News release: DNR grants help children get outside, begin a lifetime of outdoor experiences

February 3, 2022


The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is pleased to announce another phase of the extremely popular No Child Left Inside grants. These grants help more children cast a line, study animal tracks, hike or bike, or simply learn more about nature.

“We continue to have high interest in our outreach grant program,” said Jeff Ledermann, DNR education and skills team supervisor. “Children in many communities don’t have the resources or opportunities to spend quality time outdoors. These grants help boost outdoor programs and initiatives all around the state and especially in communities with limited opportunities to connect with nature.”

Public entities and nonprofit organizations serving youth under age 18 can apply for these No Child Left Inside grants. The minimum funding request is $5,000, with a maximum request of $25,000. Applications for the current funding phase must be received by 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 10.

Projects will be selected using a competitive review process and awards will distributed on a geographically balanced, statewide basis. Funding can be used for outdoor recreation equipment, transportation, and related natural resource education expenses.

“We will have approximately $250,000 available in this phase, about $100,000 of which we anticipate granting for fishing and hunting-focused programs,” Ledermann said. “The competitive selection process will give preference to projects that propose new and innovative ways to impact new, diverse, underrepresented and underserved audiences who have limited outdoor opportunities.”

The DNR will host an informational webinar at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17, to review grant requirements, the application process and to answer questions. Attendees must pre-register using the registration link on the “Who should apply for No Child Left Inside grants” page of the DNR’s website. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the website for those who are unable to attend.

The 2019 Minnesota Legislature authorized the No Child Left Inside Grant program. The program has supported 59 mini grants, which have reached more than 12,000 children, and dozens of larger grants. The 2021 Minnesota Legislature appropriated $900,000 from the state’s General Fund and the Heritage Enhancement Account of the Game and Fish Fund to continue this work. Additional phases will be announced later this year and in early 2023 to distribute the remaining funds available under this appropriation.

For more information about the grant program, instructions for how to apply, and a link to the application or informational webinar registration, visit the No Child Left Inside grants page of the DNR website.  Questions about these grants or the application process should be emailed to [email protected] with “Grant Questions” in the subject line. People may also call 888-646-6367.

The DNR extends its thanks to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection for the use of the "No Child Left Inside" name.