The Outdoor Learning Network Initiative (OLNI) is a capacity building opportunity designed to advance environmental literacy at the district level by establishing local networks comprised of school districts and organizations who are committed to partnering and working collectively to embed environmental education into the school system long-term. The Initiative provides training, technical assistance, and ongoing support from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other partners from the OLNI Steering Committee and direct funding to be distributed over a two-year period to selected local networks. The OLNI Steering Committee and OLNI is supported by the Trust and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and working closely with the Chesapeake Bay Program Education Workgroup.
What this funds: Through this opportunity, funding and technical assistance is provided to grow new and existing partnerships of school districts and local organizations into a local network focused on ensuring every student in their district graduates environmentally and civically literate. OLNI supports a range of activities that advance environmental literacy including but not limited to embedding systemic programs, operationalizing ongoing teacher training, designing environmental literacy plans, developing community-based partnerships, and engaging leadership.
Who can apply: The Trust seeks applications from school district(s) and nonprofit partnerships in the Chesapeake Bay region. This is a needs-based program with priority given to areas with school districts that do not have environmental literacy embedded in curriculum (specifically Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEES)) and facing socioeconomic challenges.
Project Types and Funding Availability: Applicants do not request funds for specific projects via this Request for Proposals (RFP); instead applicants outline their needs, readiness, and commitment to participate in this Initiative. Applicants selected to participate in this initiative will receive customized training, ongoing support, and an opportunity to participate in a grant program for funding up to approximately $150,000. Please refer to the RFP for more information.
Grant Application Process: The Chesapeake Bay Trust’s applications are all submitted through our online system linked to the right.
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