NCLI No Child Left Inside


$4.5 million


Grant Limit



Match Requirement

25 percent


Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission's No Child Left Inside (NCLI) grant program provides quality opportunities for underserved, underrepresented, and historically excluded youth to learn, play, and experience the outdoors. The Washington State Legislature established the program in 2007 with two primary goals: to improve the overall academic performance, self-esteem, health, community involvement, and connection to nature for youth; and to empower local communities to engage youth in outdoor education and recreation experiences.

Research has shown that spending time outdoors produces powerful benefits for youth, including reduced depression and anxiety, improved focus, better social connections, and enhanced learning and creativity. NCLI supports essential youth outdoor programs across the state and helps to remove barriers for youth to access the outdoors.

NCLI provides grants for a wide range of outdoor education and recreation activities including environmental education, leadership development, outdoor recreation and adventure, stewardship activities, and camp programs. RCO administers NCLI for the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

Read the new fact sheet.

Grant Application Schedule

Item Date

Applicant Webinar, Applications Open

Register for Webinar

August 8, 2024 

Final Applications Due

October 31, 2024 

Evaluation Period (Written Reviews-Tiers One, Two

January 29, 2025 - March 7, 2025

Evaluation Period (Tier Three Live Presentations)

March 5, 2025 - March 6, 2025

Preliminary Ranked Lists Approved

May 30, 2025 Estimate

RCO Issues Grant Agreements

July 31, 2025 Estimate

Grant Award History

Most recent grants and evaluation results, listed by the application year.

Application Resources

Grant Manual


The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and RCO are considering policy and criteria changes to the No Child Left Inside (NCLI) grant program and would like comments. The changes stem from feedback received from applicants and the advisory committee during the past several grant cycles and aim to enhance equity considerations for the program. See the proposed changes and submit feedback on the NCLI Policy and Evaluation Criteria Form. The survey closes at 11:59 p.m. June 5.

Washington State Parks logo with mountains, river, cliff, trees, and sun

The Everyone Outdoors Program provides groups with the opportunity to apply to receive free annual Discover Passes. The program is available to Washington-based groups supporting underserved communities, youth programs, nonprofit organizations, veteran organizations, volunteer groups, and other groups that face barriers to outdoor access. Visit the Everyone Outdoors Program website for more details

Typical Projects

  • Water activities such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, boating, fishing, and rafting
  • Winter activities such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding, and snow camping
  • Overnight and day camp activities such as environmental education, outdoor skills development, hiking, and camping
  • Outdoor adventure activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, backpacking, and archery
  • Other activities such as outdoor cooking, survival skills, wilderness medicine, foraging, and culturally informed activities such as sense of place or nature scavenger hunts

Who May Apply?

  • Community-based programs
  • Local agencies
  • Native American tribes
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • School-based programs
  • Special purpose districts, such as park and recreation districts
  • State agencies

Only organizations that benefit youth in Washington State may apply.


Grants are awarded every other year. The Legislature provides funding from general tax dollars.

Grant Limits

There are three funding categories for this grant program

  • Tier 1 Projects: $5,000-$25,000 for each project
  • Tier 2 Projects: $5,000-$75,000 for each project
  • Tier 3 Projects: $75,000-$150,000 for each project

Match Details

There is no match requirement for Tier One projects.

A match of 25 percent is required for Tier Two and Tier Three projects.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide matching resources to demonstrate a local commitment to the project and to make state funds available to more projects. To qualify, a match must be composed of elements that would be eligible in the NCLI program. Match may include the following:

  • Appropriations and cash
  • Donations of cash, materials, or the value of labor, equipment use, or services
  • Applicant’s labor, equipment use, and materials
  • Other grants

Ineligible Projects

  • Annual community festivals, expositions, promotional or fundraising events
  • Equipment only projects
  • Facility construction projects
  • Organized team sports such as soccer, baseball, and basketball
  • Teacher training programs that do not include hands-on student participation

A full list of ineligible projects in the grant manual.

Long-Term Commitment

Equipment bought with grants should be retained for eligible or similar uses. See details in the grant manual.


Beth Auerbach, outdoor grants manager, 360-280-6103

Edison Velez, outdoor grants manager, 360-340-1280

Relay Service for the hearing impaired, call 711.