Science Environmental Funding

Environmental Education Funding

State Sources

Environmental License Tag Grants - Sponsored by the Oklahoma Environmental Quality Education Committee. $500 grants to promote new enthusiasm for the practice of environmental education for Oklahoma teachers or youth leaders. The program must benefit the youth of Oklahoma through the programs developed or enhanced by the grant. (Note: The former $200 Environmental Field Trip Grants, also provided through the license tag fund, has been combined with the $500 grants.) Five $1000 outdoor classroom grants are also available through the same application. These proposals are generally due the end of October or November, with the winners announced in January. Funds may be used for classroom education materials, supplies for specific lesson plans, films and videos, continuing education, resource trunks, outdoor classroom setup, etc.  22-25 grants have been awarded annually since 1996. Funds are distributed through the Department of Environmental Quality. Contact: Susie Shields (405) 702-5166.

Learn and Serve America Program - Awards grants to schools for efforts that engage students in environmental and other community activities.  School projects meeting specifications may be eligible for grants ranging from $1,200 to $15,000.  In addition to funding, schools receive access to training and resources and have opportunities to learn from each other at more regular network meetings.  Some outdoor classrooms and habitat programs have been started through this program.  These funds are appropriated by Congress and amounts awarded may shift from year to year. 

Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grants - Sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Forestry Services in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and the Oklahoma Urban and Community Forestry Council, this grant program is designed to establish, expand and promote urban and community forestry in the State of Oklahoma. Grants may be awarded to state and local units of government, approved non‑profit organizations, neighborhood associations, civic groups, educational institutions or other tree volunteer groups. All projects must occur in Oklahoma.  The amount available ranges from $1,000 to $10,000 per grant and is a 50% matching program. However, in-kind matching is acceptable. Contact: Mark Bays (405) 521-3864 to request a grant package.

the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Outdoor Classroom Grants - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services' (FWS) Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program provides project development grants up to $5,000.00 for Outdoor Environmental Classrooms.  These Outdoor Classrooms must emphasis wetlands and/or endangered and threatened ecosystems in Oklahoma.  Funds are to used for project development, such as, wetland construction, walkways, gazebos, plant material, etc.  For more information on wetland development and how to get a wetland classroom going at your school, call Jontie Aldrich or Ken Williams (918) 581-7458.

Weyerhaeuser Excellence in Recycling Award - Ten $1,000 awards are given in Oklahoma annually.  Awards are available to public/private schools (K-12) in Oklahoma. Existing, expanding or start-up recycling programs are eligible. Requests for proposals are distributed through the Department of Environmental Quality.  Applications will be solicited in the spring, with awards made by Weyerhaeuser in the fall.  Contact: Bryce Hulsey (405) 702-5170.

National Sources

Best Buy Children's Foundation - To enhance the quality of life of school-age children in communities where Best Buy Co., Inc. maintains a presence - through support of programs and organizations that offer leadership and educational opportunities. The Foundation invests in organizations and programs committed to making a difference in the lives of children. Emphasis is placed on innovative programs that promote personal achievement, mentor relationships and life skills, and accentuate learning opportunities for school-age children. All grants are given to 501(c)(3) organizations or organizations seeking this nonprofit status. Proposals are accepted on an ongoing basis. Contact: Best Buy Children's Foundation, Community Relations Dept., P.O. Box 9448, Minneapolis, MN 55440-9448, Phone:(952) 947-2650.

Build An Outdoor Classroom At Your School Grants - Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, International Paper, and National Geographic Explorer! classroom magazine outdoor classroom grant program to help schools improve their science curriculum by engaging students in hands-on experiences outside the traditional classroom. Grants
up to $2,000 will be awarded to at least 100 schools and grants for up to $20,000 may be awarded to schools or school districts with major outdoor classroom projects. Proposals are reviewed three times a year.

Butterfly Garden Grants - Available from Hasbro Children's Foundation where the focus is on gardens that have strong educational emphasis at schools located in economically disadvantaged areas.  Deadline is in February, but proposals received sooner seem to have better chance. Contact: Jane Englebardt, Executive Director, Hasbro Children's Foundation, 32 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010, (212) 645-2400.

The Coca-Cola Foundation - Aims to provide youth with the educational opportunities and support systems they need to become knowledgeable about the world in which they live and better able to give back to their communities.  Three main areas include:

  1. HIGHER EDUCATION: Pipeline programs connecting various levels of education that encourage students to stay in school and to proceed with confidence to college and graduate school; Scholarship programs in support of graduate and undergraduate students; Minority advancement in the form of scholarships, urban programs and cultural diversity programs.
  2. CLASSROOM TEACHING AND LEARNING: Innovative K-12 public school programs, and those outside the "four walls" of the classroom; Teacher development programs; Smaller projects dealing with specific activities in the elementary and secondary classroom.
  3. GLOBAL EDUCATION: Programs that encourage international studies, global understanding or  student/faculty exchange; Programs outside the United States promoting education

The Echoing Green Fellowship Program - Gives social change entrepreneurs tools and resources to start public service projects in fields including education, environment, arts, health, youth service,  community and/or economic development, and civil rights. Fellows receive a two-year $60,000 stipend, health and dental insurance, networking opportunities, and technical assistance. There are no restrictions regarding specific program areas or geographic territories.

EPA Environmental Education Grants - Sponsored by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to support environmental education efforts at the grassroots level. Local educational institutions, state agencies and non-profit groups are eligible to apply. These grants cannot be used for structure construction and a 25% cash or in-kind matching donation is required.  Amount: $5,000 to $250,000. The deadline for applications varies from year to year. The RFP (request for proposals) usually comes out sometime during the summer, with the deadline in the fall. Contact: Jo Taylor, EE Coordinator, U.S. EPA Region VI, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75202 (214) 665-2200 or 1-800-887-6063.

Global Releaf Fund - Sponsored by American Forests for tree planting and care projects and educational efforts which encourage local volunteer efforts and donations. Larger trees in urban settings are preferred to reforestation projects using seedlings. 50% matching cash or in-kind donation required. Amount $500-$2,500. Applications due in January with funding awarded in February. Contact: Karen Fedor, Global ReLeaf Fund, 1516 P. Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

GreenWorks!  Community Action Projects - This Project Learning Tree's (PLT) environmental community action component encourages students to participate in community based partnerships by developing and implementing environmental action projects, such as graffiti paint overs, tree plantings, stream clean-ups and recycling projects. Applicants must be PLT trained, must establish a partnership to implement the project (i.e. school/PTA, school/local business, girl scout troop/local business, etc.) and must raise 50% project matching funds (may be in-kind services/time). Projects must be community/school based and have student/youth participation. The annual deadline is usually in April. A maximum of $200 per project is available. Contact: Caroline Alston, GreenWorks! Grants, 111 19th Street,NW, #780, Washington, D.C. 20036, (202) 463-2461.

Growing Together - A partnership between The National Tree Trust and local schools or youth groups with the goal of establishing tree planting programs. The National Tree Trust donates seed for planting. Any 501(c)(3) organization or school, municipality, county or township is eligible to apply. Participating students should be between pre-kindergarten and sixth grade, with a minimum of 100 students (or three classes) must be involved. This program is administered in Oklahoma by Larry Wright, Great Plains Resource and Development Association (RC&D), 1505 N. Glenn English, Cordell, OK 73632, (580) 832-3661.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation - This is a large, national charitable foundation identified as the largest funding source of EE projects in 1990.  Estimated to have given out more than $5.5 million to EE projects. Contact: 140 South Dearborn Street, Suite 1100. Chicago, IL 60603, (312) 726‑8000.

National Environmental Education and Training Foundation (NEETF) Grants - These are one-year challenge grants requiring a cash match of at least one non-federal dollar for each NEETF dollar awarded. Recent grants range from $5,000 to $40,000. The Foundation places special emphasis on environmental issues that relate to health and pose the greatest long-term risk to society; supports visionary and proactive EE and training projects that leverage resources and bring focus to the fields of EE and training; supports efforts that make citizens better informed about issues and empowered to make their own decisions to resolve problems; and believes that EE and training need not rely solely on the classroom as the medium. Contact: David Ashenhurst, Grants Officer, 915 Fifteenth St., NW, Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20005, (202) 628-8200.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grants - Emphasizes innovative and effective wildlife conservation activities in an urban or rural setting. Governmental units, educational or non-profit groups are eligible to apply for amounts of $10,000 and up. A 50‑100% matching cash donation is required. Applications are due in January with funding awarded in May or in March with funding awarded in August. Contact: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, 1120 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 900, Washington, D.C. 20036, (202) 857-0166.

State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning AwardsEnable youth and educators to bring positive benefits of service-learning to more young people. This grant is for both young people ages 5-25 and teachers to implement service-learning projects for National Youth Service Day 2003. Grants from $500 to $1,500 each are available for young people and teachers to engage classes. The AT&T CARES Youth Service Action Fund was created to provide direct assistance to youth and youth organizations to lead signature service or service-learning projects during National Youth Service Day and beyond. Fifty grants of $500 are available to address unmet needs and problems in their communities.

Town Creek Foundation - Supports environmental programs that engage citizens in challenging the unsustainable use of natural resources and in protecting biological diversity. Strategies supported are grassroots activism, monitoring the enforcement of environmental laws, public policy advocacy, collaborative opportunities, media outreach, and model or demonstration projects fostering sustainable policies and practices.

Toyota Tapestry Grant - A partnership program of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. and the National Science teachers Association (NSTA), this program offers grants to K-12 science teachers. Grants are given to innovative projects that enhance science education in the school and/or school district. Fifty one-year grants, totaling up to $500,000 will be awarded this year. The projects must center on either environmental education or physical science applications (applied physics, chemistry and technology). Projects should demonstrate creativity, involve risk-taking, possess a visionary quality, and model a novel way of presenting science. They should also involve hands-on activities, have an interdisciplinary approach and relate science to students' lives.  To be eligible, middle and high school science teachers must spend at least 50% of their classroom time teaching science. Elementary teachers must teach some science in the classroom. Proposals must describe a project including its potential impact on students, and a budget up to $10,000.  Contact: NSTA/Toyota Tapestry, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201-3000, (800) 807-9852. You may obtain an application form for next year's grants from NSTA's Fax on Demand service by calling (800) 400-6782 and requesting document number 591 or download it from NSTA's website.

Youth Garden Grants - Cash is not offered, but tools, seeds and educational materials are provided the National Garden Association for garden programs involving at least 15 children between 3-18 years of age.  300 grants of about $700 each awarded each year, with the deadline generally November 1.  Contact:  National Gardening Association Youth Garden Grant, 180 Flynn Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401, 1-800-538-7476.

Local Sources - Oklahoma City Metro Area

Kirkpatrick Family Fund - Primary fields of interest are education, youth, culture, arts, neighborhoods and beautification.  The Fund would be supportive of outdoor classroom gardens that have a strong educational component.  Grants up to $1,500 are reviewed monthly.  Contact: Marilyn Myers, Kirkpatrick Family Fund, P.O. Box 268822, Oklahoma City, OK 73126, (405) 840-2882.

Margaret Annis Boys Trust Fund - Grants for butterfly and outdoor classroom gardens. Fund encourages partnerships between schools, parents, neighborhoods and local businesses. Matching and in-kind contributions are important to successful grant applications.  Grants are for perennials, trees, shrubs, soil, mulch and other plant material.  Grant size range from $1,000 to $1,500 and can be partnered with other local and state funding sources.  Contact: Oklahoma City Community Foundation, 1300 N. Broadway, Oklahoma City, OK 73103, (405) 235-5603.

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Last updated on July 16, 2012