No Child Left Inside
The Washington State Legislature created the No Child Left Inside grant program to provide under-served students with quality opportunities to experience the natural world.
Grant funds are available for outdoor environmental, ecological, agricultural, or other natural resource-based education and recreation programs serving youth.
This grant program is intended to empower local communities to engage students in outdoor education and recreation experiences and focuses on serving students with the greatest needs. Students work to improve their overall academic performance, self-esteem, personal responsibility, community involvement, personal health, and understanding of nature.
Typical ProjectsFunding for outdoor education and recreation programs and equipment that:
- Make use of research-based, effective environmental, ecological, agricultural, or other natural resource-based education curriculum.
- Contribute to healthy life styles through outdoor recreation and sound nutrition
- Provide students with opportunities to directly experience and understand nature and the natural world.
The Washington State Legislature provides General Fund money to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission for the No Child Left Inside grant program.
State Parks piloted the grant program in 2008, but the program ended during the recession when funding was no longer available. In 2015, State Parks requested and received funds from the Legislature to reinvigorate the program. Read State Parks' summary report.
Who can apply*?
- Public agencies, (cities, counties, special purpose districts)
- Native American tribes
- Non-profit organizations
- Formal school programs
- Informal after school programs
- Community-based programs in Washington
* Only organizations that benefit youth in Washington State may apply.
Match requirementsAlthough match is not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to provide matching resources to demonstrate a local commitment to the project and to make funds available to more projects. Project scores are weighted to reward projects that include matching shares. Match may include, but is not limited to:
- Donations of cash, labor, equipment, and materials
- Federal, state, local, and private grants
- Applicant’s labor, equipment, and materials
Grant CapsThere are two funding categories for this grant program
- Tier 1 Projects: $50,000 for each project. Applicants must request a minimum of $5,000 for each project
- Tier 2 Projects: $125,000. Applicants must request a minimum of $50,001 for each project.
Funding Anticipated (Average)$900,000, split equally between Tiers 1 and 2.
Eligible ProgramsOutdoor education and recreation programs include, but are not limited to:
• Canoeing and kayaking
• Environmental outdoor education
• Outdoor cooking
• Rock climbing
Ineligible ProjectsIneligible programs include, but are not limited to:
• Facility construction projects
• Annual community festivals, expositions, promotional or fundraising events
• Teacher training programs that do not include hands-on student participation
• Organized team sports such as soccer, baseball, and basketball
Grant Application Schedule (3 months)
- RCO will begin accepting grant applications on December 15, 2015
- Applications are due February 16, 2016. See this year’s schedule
Grant Evaluation Process
- Applicants submit an online application
- The applications are reviewed by RCO staff.
- The applications are scored and ranked by an advisory committee.
- The ranked list of projects is submitted to the director of Washington State Parks, who awards the grants.
Capital equipment purchased with funding from this program should be retained for eligible or similar uses.