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

October 31, 2023

Apply through Dec. 12 for funding aimed at increasing outdoor experiences, education and stewardship

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is pleased to announce another phase of the 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.

“This successful outreach grant program continues to send resources to schools and organizations to help get children outdoors,” said Jeff Ledermann, DNR education and skills team supervisor. “These grants boost outdoor programs and initiatives all around the state, especially in communities with limited opportunities to connect with nature.”

Public entities and nonprofit organizations serving youth younger than 18, including Native American tribes, schools or governments, can apply for No Child Left Inside grants.

This grant program contributes to realizing the vision of the Minnesota Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights for each and every Minnesota child to experience outdoor recreational activities and discover the natural environment regardless of where they live, learn, or play

As of Monday, Oct. 30, the Minnesota DNR is accepting applications for both mini grants (less than $5,000) and larger grants ($5,000 to $25,000). The request for proposals is available on the Minnesota DNR website. Applications will be accepted until 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12.

Mini grant awards will be chosen by lottery after review to ensure they qualify. Larger grant awards will be selected using a competitive review process. Funding can be used for outdoor recreation equipment, transportation, and related natural resource education expenses. Past mini grant awardees are encouraged to apply for a larger grant during this phase. Organizations that previously received a larger grant are ineligible for funds this round.

The 2023 Minnesota Legislature appropriated $1 million from the state’s General Fund and the Heritage Enhancement Account of the Game and Fish Fund to continue the work of the No Child Left Inside grants program in fiscal year 2024.

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 webpage of the Minnesota DNR website. Questions about these grants or the application process should be emailed to [email protected] with “Grant Questions” in the subject line. People can also call 888-646-6367.

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