OLG Outdoor Learning Grants


$3.7 million


Grant Limit



Match Requirement



The Washington State Legislature funded the Outdoor Learning Grants program, administered by the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, with the goal to develop and support outdoor educational experiences for students in Washington public schools.

All children deserve access to outdoor spaces where they can learn, play, and grow, but access to outdoor educational opportunities is inequitable.

From reducing stress, to improving mental and physical health, outdoor-based learning helps kids thrive. Research shows that kids who participate in outdoor educational activities are more likely to graduate, are better behaved in school, and have more relationships with peers, higher academic achievement, more critical thinking skills, and more direct experience of scientific concepts in the field. They also have better leadership and collaboration skills and a deeper engagement with learning, place, and community.

Grant Application Schedule

Item Date

Application Webinar, Applications Open

May 16, 2023 

Pre-application Due

Applicant must start PRISM application by this date.

June 15, 2023 

Applications Due

July 13, 2023 


August 1, 2023 - September 1, 2023

Tier 3 Q&A Evaluation Sessions

August 30, 2023 - August 31, 2023

Grants Awarded

October 1, 2023 - October 31, 2023

Grant Award History

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

Application Resources

Grant Manual


View the application webinar for program details.

Typical Projects

  • Hands-on, environmental education, nature-based learning experiences
  • Science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education activities
  • Learning about habitat restoration and environmental stewardship activities
  • Integration of professional environmental and land management mentors in learning
  • Immersive field studies, journaling, and group discussions

Who May Apply?

  • Federally recognized Native American tribes
  • Outdoor education providers
    • Local governments (cities, towns, counties, port districts, park and recreation districts, etc.)
    • Qualified nonprofit organizations (501(c)3, 501(c)1, or 501(c)4 tax-exempt organizations). See the grant manual for specific requirements.
    • State agencies
    • Federal agencies


Grants are awarded in odd-numbered years. The Legislature provides funding from general tax dollars.

Grant Limits

There are three funding categories:

  • Tier 1 projects: $10,000-$50,000 per project
  • Tier 2 projects: $50,001-$150,000 per project
  • Tier 3 projects: $150,001-$300,000 per project

Match Details

There is no match required.

Eligible Programs

Eligible programs include pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade experiential education activities that teach in and about the outdoors. Programs must develop and support educational experiences for students and partner with Washington public schools. Grants are available to support existing capacity and to increase future capacity for outdoor learning experiences.

Programs should have a focus on outdoor education aligned with the Washington State content learning standards, including the development of social and emotional learning skills. Programs are encouraged to review the Since Time Immemorial curriculum developed by the Office of Native Education at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and infuse traditional ecological knowledge into the field experiences for students. In implementing student educational experiences, outdoor education providers should ensure equitable access for students in all geographic regions and high levels of accessibility for students with disabilities.

Eligible Costs

The following project costs must be essential to the program purpose (see budget worksheet):

  • Contracted services
  • Curriculum development (aligned with Washington State learning standards)
  • Food and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Equipment
  • Indirect costs (fixed rate of 10 percent)
  • Habitat restoration projects. Activities may not take place in archaeological sites (Revised Code of Washington 27.53.060). Project sponsors must provide appropriate documentation prior to student involvement in restoration activities. Contact an RCO outdoor grants manager for more information.
  • Lodging
  • Mobile equipment and cargo trailers
  • Staff
  • Stipends
  • Supplies
  • Training
  • Transportation

Required Costs

Travel and per-diem for two in-person events to be held during the agreement period (to be included in budget worksheet).

Ineligible Costs

  • Facility construction or improvement projects. (e.g. raised beds, gardens, and raingardens; decks and boardwalks; open-air shelters; permanent outdoor classroom infrastructure; outdoor kitchens and fish pits; ropes course facilities)
  • Land acquisition
  • Out-of-state student travel, except for bordering counties and cities in Oregon and Idaho
  • Pre-agreement costs. RCO will pay only for work performed after grant agreements have been signed by both RCO and the project sponsor.
  • Post agreement costs. Costs for eligible activities must be incurred within the grant agreement period. Reservations for facilities or activities after the agreement period are ineligible.
  • Preparation of this grant application
  • Projects that do not include direct youth outdoor education programming
  • Purchase of motor vehicles or motorboats
  • Religious activities

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


Kyle Guzlas

Grant Services Section Manager


Relay Service for the hearing impaired, call 711.