Environmental Education Mini Grants

Chesapeake Bay Trust

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Next deadline: Jun 11, 2020 1:00pm PDT

Later deadlines: Jan 7, 2021 1:00pm PST

Grant amount: Up to US $5,000

Fields of work: Freshwater Conservation Marine/Ocean Conservation Environmental Education

Applicant type: Government Entity, Nonprofit, Indigenous Group

Funding uses: Education / Outreach

Location of project: Maryland

Location of residency: Maryland

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About this funder:



NOTE: Please note, due to funding availability, for the June 2020 deadline the Trust can only accept applications for Maryland projects.

Environmental Education Mini Grants

The Chesapeake Bay Trust’s (Trust) Mini Environmental Education Grant Program was established to provide accessible funds to schools, organizations, and agencies to support educating students about their local environment and how they can become stewards and have an impact in their community. To accomplish this goal the program funds up to $5,000 for projects that involve students investigating a local environmental issue, problem, or phenomenon through indoor and outdoor research culminating in developing solutions and taking action in their school or community – also known as the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) model. Funds can cover a multitude of items including costs for field trips, fieldwork, transportation, substitute fees, and supplies for student projects. This grant program also aims to build teacher capacity and comfort in leading environmental education programs by funding the attendance to or development of professional development trainings for educators.

What this funds

Meaningful outdoor learning experiences around a watershed issue investigation including field trips, fieldwork, student-led action projects, schoolyard habitat projects as well as teacher professional development trainings and programs to advance environmental literacy.

Goals of the Mini Grant Program for Pre-K-12 Education Requests

River by river and stream by stream, pre-K-12 environmental education projects are helping to raise public awareness about the health of streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays and about the steps that can be taken to restore and protect them.

Through the Mini Environmental Education Grant Program, the Trust seeks to increase student awareness and involvement in the restoration and protection of our region’s natural resources through increasing student access to programs that provide Meaningful Watershed  Educational Experiences (known as MWEEs).

The program was established to provide accessible funds to schools, organizations, and agencies for pre-K-12 environmental education and specifically seeks to: 

  • Educate students about the Bay and their local watersheds and about how students can become environmental stewards and make a difference in watershed health;
  • Engage school communities in education and restoration activities that benefit watershed health;
  • Provide Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) for students and teachers;
  • Provide environmental education professional development opportunities for teachers; and
  • Support environmental literacy goals within schools, school systems, and other educational institutions.

The Trust is committed to the advancement of diversity in its grant-making and environmental work. As a result, the Trust strongly encourages grant applications for projects that increase awareness and participation of communities that are traditionally underrepresented. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The Trust prefers the pre-K-12 school to serve as the lead applicant instead of a partner. If a partner does apply, the Trust requires:
    • The participating school’s name
    • An explanation of why the partner is applying instead of the school
    • Letter of support from the participating school(s)
  • The following types of partners may serve as lead applicants when the school cannot for some reason:
    • 501(c)3 Private Nonprofit Organizations;
    • Faith-based Organizations;
    • Community Associations;
    • Service, Youth, and Civic Groups;
    • Municipal, County, Regional, State, Federal Public Agencies;
    • Soil/Water Conservation Districts & Resource Conservation and Development Councils;
    • Forestry Boards;
    • Public and Independent Higher Educational Institutions.
  • Applicants representing after-school and summer programs are eligible to apply in cases in which there is a very strong connection with a specific school’s pre-K-12 curriculum. Such requests must include:
    • A list of the participating school(s) targeted
    • Explanation of why they were targeted/selected (Programs targeting under-engaged schools will receive priority over other afterschool and summer program requests.)
    • Letter(s) of commitment to participate from the participating school(s)
    • All Essential Elements of a Meaningful Watershed Education Experience as described above.
  • The Mini Grant Program for Environmental Education is designed to engage citizens and students in D.C., Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia in activities that raise public awareness and participation in the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake and coastal Bays and their rivers.


  • The Trust prefers the pre-K-12 school to serve as the lead applicant instead of a partner.


  • Funding Restrictions - The Trust does NOT fund the following: 
    • Projects that will occur outside of Maryland, Delaware, DC, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia or the Chesapeake Bay Watershed; 
    • Endowments, deficit financing, individuals, building campaigns, annual giving, research, fund raising or venture capital; 
    • Mitigation or capital construction activities such as structural erosion control measures;
    • Political lobbying;
    • Reimbursement for a project that has been completed or materials that have been purchased;
    • Budget items that are considered secondary to the project’s central objective. These items include, but are not limited to, cash prizes, cameras and video equipment; 
    • Promotional collateral such as pens, key-chains, t-shirts, etc.;
    • Funding is generally restricted to projects on public property, private community-owned land and conservation easements, unless otherwise specified in a grant program.