View the application webinar for program details.
- 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.
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
There is no match required.
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.
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
- 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.
- Mobile equipment and cargo trailers
Travel and per-diem for two in-person events to be held during the agreement period (to be included in budget worksheet).
- 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
Equipment bought with grants should be retained for eligible or similar uses. See details in the grant manual.
Outdoor grants manager
Grant Services Section Manager
Relay Service for the hearing impaired, call 711.