Form 8700-002 [PDF] along with invoices and canceled checks for eligible related costs;
  2. copy of the recorded grant contract;
  3. copy of the title policy copy of the closing statement that has been signed by both the buyer and seller;
  4. copy of the recorded deed;
  5. copy of the recorded access easement if one was needed for your project.

Submit for easement projects

If you received a Stewardship grant for an easement project you will need to provide the following items:

  1. completed Grant Payment Request Form 8700-001 [PDF] and Grant Payment Worksheet Form 8700-002 [PDF] along with invoices and canceled checks for eligible related costs;
  2. copy of the recorded grant contract;
  3. copy of the baseline document;
  4. copy of the title policy copy of the closing statement that has been signed by both the buyer and seller;
  5. copy of the recorded easement;
  6. copy of the recorded access easement if one was needed for your project;
  7. copy of the recorded mortgage subordination if one was needed for your project.

Accounting standards

All accounting for the project must be in conformance with generally accepted accounting practices. In addition, all documentation, including materials used to substantiate financial claims, is subject to state audit and must be retained by the project sponsor for four years from the date the final payment is made. Grant records held by the DNR are available to the public under open records laws.

Last revised: Monday December 15 2014