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News Release: McKnight approves over $20 million in fourth quarter of 2010, including support for efforts to reduce pollution in the Missippi River corridor


January 6, 2011 - McKnight's fourth-quarter approved grants.

The McKnight Foundation awarded 181 grants totaling $20,296,060 in its fourth-quarter 2010 grantmaking.

Of the $20.3 million total, $1.3 million went to six organizations working to reduce water pollution from agricultural sources in the four upper-river states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. Environmental Working Group, with offices in Ames, IA, and Washington, D.C., received $350,000 over two years to support its ongoing communications and advocacy work; Seattle's Grist Magazine received $150,000 over two years for its online media strategies designed to raise public awareness about efforts to reduce agricultural pollution in the Mississippi Basin; Kinnickinnic Land Trust of River Falls, WI, received $100,000 over two years for water quality protection in the Kinnickinnic River watershed in western Wisconsin; Minneapolis-based Land Stewardship Project received $240,000 over three years to support grassroots organizing to achieve federal farm policy reform; Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Inc., of East Troy, WI, received $150,000 over two years to expand farmer participation in federal and state conservation programs; and Rural Advantage of Fairmont, MN, received $300,000 over three years to advance its Third Crop Initiative, a coordinated effort to encourage the planting of crops that require less fertilizer and pesticides and greatly reduce polluted runoff.

"A clean Mississippi River is vital to both the people who depend on it for their health, livelihoods, and recreation, and to the delicate wildlife habitats it sustains," says Robert J. Struyk, McKnight's board chair. "Organizations like these and many others are seeking creative ways to identify, mitigate, and where possible, eliminate water pollution."

ABOUT THE MCKNIGHT FOUNDATION

The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grantmaking, coalition-building, and encouragement of strategic policy reform. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota-based Foundation had assets of approximately $1.8 billion and granted about $98 million in 2009.

NOTE: Also approved in fourth quarter 2010 and announced later -- $6  million to Northland Foundation and $6 million to West Central Initiative.