Outdoor Learning Network Funding Opportunity

The Outdoor Learning Network Initiative, in coordination with the Chesapeake Bay Program Education Workgroup and administered by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, is a funding opportunity for high-need school districts within the Chesapeake Bay region to advance environmental education goals by establishing school district(s) and nonprofit partnerships, receiving capacity building training and ongoing support, and developing and implementing systemic environmental literacy programs using the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) model. The MWEE is a flexible framework based in the principles of inquiry and project based learning. In the Chesapeake region, the MWEE is recognized as a comprehensive approach to achieving environmental literacy and supported by state departments of education.  The ultimate goal is that the funding, partnership, and training resources offered through this initiative will institute a sustainable district-level team and plan for advancing environmental literacy goals long-term.

The Outdoor Learning Network Initiative will create the infrastructure for local school district networks by (1) focusing on high-need districts who are seeking assistance, (2) providing specific training for the school districts and their nonprofit partners for each network, (3) employing existing proven approaches from successful systemic projects in program development, and (4) underwriting the startup costs for these networks.

What this funds and availability: The Initiative will provide training and up to $100,000 in direct funding to be distributed over a two-year period for capacity building to establish a local environmental literacy network working to develop an environmental literacy plan and implement a systemic MWEE program. Systemic programs will reach every student in a targeted grade level within a school system or district through incorporation of a MWEE in a course or combination of courses. The Trust anticipates making 1-3 awards.

Who can apply: The Trust seeks applications from school district(s) and nonprofit partnerships in the Chesapeake Bay region.

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.

Program Status: CLOSED

To view previous version of the RFP, click here.

Application Deadline: Deadline has passed, March 28, 2019 at 4pm

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Environmental Education Funding Opportunity

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 through providing grants that build and/or expand pre-K through 12 environmental literacy programs using the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) model. The MWEE model is simply 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 addressing their issue through an action project in their school or community. MWEEs incorporate 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 designing and using MWEEs can be found in An Educator’s Guide to the Meaningful Watershed Education Experience developed by the Chesapeake Bay Program, NOAA, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Applicants will be required to complete and submit a Environmental Literacy Model (ELM) Planning Document as a tool in designing a MWEE program.

Who can apply: Maryland local education agencies (LEAs), nonprofit organizations, government agencies, public and independent higher education institutions, community associations, faith-based organizations and more. See RFP for full list.

How much can be awarded: The Trust has made available $400,000 for this grant program in Fiscal Year 2019. 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.

  • Multiple year requests: Applicants may request from $5,001 to $40,000 per year for three years (maximum is $120,000 total award over years 2019-2022). 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.
  • Single year requests: Applicants may request $5,001 to $40,000 for a grant period of March 2019 – August 2020. The Trust anticipates making 6-8 awards at this level.
  • 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.

Additional Resources & Tools: