Cross-Visit Incentive Program

Request for Proposals: 2016 XWN Cross-Visit Incentive Program

Encouraging watershed practitioners to take advantage of site-based learning opportunities in other watersheds.

Apply here!

The Cross-Watershed Network (XWN) seeks applications for XWN participants seeking to explore projects, share lessons, and build relationships with peers in other watersheds through the innovative Cross-Visit Incentive Program.

XWN is encouraging practitioners to look beyond their watersheds for assistance by incentivizing the use of cross-visits, trans-boundary site-visits in which visiting participants explore a project in another watershed. XWN plays the role of facilitator, taking some of the burden of planning off of participant watersheds and offering to assist with funding these visits.

Types of Assistance:
Three types of assistance are made available by this program:

    • Planning Assistance: 

Planning support for the visit will be provided by XWN staff and/or Steering Committee members. XWN will partner with representatives from the host and visiting watersheds to form a small planning committee tasked with developing Cross-Visits goals, itinerary, roles, budget and coordinating the logistics.

    • Travel assistance funding

To offset prohibitive costs of team travel to host watershed. Funds will cover a portion of fuel and/or lodging incurred by visiting team.

    • Logistical expenses for the visit

To cover logistical costs associated with the cross-visit. This could include shuttles to field sites, sack lunches, printing costs, etc.
Applicants can apply for up to $2,500 in financial assistance. Awards will vary with the scale of the cross-visit.


XWN aims to connect watershed practitioners across varying geographies to share information, build collective capacity, and collaborate across watersheds. One of the most effective approaches for peer-to-peer learning is site-based cross-visits.  The cross-visit program incentivizes groups to visit their peers in model watersheds, share experiences, ideas, tools and other useful lessons, and return home with practical solutions, stronger relationships, and feeling inspired. These visits provide enough structure to facilitate information exchange, bring people together to build lasting relationships, and identify future opportunities for collaboration.
Benefits to participants:

Cross-visits enable attendees to:

  • share invaluable knowledge where chains of communication may not exist.
  • take advantage of the most effective form of peer-to-peer sharing: field-based learning.
  • co-create specifically tailored content developed by and for attendees.
  • create a shared-reference point that enables cohesive vision-building within a watershed group.
  • take part in an opportunity to share and adapt lessons as a team.
  • develop opportunities for future collaboration between watersheds.


Criteria for Evaluating proposals

Planning assistance and logistical cost alleviation will be awarded to groups that demonstrate that projects are feasible and will have meaningful impacts. In 2016, XWN hopes to support Cross-Visits that cover a range of geographies, scales, and topics. Priority will be given to groups that have already connected with a potential host and proposed a potential site-visit.


Funding and planning assistance will be considered for projects that:

  • Focus on watershed , conservation, or habitat creation.
  • Have a well-articulate goal for and clear anticipated outcomes for the Cross-Visit
  • Have matching funds and/or in-kind support to assist with the cross-visit; or, if no support is yet secured, a plan of action to fundraise for the Cross-Visit.
  • Demonstrate potential to build new and strengthen existing relationships among visiting participants, as well as build lasting relationships between watersheds
  • Bring together a variety of stakeholders
  • Have a clear plan to share outcomes/lessons learned after the Cross-Visit concludes beyond those directly involved with the Cross-Visit (e.g., the broader XWN community)
  • Articulate the ways in which this cross-visit will advance local projects in participating watersheds.

XWN is a practitioner-driven initiative. In the first year of the Cross-Visit Incentive program, XWN will remain somewhat flexible to the evolving needs of applicants.


  • Pre- and/or post- visit press release co-developed with XWN that includes testimonials of at least two participants each from host and visiting groups.
  • Evaluation survey distributed to participants to assess initial impacts of the visit and provide feedback for future Cross-Visits
  • Follow up interviews 4-6 months after visit to capture long-term impacts of the Cross-Visit.
  • Any additional evaluation plans identified by the host or visiting watershed participants


  • Application deadline: May 27, 2016
  • Awards granted by: June 13, 2016
  • Event will occur no sooner than four months after award is granted to allow ample time for the multi-party planning group to establish common objectives for the visit.


Contacting a host:

We ask that you make preliminary contact with a host site before applying for funding. If you need would like XWN to facilitate that initial contact, please contact Lindsay, XWN coordinator at


If you have any questions about this application, you are highly encouraged to contact the XWN coordinator, Lindsay Murdoch, at