Grants and Funding


The Conservancy is working with the multiple national, state, regional and local to identify restoration needs within the Parkway. The Conservancy has sponsored projects to restore over 300 acres of riparian, floodplain, and channel habitat in the Parkway at Jensen River Ranch, Wildwood Native Park, River West Fresno, the Riverbottom Park site and the Schneider property. The Conservancy and San Joaquin River Restoration Program are cooperatively sponsoring a gravel pit isolation, floodplain restoration, and public access improvement project, which serves Parkway and SJR Restoration Program objectives. The Conservancy has received small restoration grants from the North American Wetland Conservation Act program. The Conservancy has developed cooperative projects with the County of Fresno and Caltrans to implement mitigation enhancements on Conservancy lands.

At the time our Master Plan Update was finalized in 2018, the Conservancy had invested $29.1 million of State bond funds allocated to the Parkway in planning, design, and construction of habitat restoration, public access, recreation, and outdoor education projects. Through partnerships, the Conservancy’s bond funds had leveraged an additional $4.2 million in federal funds, $3.3 million in other State program funds, and $10.3 million in nongovernmental funding to develop the Parkway.

The Jensen River Ranch Habitat Enhancement and Public Access Project is among the most significant restoration projects implemented within the Parkway to date, and was funded by many sources, including the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, Conservancy funding from Proposition 12 (Parks Bond of 2000) and Proposition 40 (Resources Bond of 2002), a Resources Agency River Parkways Grant, along with funding from Caltrans. The River Parkway Trust and City of Fresno were major collaborators in implementing this project.

The Conservancy has awarded local assistance grants to improve Conservancy properties through removal of invasive plants. The Fresno County Economic Opportunities Commission, Local Conservation Corps is a recipient of a three year Conservancy grant to remove invasive species, while also providing job and learning opportunities for local disadvantaged youths. Other sources of funding, including the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation are actively addressing eradication of invasive species in the Parkway Plan Area.

As of the public release of the SJRC’s Master Plan Update (November, 2018), there was a balance of approximately $34 million in voter-authorized bond funds to invest in future land acquisitions, and habitat restoration, watershed protection, public access and recreation, and environmental education projects. The Conservancy partners with other agencies and non-profit organizations to invest Conservancy bond funds in high priority public access and recreation projects, where those projects will be operated and maintained by the partnering entity.

The Conservancy’s bond funds are appropriated in the California Wildlife Conservation Board’s (WCB’s) budget. Any acquisitions, improvements, or grants using these funds are at the direction of and require approval by the Conservancy, as well as the WCB.

Remaining Funds that are specifically allocated to the Conservancy to provide for Parkway capital development have been included in the following voter-authorized bonds:

Prop 40: Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002

Approved by the voters in March 2002, Prop 40 included an additional $25 million for Parkway land acquisitions and public access and recreation projects.

Prop 84: Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006

Prop 84 included $36 million for the Conservancy to acquire property and provide for habitat enhancement, public access, and recreation.

Prop 1: The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014

The Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act (Proposition 1, 2014) included $10 million for San Joaquin River multi-benefit ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration projects implemented by the Conservancy (PRC §79731(g)). The bond fund allows the Conservancy to carry out local assistance and capital outlay projects associated with watershed climate change adaptation, river parkway restoration, state obligations of the SJR Restoration Program settlement, reducing wildfire risks and surface water pollution, and other projects consistent with Proposition 1, statewide priorities, and the Conservancy’s mission and plans.

The total funding available for the 2018 -2019 grant cycle was approximately $5.9 million of which approximately $530,000 could be used for planning projects. The application period closed on December 3, 2018. Grants were awarded on a competitive basis using an application and evaluation process.

The Conservancy is tentatively planning a new solicitation process in the second quarter of 2020

Prop 68: California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018

Proposition 68 is codified in the Public Resources Code and the Water Code. Proposition 68 authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds to finance a drought, water, parks, climate, coastal protection, and outdoor access for all program and includes $6 million for the San Joaquin River Conservancy.  The Conservancy’s Proposition 68 Grant Program Guidelines are still being finalized and will specifically pertain to grants funded by Proposition 68 and administered by the Conservancy.


The available bond funds will provide for significant development of the Parkway in the near term; however, they will not fund full build-out of the long-term planned Parkway. As the currently authorized bond funds are expended, other sources of funding for acquisition and development of the Parkway will need to be secured.

For any questions, please contact:

Rebecca Raus, Associate Governmental Program Analyst
San Joaquin River Conservancy
5469 East Olive Avenue
Fresno, CA 93727

(559) 253-7324