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Since 2002, the ACA has partnered with L.L. Bean on this program to foster and support volunteer stewardship activity by local paddling clubs.


ACA and L.L. Bean Offer Club-Fostered Stewardship Grants

photo of water access ramp and dock

Water trail access on the Apalachicola River Paddling

Trail System (FL)

The American Canoe Association, in continuing partnership with L.L. Bean, is again offering Club-Fostered Stewardship Grants in 2009. We invite water trail organizations to submit applications.

The Club-Fostered Stewardship (CFS) program provides grants of up to $1000 to paddling clubs and other water-related organizations that undertake stewardship projects on their favorite waterways. CFS grants are available for projects that utilize volunteers in efforts to protect, maintain or restore recreational waterways, to provide for or improve public access, or to enhance safe navigation. Eligible projects include: cleaning up waterways, clearing in-stream safety hazards, maintaining access areas, erecting signs and controlling erosion, establishing and maintaining paddle trails, acquiring threatened access points, and providing sanitary facilities.

The CFS program is specifically designed for organizations that have the volunteers needed to complete a project, but need some funds to pay expenses so they can make the most of that volunteer energy. The application process is easy, and grants are made throughout the year so long as funds remain available.

Visit the CFS page on the ACA website to learn more and complete a grant application. Or, contact the ACA's Director of Stewardship and Public Policy, Paul Sanford.

CFS Grant Guidelines

Canoe and kayak clubs have a tremendous reservoir of individuals who care about the nation’s waterways and want to help protect and improve the places where they enjoy paddling. Through this program, the ACA and L.L. Bean hope to encourage and empower clubs to undertake projects that address the many stewardship needs of local waterways.

The CFS Program offers simple and quick access to grants of up to $1000 for a wide range of club-initiated stewardship activities. Grant funds may be awarded to support efforts that include but are not limited to: waterway clean-ups, work projects to address instream safety hazards such as debris buildup (not woody debris needed for fish habitat), maintenance of access areas, safety or access related signage, establishment and care of paddle trails, acquisition of threatened access points, and provision of sanitary facilities.

Qualifying Criteria

• CFS Grants applications will only be accepted from active paddling clubs or outdoor clubs that have a significant paddling component.
• Clubs are not required to be official 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations, but they must be a not-for-profit entity in purpose and function. For-profit business interests will not qualify for grants.
• Grant awards will only be made for specific stewardship projects. No grants will be awarded for general support.
• Proposed projects should utilize volunteer efforts to the maximum extent practicable.
• Proposed projects must be deemed to have merit by the ACA. Projects that are harmful to the waterway, the surrounding environment, or to wildlife will not qualify.
• CFS grants will not be awarded for advocacy, lobbying, or litigation activities, or for projects that are primarily educational in nature.

Clubs must submit a one page CFS grant application and attach a narrative description of the project of no more than one additional page. Grant requests will be evaluated on the merit of the proposed project and its overall contribution to the goals of the CFS Program. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis as determined by ACA. The ACA reserves the right to award an amount less than the amount requested in the grant application.

Upon completion of the project, grant recipients must submit photos of the work and a one-page report on the project and its accomplishments.

For additional information contact Paul Sanford, ACA Director of Stewardship and Public Policy, by phone at (540) 907-4460 ext. 106, or by email at

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