The Conservation Trust

The $102 million Conservation Trust was established in 2018 as part of Manitoba’s Climate and Green Plan to fund activities that promote the conservation of natural resources by creating, conserving, or enhancing natural infrastructure for the benefit of Manitobans.

The Trust is held by The Winnipeg Foundation and revenues are managed by The Manitoba Habitat Conservancy (MHC). As a proposal-driven fund, The Conservation Trust invites grant applications from qualifying Manitoba organizations for on-the-ground projects that benefit watersheds, habitat and wildlife, advancing innovation and conservation planning, enhancing soil on Manitoba’s working landscapes, and connecting people to nature. The Conservation Trust focusses on providing a broad range of ecological goods and services (EG&S) to Manitobans.

The activities supported by The Conservation Trust will conserve biodiversity, increase production of harvestable wildlife, mitigate floods and droughts, and improve water quality by decreasing nutrients and other pollutants entering waterways. In addition, Trust funded activities will improve climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration and reduction of other greenhouse gases, improve soil health, and decrease soil erosion. Projects may also provide other value to Manitobans, such as improving recreational opportunities to connect people to nature. Highest priority will be given to projects that impact significant areas of land, significant numbers of people, and demonstrate significant and/or multiple EG&S outcomes. The majority of funding will go towards landscape-based proposals for watersheds, habitat, and wildlife.


In March of 2019, Manitoba established a second trust fund for conservation purposes: the $52.0 million GROW Trust. The GROW (GRowing Outcomes in Watersheds) Trust was established to support the provincial watersheds-based conservation initiative, GROW. Revenues from The GROW Trust are administered by MHC and will be used to support the new GROW program.

Watershed Districts may apply for GROW Trust funds through the Trust grant process. Contact your watershed planner and Trusts Grants Associate for more information.


In 2020, Manitoba established a third conservation trust fund, the Wetlands GROW Trust, with a $50.0 million contribution. The GROW Wetlands Trust is intended to support the protection of critical temporary Class 1 and 2 wetlands as an eligible GROW activity.

This activity focuses on the conservation of existing temporary wetlands that have not been drained or filled but may be cultivated from time to time. Because Temporary (Classes 1 and 2) Wetlands are not protected by legislation, regulation, or provincial policy, they continue to be vulnerable to drainage. The GROW Guide outlines this and other conservation options in more detail.

Eligible GROW delivery groups may apply for temporary wetlands conservation funding within their GROW application. Applicants interested in carrying out the conservation of temporary wetlands should contact their Watershed Planner or Trusts Grant Associate for more information concerning eligibility and implementation criteria.

Granting Process

The Trusts use a two-stage online application process:
Stage 1: Letter of Interest
Stage 2: Accepted LOIs proceed to full application

A thorough review process is designed to select projects that meet or exceed basic eligibility requirements including:

-Address an evident conservation need that is a priority for The Trust’s

-Have significant, measurable, and/or multiple EG&S outcomes (conservation benefits)

-Involve active partnerships and have effective engagement with other organizations

-The overall objective for the Trusts is a total match ratio (cash and in-kind) of 2:1. Annual incentive payments from the GROW Trust do not require match. Conservation Trust funded incentive payments require match.

-Show how requested funds support priority Trust activities

Conservation Trust Staff

Kreesta Doucette

Kreesta brings over twenty years of experience in the non-profit sector to the Conservation Trust Team. Her undergraduate agro-ecological thesis focussed on revegetating rangelands. Kreesta completed her Masters in Rural Planning and is pleased to be able to combine this with her background in non-profit management. She has developed grant programs at the local and national level.

Taylor Toffan

Taylor is an Honors graduate of the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Manitoba. Her passion for engaging people in wildlife and habitat conservation along with a wealth of field experience in Manitoba and Nunavut contributes to the diversity of knowledge within the Trust Team. She has worked in a variety of sectors including government and non-government organizations.

Our Partners: