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

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 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 younger than 18 can apply for No Child Left Inside grants.

Grant funds will help implement the vision of the Minnesota Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights’ (mn.gov/children-outdoors/) for each and every Minnesota child to experience outdoor recreational activities and discover the natural environment regardless of where they live, learn, or play

Starting Thursday, Oct. 20, the DNR will accept applications for both mini grants (less than $5,000) or larger grants ($5,000-$25,000). The request for proposals will be available on the DNR website (mndnr.gov/No-Child-Grants). Applications will be accepted through 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Mini grant awards will be chosen by lottery, while 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.

The DNR will host an informational webinar at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 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 website (mndnr.gov/No-Child-Grants/Who-Should-Apply.html). The webinar will be recorded and posted on the website for those who are unable to attend.

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 the work of the No Child Left Inside grants program. Half of those funds were awarded to 44 mini grants and 16 larger grants in 2022, and this current application process will 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 (mndnr.gov/no-child-grants). Questions about these grants or the application process should be emailed to [email protected]mn.us 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.

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