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Grants & funding

Classroom Grants
This program is sponsored by the Virginia Resource Use Education Council, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Virginia Environmental Endowment to provide teachers with small amounts of money for environmental education. Any school or school division is encouraged to apply for a grant of $500, $750 or $1,000 for the purpose of conducting meaningful outdoor experiences with their students. Activities that are eligible for funding include restoration, enhancement, protection and monitoring projects and investigative or experimental design activities that foster academic success, reinforce responsible citizenship, and give children the tools they need to contribute to a healthy and enduring environment.

Partner Grants
The MWEE Partner Mini-grant Program will support efforts by community groups to provide youth with meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEEs). Funding is intended to help community groups build capacity for delivering and sustaining high quality, meaningful environmental education related to water and watersheds.  The program will complement the Virginia Classroom Grants program designed for teachers.

FVNR Project Funding Criteria & Grant Application
The Foundation for Virginia’s Natural Resources seeks to fund projects that strengthen “environmental education, pollution prevention and citizen monitoring” and foster collaboration among businesses, citizens, communities, local governments and state agencies. The Foundation supports voluntary efforts such as River Basin Strategies, Outdoor Classrooms, Forestry and Agricultural education and other education programs. Projects must employ best practices of environmental education, engage citizens and students in meaningful activities or help organizations achieve program sustainability. Awards will be based on application review and fund availability.

Mini Grant Program
Virginia Environmental Endowment Mini Grant Program supports community-based efforts to strengthen environmental education and to promote stewardship of Virginia's waterways.

Gardening for Kids Grants
Kids has upcoming grant opportunities for school youth gardens. Go to:
For more information go to:

Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Grant Program
Due October 1 annually
Applications will be accepted from state agencies, local governments, and public or private not-for-profit agencies, institutions, or organizations. Grants will not be awarded to individuals. Preferences will be given to environmental education and action-oriented conservation and restoration projects within Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay watershed. Applicants should complete the grant application form available from the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Advisory Committee. No application will be accepted after the 5:00 p.m., October 1, 2009. For the application, visit or for more information, view the brochure.

Apply For Watershed Education Project Grants – Deadline March 26
The Water Resources Education Network (WREN) is now accepting proposals for watershed education projects sponsored by community-based partnerships that educate, build awareness, and promote water-sustaining public policies and/or behavior change. Projects should be designed to encourage individual or collective action that will protect and improve local water resources. Applications are due by Friday, March 26, 2010.
Be The Change – Deadline March 31, 2010
Be The Change is sponsored by Peace Child International.  Peace Child International's "Be The Change!" is a youth-led sustainable development program related to the Millennium Development Goals, which aims to empower young people around the world to be the change and make changes that they want to see happen.  The program supports young people under age 25 with projects that concentrate on the development of local communities.
Captain Planet Foundation – Deadline March 31, 2010
The range of grants from the Captain Planet Foundation is typically $250 - $2,500. In order to be considered, the proposal must promote understanding of environmental issues, focus on hands-on involvement, involve children and young adults 6-18 years of age (elementary through high school), promote interaction and cooperation within the group, help young people develop planning and problem solving skills, include adult supervision,  and commit to follow-up communication with the Foundation (specific requirements are explained once the grant has been awarded). Go to the following website for additional information:
Thatcher Environmental Research Contest – Deadline April 5, 2010
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies is sponsoring the 2010 Thatcher Environmental Research Contest. This contest is for students in grades 9 – 12 who design research programs using satellites and other geospatial technologies or data to study the Earth. The technology used must study some aspect of the Earth’s environment. For more information, go to:
ING Unsung Heroes Awards – Deadline April 30, 2010
Each year, 100 educators are selected to receive $2,000 to help fund their innovative class projects. Three of those are chosen to receive the top awards of an additional $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000. Go to:

USGBC 2010 Natural Talent Design Competition: Small, Green, Affordable - Presented by Salvation Army’s EnviRenew Initiative – Deadline May 31, 2010
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) wants you to help rebuild New Orleans sustainably and affordably. USGBC’s 2010 Natural Talent Design Competition, presented by the Salvation Army’s EnviRenew Initiative, is challenging students and emerging professionals to design a small, green, affordable, LEED Platinum home for elderly residents of the Broadmoor neighborhood in New Orleans. New Orleans has seen a lot of reconstruction and regeneration, but the job is far from done. This is your chance to help rebuild a city the right way and change lives forever. Go to:

There are many other grant programs that will support environmental education. Below is a partial list. Try EPA's Funding Guide for a complete and up to date listing of environmental education funding sources. Need training in grant writing or searching for funding? Try The Grantsmanship Center.

  • Two new opportunities for classroom teachers from the National Environmental Education Foundation Classroom Earth Grants for integration of EE or professional and the Second Annual Bartlett Award program to recognize such efforts.

  • Seeds of Change
    The Seed Donation Program gives seeds to organizations that promote education and sustainable living through organic gardening projects. Seeds of Change is committed to providing 100% certified organic, open-pollinated seeds of the highest quality including many heirloom, traditional, and unique Seeds of Change varieties.

  • Wal- Mart Foundation
    The Wal-Mart Foundation provides grants in the areas of Community, Education, Children and the Environment. All requests for funding must be directed through your local Wal-Mart.

  • The Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program
    The Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program gives small monetary grants to schools, nature centers, or other non-profit educational organizations for the purpose of establishing outdoor learning centers. The grant recipient learning centers are those which most successfully reflect the Wild Ones mission to educate and share information about the benefits of using native plants in our landscape and to promote biodiversity and environmentally sound environmentally sound practices. Only through this knowledge, can we appreciate humankind's proper place in the web of life.
  • Nature of Learning Grants
    The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in cooperation with the USFWS (National Wildlife Refuge System and the National Conservation Training Center) and National Wildlife Refuge Association, solicits applications from organizations interested in initiating The Nature of Learning program, the community-based environmental education initiative.

    Nature of Learning seeks to:

    • Use National Wildlife Refuges as outdoor classrooms to promote a
      greater understanding of local conservation issues.
    • Encourage an interdisciplinary approach to learning that seeks to
      enhance student academic achievement.
    • Utilize field experiences and student-led stewardship projects to
      connect classroom lessons to real world issues.
    • Involve partnerships among local schools, community groups, natural
      resource professionals and local businesses.

    Start-up grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis to support initial expenses associated with new programs. Schools or non-profit organizations, including "Friends" groups, Cooperative and Interpretive Associations, Bird Observatories, local Audubon groups, etc., are all eligible to apply for funding. Programs must involve a partnership with a local school (or schools), community group (e.g., Refuge Friends Group), and National Wildlife Refuge.

    The Nature of Learning supports one of the six major Fish and Wildlife Service's priorities: "connecting people with nature ensuring the future of conservation."

    To learn more about the qualifying projects, applications, and details of Nature of Learning program, click here.

  • Outdoor Classroom Grant Program
    The Outdoor Classroom Grant Program is a partnership of the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation, International Paper and the International Paper Foundation, and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER classroom magazine. As part of Lowe's continued commitment to public education, Lowe's will provide more than $200,000 in outdoor classroom grants to benefit public schools nationwide.

    Teachers may apply for grants up to $2,000 by visiting For school districts with major outdoor classroom projects, grants may be awarded for up to $20,000. All K-12 public schools in the United States (except Puerto Rico) are eligible to apply for a grant.

  • Watershed Funding
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created new pages on their watershed funding website to provide tools, databases, and information about sources of funding to help non-profit watershed organizations, state and local governments and funders (such as foundations) more easily access information on how to effectively obtain and invest resources to improve watershed health.
  • Watershed Protection Mini-grants Available
    Watershed protection mini-grants are available through the County’s Protecting Resources in Delicate Environments (PRIDE) Program. Neighborhoods, stormwater facility (BMP) owners, and community groups can qualify for up to $500.

Projects emphasizing water quality improvement through watershed restoration/protection include tree planting, wetland planting, BMP restoration, and stream bank stabilization.

James City County recently awarded mini-grants to the neighborhoods of Villages of Westminster, Season’s Trace, Rolling Woods, Settler’s Mill and Briarwood Condos for their BMP restoration projects.

The Mini-Grant Program is part of PRIDE’s watershed education initiative to enhance watershed protection and improve water quality. For more information, log on to or contact Beth Davis , Environmental Education Coordinator, at 253-6859.

  • K-12 Environmental Excellence Awards
    Seaworld/Busch Gardens/Fuji Film Environmental Excellence Awards program rewards K-12 students & community groups working at the grassroots level to protect and preserve their local environment.
  • Watershed Funding
    The new pages contain links to tools, databases, and resources about grants, funding and fundraising. The Web site is designed to help nonprofit watershed organizations, state and local governments, and funders (such as foundations) more easily find information on how to effectively obtain and invest resources to improve watershed health.
  • Nature of Learning Grants Program
    The Nature of Learning is the National Wildlife Refuge System's new community-based environmental education initiative that seeks to use National Wildlife Refuges as outdoor classrooms to promote a greater understanding of local conservation issues; encourage an interdisciplinary approach to learning that seeks to enhance student academic achievement; utilize field experiences and student-led stewardship projects to connect classroom lessons to real world issues; and involve a partnership among local schools, community groups, natural resource professionals, and local businesses.

    Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis to support start-up expenses associated with new programs. In addition, grants of up to $3,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis to provide continued support to existing Nature of Learning programs. For complete application information, see the NFWF Web site.

Tips & Resources

  • GrantsAlert
    GrantsAlert is a website that helps nonprofits, especially those involved in education, secure the funds they need to continue their important work.
  • Grant Writing Tips
    SchoolGrants has compiled an excellent set of grant writing tips for those who need help in developing grant proposals.
  • School Funding Services Grant of the Week
    Each week, School Funding Services, a division of New American Schools, features a new grant on its website.
  • Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE)
    More than 3 federal agencies formed a working group in 1997 to make hundreds of federally supported teaching and learning resources easier to find. The result of that work is the FREE website.
  • Fundsnet Online Services
    A comprehensive website dedicated to providing nonprofit organizations, colleges, and universities with information on financial resources available on the Internet.
  • School Grants
    A collection of resources and tips to help K-12 educators apply for and obtain special grants for a variety of projects.
  • National Geographic Society Education Foundation Teacher Grants
    The primary purpose of the grants is to support individual teachers or teaching teams in the classroom, district or community for work in four areas: 1) exploring uses of new technologies; 2) expanding student experimental learning opportunities; 3) providing professional development and mentoring; and 4) engaging families and/or communities in education. Grant amounts vary from $500 to $5,000. For more information on these grants and their restrictions, visit
  • Nonpoint Source Pollution Education Grants
    In cooperation with Virginia Cooperative Extension and local soil and water conservation districts, DCR conducts an active educational program on nonpoint source (NPS) pollution management. An annual mini-grant program funds area field days, demonstrations, tours, workshops and other events that promote the implementation of best management practices that protect water quality.
  • EPA Five-Star Restoration Program
    The Five Star Restoration Program brings together citizen groups, corporations, youth conservation corps, students, landowners and government agencies to undertake projects that restore streambanks and wetlands. The program provides challenge grants, technical support, and peer information exchange to enable community-based restoration projects.
  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Restoration Center has recently announced available funding for individual community-based habitat restoration projects under the Community-Based Restoration Program (CRP). The CRP is a financial and technical assistance program that funds grass-roots, community-based activities that restore living marine resources and their habitats, including anadramous species (like salmon and herring that spawn in freshwater and migrate to the ocean.)
  • Melinda Gray Ardia Foundation provides grants of $1000 to educators to develop or implement environmental curricula. Prefer to support the actual development of a curriculum rather than provide funds to purchase equipment.
  • EPA Enviromental Education Grants are awarded annually to schools, nature centers, museums, and other nonprofit institutions. Provides professional development and training to educational providers including businesses, health care providers, community leaders, and adult populations.
  • DonorsChoose accepts project proposals from teachers and posts it to the website. Private donors can visit the website and choose which projects to fund.
  • Jenny's Heros Community Grant Program  There is no deadline. Talk show host Jenny Jones will donate up to $25,000 for each project that will promise long-term benefits to the community.


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