Who should apply for No Child Left Inside grants

Eligible applicants

A youth cross-country skiing education experienceTo be eligible for Phase 2 Grants, applicants must be a public entity or private nonprofit organization with a mission or educational purpose that supports natural resource education and/or outdoor recreation. See individual funding categories in the Request for Proposals for a complete list of eligible applicants. Examples of organizations that would qualify:

  • Public entity (cities, counties, special purpose districts);
  • Native American Tribe;
  • Non-profit organization;
  • Formal school program;
  • Informal after school program; or
  • Community-based and city youth program

Private businesses, state and federal agencies, and other applicants who do not meet these criteria are not eligible for this grant program.

Grant priorities

  • Programs that maximize the number of participants, especially from new and diverse audiences with limited opportunities.
  • Audience must be youth (under 18) – activities that include participant families are also eligible.
  • Projects that are community-focused with an ongoing impact rather than one-time events.
  • New and innovative programming (if an existing program or project, applicant must demonstrate a significant expansion in scope or inclusion of new audiences).
  • Other projects that support natural resource education and outdoor recreation as determined by the DNR.

Funding categories

The 2019 Legislature established some specific requirements and priorities for each of the funding categories for No Child Left Inside grants. The DNR has established additional funding priorities in consultation with stakeholders. Phase 2 grants include three different funding categories:

Category 1: Natural resources education and outdoor recreation.
Category 2: Fishing, hunting and shooting sports programs (at or in coordination with public or tribal schools).
Category 3: High school fishing leagues.

A complete list of the eligible applicants and costs, priorities, and requirements for each category can be found in the Phase 2 request for proposals.

Ineligible activities

Activities for which grant dollars cannot be used include but are not limited to:

  • Purchase of hunting or fishing licenses, tags or stamps;
  • Group banquets, raffle prizes or other fundraising activities;
  • Hunting and fishing competitions with cash awards or prizes larger than nominal value;
  • Firearms and ammunition are not eligible;
  • Gardening for food projects, unless combined with significant agricultural or environmental education programming, including the benefits of local, healthy food programs;
  • For-profit projects;
  • Shooting range fees and clay targets;
  • Annual field days or festivals;
  • Capital equipment and fixed assets (vehicles, motorized boats, ATVs, snowmobiles, large ice fishing houses, trailers, sheds, greenhouses, computer equipment, and other larger capital equipment or items);
  • Trail development, equipment or maintenance; and
  • Administrative costs, such as overhead, indirect costs, or insurance.

Matching dollars

No match is required for Phase 2 grants but the amount of match provided by applicants will be considered in the evaluation of proposals.

Criteria considered

Grant reviewers will consider the following project criteria when determining awards:

  • Meet at least one category of eligible programs or activities in the application.
  • Distribution of awards on a geographically balanced, statewide basis.
  • Provide students direct experiences and understanding of nature.
  • Use research-based, effective environmental, ecological, agricultural, or other natural-resource-based educational curriculum.
  • Maximize number of participants, especially from diverse populations.
  • Serve children with limited opportunities to outdoor activities.
  • Use public parks and other natural resource venues and personnel as resources.
  • Level of matching funds or in-kind support.
  • Demonstrated need for state funding.
  • Project design, feasibility and evaluation plan.

Next step

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