Environmental Education Grants Program

 Please Note: In 2018, we will be inviting only current grantees of the Environmental Education grants program to apply for a grant. For reference, the following is an overview of the 2017 program.

The Issue

We are fortunate to live in a county filled with urban and rural parks and open spaces that give us the opportunity to explore majestic redwood forests, stunning wetlands, rolling hills, and rugged coastline. Yet there are many people in our community who do not have the opportunity to get outdoors, connect with and learn about nature–even when those places are right in their own backyard.

In order to foster informed, inspired lifelong environmental stewards who can address the environmental challenges we face now and in the future, there must be equitable opportunities for all members of our community to cultivate a connection to nature, and participate in protecting the environment. Community Foundation seeks to address these disparities and expand access to typically underserved community members with a new grants program open to both established and grassroots environmental organizations who share our commitment to equity.

The 2017 Grant Program

In 2017, we are launching a new competitive grants program to support projects that engage diverse communities who have traditionally had limited access to environmental education. We are seeking to support projects that align with at least one of the following funding priorities:

  • Developing unique partnerships that increase access to environmental education to new participants
  • Piloting new environmental education projects that extend opportunities to underserved participants
  • Connecting youth to the environment through leadership or career programs

The maximum grant award is $7,500.

Strong applicants will be able to demonstrate:

  • How the program or project reaches a demographic that typically does not have access to environmental education.
  • How the program or project meaningfully engages participants in the environment
  • How the program or project increases participants’ environmental literacy
  • For programs or projects that will develop unique partnerships, evidence that all entities engaging in the partnership are fully committed to success

Applicants can include a diverse range of organizations from small, grassroots groups to well-established environmental education organizations. Those who have a culturally relevant, equitable approach to expanding access to environmental education are encouraged to apply. If working with youth, projects can occur in or out of school settings.  Applicants must demonstrate 501(c)(3) status or apply with a fiscal sponsor.

Please note that schools, school districts, and education foundations are ineligible to apply for this funding. One-time, single-day field trips are also ineligible.



For questions about the Environmental Education grant program, please contact Elly Grogan: 707.303.9638, egrogan@sonomacf.org.