Ohio DNR WILD School Sites: Wildlife Education Grant Program

Ohio Department of Natural Resources

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Grant amount: US $500

Anticipated deadline: Jun 30, 2020

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach

Location of project: Ohio

Location of residency: Ohio

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NOTE: Applications for WILDLIFE EDUCATION grants are accepted from July 1 to June 30 each state fiscal year, pending available funding. Funding is granted on a first-come, first-serve basis, provided criteria are met. 

The ODNR Division of Wildlife offers WILDLIFE EDUCATION grants to local schools, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and other education-oriented facilities. These grants are designed to provide funding for materials, equipment and activities that are otherwise unaffordable to the school or organization; grants can fund multiple projects at one location, but only one grant is permitted each fiscal year (July 1-June 30). This application packet is designed to facilitate the application process, and to make these grants easily accessible to all schools and organizations.

What is the Wildlife Education Grant Program?

Wildlife education is considered any project or program that focuses on and benefits Ohio's wildlife and their habitats. Wildlife education projects and programs function within the premise that every school or organization, regardless of size and location, can provide wildlife-related opportunities that can and should be part of an integrated education program. Wildlife education programs include Project WILD, an international supplemental curriculum that is administered by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. The grant project coordinator(s) must have attended a Project WILD, Aquatic WILD, Growing Up WILD, Curious KIDSS, or Science and Civics workshop to be eligible for funding. Wildlife education projects and programs provide opportunities for students to apply learned concepts and use what they know.

The goals of this grant program are to:

  1. encourage the youth of Ohio to progress from awareness and knowledge to the development of skills and attitudes required to facilitate responsible action for the benefit of people, wildlife, and the environment;
  2. provide financial support for educators and youth to develop wildlife related projects and programs for use with school curricula and organizational programming; and
  3. promote cooperation between schools, youth organizations, community groups and agencies in implementing projects and programs that foster wildlife conservation and environmental stewardship.

Available Funding

Each grant proposal must equal $500.00. Up to 40 grants will be awarded each grant cycle. Funding for Wildlife Education grants is made possible by the sale of hunting and fishing licenses in the state of Ohio.

Suggested Activities Available for Funding

Projects that improve habitat for wildlife on school sites or a designated area on community property or property with community and school access. Examples:

  • planting trees, flowers, shrubs, or putting up nesting boxes in a school, park, or playground;
  • planting a bird or pollinator garden in a schoolyard;
  • installing a pond for aquatic habitat;
  • establishing bird feeding stations;
  • developing access trails to a wildlife habitat area for use in environmental education studies;
  • enhancing an area for environmental education programs in areas where habitat already exists.

Programs that increase the awareness and knowledge of students and visitors about Ohio wildlife. Examples:

  • developing signage for nature trails;
  • supplies and materials to enhance the study of wildlife on the school grounds or nearby nature areas (i.e. binoculars, spotting scopes, field investigation supplies, cameras and scientific equipment under $200, etc.);
  • professional development for educators that focuses on native wildlife and habitat; field trips for wildlife-related programs.

Applicants may contact the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s Education Coordinator at 1-800-WILDLIFE or at [email protected] before applying to confirm eligibility of a project. 

Additional Support Available from the ODNR Division of Wildlife

Technical support, including on-site consultation and certification as a WILD School Site.

  • Educational and planning materials.
  • Workshops on how to plan a WILD School Site.
  • Workshops on Project WILD, Aquatic WILD, Growing Up WILD, Curious KIDSS and Science and Civics

NOTE: Above items are subject to availability.

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


  • Public, Private or Parochial Pre-school, Elementary, Middle, and High Schools, School Districts, County Educational Service Centers or any agency (SWCD, Park District, etc) or non-profit community organization with established (and continual) youth programming.
  • The following criteria must be met:
    • Projects and programs must be integrated into classroom curriculum and organizational programming. Correlations to educational standards and programming must be shown.
    • Students/youth must be involved in the planning, design, implementation, maintenance and/or monitoring of any habitat improvement projects. Wildlife-related programs are required to be factual and science-based and must focus on native Ohio wildlife species.
    • Project coordinator(s) must have attended a Project WILD-related workshop.
  • Only one grant per facility/site is permitted each State of Ohio fiscal year, which is July 1-June 30. A school district or organization can receive multiple grants per fiscal year if they have multiple sites. These grants are competitive in nature and are awarded based on merit. The ODNRDivision of Wildlife reserves the right to limit the number of grants to a school district or organization in order to reach new communities.
  • Projects and programs should be integrated into the classroom curriculum,  state education standards and/or organizational programming. Applicants must demonstrate student/youth involvement in the planning, design, implementation and maintenance/monitoring of all habitat projects. 


  • Private individuals are not eligible.
  • Not supported:
    • Administrative costs
    • Staffing and/or labor for a project
    • Physical/landscape materials for projects, outside of those purchased with grant funds