Environmental Education Grant Program

The Chesapeake Bay Trust recognizes that the recovery of our local streams, rivers, and the Bay – the future health of our environment, economy, and communities – depends on an environmentally literate and engaged citizenry.

What this funds: The Trust seeks to increase understanding and stewardship of the environment by providing grants to establish or expand sustainable environmental literacy programs that engage PreK-12th grade students using the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) model. The MWEE model is a type of project-based learning that consists of an investigation into a local environmental issue through a combination of learning in the classroom and outdoors which culminates in students planning and implementing action projects that address the issue in their school or community. The MWEE model incorporates a number of best education practices in an effort to increase student achievement, 21st century skills, student engagement, and environmental stewardship.

More information, guidance, and tools for using the MWEE model can be found on Bay Backpack including An Educator’s Guide to the Meaningful Watershed Education Experience and the MWEE Toolbox developed by the Chesapeake Bay Program, NOAA, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. For an even deeper dive and greater understanding of the MWEE model check out the MWEE Online Course. All three of these resources should also be used for professional development trainings.

Who can apply: Maryland school districts, nonprofit organizations, public agencies, higher education institutions, community associations, faith-based organizations and more. See RFP for full list.

Project Types and Funding Availability: The Trust has made available $350,000 for this grant program in Fiscal Year 2020. Individual applications may be submitted for amounts detailed below. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Trust staff to discuss proposals prior to the deadline and determine which funding level is most appropriate for your project idea.

  • Track 1 Multi-Year Projects: Applicants may request from $5,001 to $40,000 per year for three years (maximum is $120,000 total award over years 2020-2023) for projects that focus on the establishment or enhancement of a systemic MWEE program that will be embedded into the curriculum of a targeted grade or course at all schools across a school district. The Trust anticipates making 1-3 multi-year awards. Applicants can submit two year or three year requests but all applicants for multi-year requests must talk with Trust staff prior to formulating proposals.
  • Track 2 Single-Year Projects: Applicants may request $5,001 to $40,000 for a grant period of March 2020 – August 2021 for projects that focus on (1) the establishment or enhancement of systemic MWEE programs in a school district, (2) the development and piloting of a MWEE program in a school district that is striving towards systemic implementation eventually but may not occur until after the grant period, (3) improving elements of an existing systemic MWEE program particularly the teacher professional development opportunities, field experience, and/or action project, and (4) projects that propose an innovative approach to using the MWEE model which can include building capacity at the district or regional level and using the MWEE model in a non-traditional way that is not appropriate for systemic implementation.
  • For request $5,000 and under, please consider applying for a Trust Environmental Education Mini Grant.

Is match required? No, but applicants are strongly encouraged to leverage Trust support with cash and in kind match.

Partners: The Trust work collaboratively with the NOAA Chesapeake Bay and Watershed Education Training Program (BWET) to promote high quality environmental education experiences that meet the revised guidance for Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences in MD and the region. They will be announcing the next BWET funding opportunity soon. Check this link for more information.

Grant Application Process: The Chesapeake Bay Trust’s grant applications are all submitted through an online system. If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact this program’s grant manager, Tara Drennan at tdrennan@cbtrust.org or 410-974-2941 ext. 102.

MWEE Tools:

Program Status: CLOSED

To view the RFP, click here.

Deadline: was December 5, 2019 at 4pm, EST

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Questions & Technical Support

Tara Drennan
410-974-2941 x102