Looking to connect your students with nature?
We’ve got you covered!
Nature Net aims to support your efforts to include outdoor, nature, and environmental education in your curricula with The New Nature Express grant program, which supports all kinds of nature learning experiences remote and in-person.
Designed to remove barriers and support your creative ideas with up to $300 in funding, the New Nature Express works as follows:
- Fill out the application below – tell us about your innovative connection to nature exploration and learning
- Keep track of your spending using a simple form provided by us
- Submit your final expenditures (deadline is generally at the end of the semester; your confirmation will provide details)
- Receive your payment and celebrate your success! Time spent in nature is good for everyone’s health and learning outcomes!
Ready to apply?
Use the form below or click here to open the application form in another tab.
What qualifies as a Nature Express nature project or idea?
Get creative! We want to support your innovative ways of connecting your students with nature. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this list of ideas or see how teachers used the funding this past fall here.
Can I use this for bus funding?
Yes! Bus funding to outdoor and nature-related destinations, like Nature Net member sites, is eligible for Nature Express funding. Be sure to mention in your application that you will be using the funds specifically for the bus funding.
Does my nature project or idea have to include a Nature Net site?
No, but we encourage you to take advantage of the programs, resources, and creative virtual and in-person materials and opportunities Nature Net sites are working hard to create for you and your students. Nature Net and other resources designed to address at-home learning with a connection to nature can be found here.
How does the New Nature Express work?
Once you apply, we will review your application and let you know if your nature project or idea has been accepted. This is generally done on a weekly basis but please bear with us as we navigate this new process. If you do not hear from someone from Nature Net after two full weeks from your application date, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to check in.
This grant program functions on a reimbursement basis. We understand this may create a barrier to getting started on your project and if this is the case, we invite you to reach out to us at email@example.com. Otherwise, you will need to track your spending on our provided form, and submit all of your expenses at the end of the semester. We will follow up with a friendly reminder if your expense report needs completing.
How likely is my application to be accepted?
This is not a competitive grant program. We aim to accept as many applications as we can with the funds we have available. You will hear from us if your idea has been accepted and you are then free to carry on with your project. Reimbursements will be allocated at the end of the semester.
How much funding can I request?
You may request up to $300 each semester.
To which academic standards should I link my nature project?
Your nature project or idea should link directly to your curriculum and or to any of the Department of Public Instruction’s State Academic Standards, including but not limited to the new Environmental Literacy & Sustainability standards, Next Generation Science Standards, or other standards your school or district uses for learning goals.
How do I track and share my spending?
We have created a Google form with instructions on how to fill it out, which you will receive after your project has been approved. You may list all of your project expenses and will be reimbursed for up to $300 of your costs.
What are examples of “measures of success” as requested in the application?
We invite your creativity here, too! Use pictures, samples of students’ work, anecdotes from your students, administration, or even yourself! Success shows itself in many ways and we invite you to think of “success” expansively. Maybe children will form a new relationship with an outdoor space in their neighborhood, or they’ll be using nature to fuel an art or language arts project.
Ideas & Inspiration
Past and possible projects include:
- Educational programs – including virtual – provided by Nature Net sites
- Nature exploration kits for students to use at home – i.e. materials that support science, art, language arts, math, etc.
- Outdoor classroom supplies or construction support – if/when schools return to in person learning, outdoor learning is a potential safe option
- Supplies for an outdoor “scavenger hunt” – laminated sheets with plants/animals to find and activities to do, dry erase markers, butterfly nets, etc.
- Environmental measuring tools – i.e. thermometers, wet bulbs, anemometers, field guides, etc.
- Nature journals and other journaling supplies
- Sit-upons for journaling or sitting outside – purchase or materials for DIY