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Environmental Education Mini Grant Program

Grants to USA IHEs, Schools, Nonprofits, Organizations, and Agencies
in Multiple States for Environmental Education Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Chesapeake Bay Trust

Deadline Date:

01/14/21 4:00 PM EST


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Grants of up to $5,000 to Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Washington, DC IHEs, schools, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, community associations, and government agencies for environmental education projects in eligible regions.

Eligible uses of funds are to support professional development for teachers, programs to advance environmental literacy, and environmental activities that educate and engage Pre-K to 12 students, such as field trips, fieldwork, student-led action projects, and schoolyard habitat projects. Projects must take place in Maryland or the Chesapeake Bay watershed portions of DC, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia.

Through the Mini Environmental Education Grant Program, the Trust seeks to increase student awareness and involvement in the restoration and protection of the region’s natural resources through increasing access to programs that provide Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs).

The program specifically seeks to:

  1. Educate students about natural resources and their local watersheds and how students can become environmental stewards and make a difference in watershed health;
  2. Engage school communities in education and restoration activities that benefit watershed health;
  3. Provide MWEEs for students and teachers
  4. Provide environmental education professional development opportunities for teachers; and
  5. Support environmental literacy goals within schools, school systems, and other educational institutions.

Funds can cover a multitude of items including costs for field trips, fieldwork, transportation, substitute fees, and supplies for student projects. 

The Trust strongly encourages applications directly from underrepresented groups, and for projects that increase awareness and participation of communities that are traditionally underrepresented, such as communities of color.

The Trust funds three types of projects in this program: MWEEs, outdoor classroom and/or school-yard habitat improvement, and professional development for educators.

  • Project Type 1: MWEEs for Students: A good MWEE is not just an outdoor field trip. MWEEs are multi-faceted, learner-centered experienced that focus on investigations into local environmental issues that lead to informed action and civic engagement. 
  • Project Type 2: Outdoor Classroom and/or School-yard Habitat Improvement Requests Proposals submitted requesting support for outdoor classrooms or school-yard habitat improvement (such as a one-time tree planting or pollinator garden planting) should focus on developing outdoor learning spaces on school grounds.
  • Project Type 3: Professional Development for School Staff: Applicants may request funds for professional development (PD) experiences for teachers, administrators, and other school staff to build the understanding of environmental content and competence in inquiry based and investigative instructional techniques.

For additional details on the three project types, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177245

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants may request up to $5,000. The Trust will fund up to half of outdoor field experience costs such as program fees, substitute costs and transportation fees for all schools. Title 1 programs are permitted to request full costs for outdoor field experiences.

Term of Contract:

Projects must be completed within 12 months upon receipt of the award. Requests to extend project completion period will be reviewed and considered on a case-by-case basis. Project cannot begin prior to March 6, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Trust welcomes requests from the following organizations:

- 501(c)3 Organizations
- Faith Based Organizations
- Community Associations
- Service, Youth, and Civic Groups
- Municipal, County, Regional, State, Federal Public Agencies
- Soil/Water Conservation Districts and/or Resource Conservation and Development Councils
- Forestry Boards
- Public or Independent Higher Education Institutions

For Profit organizations are NOT eligible for funding through this program.

The Trust prefers that the school serve as the lead applicant instead of a partner, however, if a partner does apply, the Trust requires the following:

-The participating school(s) name(s)
-A narrative explaining why the partner is applying rather than a school
-Letter(s) of commitment from participating school(s)
-If the applicant is representing an after-school and/or summer school program, it is imperative to meet all essential elements of a MWEE described above.

The Trust does not fund the following:

-Projects outside of Maryland.
-Endowments, deficit financing, individuals, building campaigns, annual giving, research, fundraising or venture capital.
-Political Lobbying.
-Items considered secondary to the project’s central objective such as cash prizes, camera, video equipment, etc.
-Promotional collateral such as pens, keychains, t-shirts etc.
-The Trust is unable to provide reimbursement for expenses incurred before the date of decision on the application.

Pre-Application Information:

The Trust will have two deadlines for applications in the next fiscal year.

- Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 4:00 PM EST
- Thursday January 14, 2021 at 4:00 PM EST

Late applications will not be accepted, and the online funding opportunity will close automatically and promptly at 4 PM EST.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit at least a few days prior to the deadline given potential for high website traffic on the due date. The Trust cannot guarantee availability of technical assistance for the online system on the deadline date.

If applicant is not requesting funds for the student-led action project, applicant must list the source of cash match to complete the action project.

Application assistance:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For questions, please contact:
Emily Stransky,
410-974-2941 x101

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Delaware;   Maryland;   Pennsylvania;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   West Virginia

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