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:

  1. Fill out the application below – tell us about your innovative connection to nature exploration and learning
  2. Keep track of your spending using a simple form provided by us
  3. Submit your final expenditures (deadline is generally at the end of the semester; your confirmation will provide details)
  4. Receive your payment and celebrate your success! Time spent in nature is good for everyone’s health and learning outcomes!

Have questions?

Details and frequently asked questions are listed below.

Ready to apply?

Funding for the 2023-24 school year has been secured! Funding is limited so please be sure to fill out the form completely and include information on ALL FOUR portions of your project summary.

Use the form below or click here to open the application form in another tab.



Am I eligible to apply?

If you teach or are an administrator in south central Wisconsin, you’re eligible to apply! If you’re wondering if your location is considered within our geographic boundaries, just reach out to info@naturenet.org to inquire.

What qualifies as a Nature Express nature project or idea?

Be 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 in Fall 2020.

Can I use this for bus funding?

Yes! Bus funding to 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 bus funding.

Does my nature project or idea have to include a Nature Net site?

Yes and no…

If you are taking a field trip, you may use the funds to support program or transportation fees at Nature Net sites.

If you’re using the funds to support a project, the grant supports most creative endeavors regardless of association with a Nature Net site. 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.

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. If you do not hear from someone from Nature Net after two full weeks from your application date, please email 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 discuss options.

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 eligible 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.

Why is there a waitlist and is it worth it add my name?

Because this grant program is not competitive, the limited amount of funds we have available are claimed on a first-come, first-serve basis (once eligibility is confirmed and all application materials are deemed complete). When there is high demand and funds are claimed in full, a waitlist is created.

We suggest you add your name and project information (in full) to the waitlist for two reasons. 1) Often applicants’ needs change (i.e. a field trip is canceled or a project cannot be fulfilled), or applicants fail to submit their reimbursement form. In these cases, funding would become available to the next applicant on the waitlist. 2) With a number of outstanding applications waiting to be funded, we can share this need with our donors and request additional support. With additional funding, any number of waitlisted applicants could be funded.

How much funding can I request?

You may request up to $300 each semester. Multiple requests from one school or for multiple semesters may be considered – just let us know your idea!

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 should 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

See here for some of the previous projects from Fall 2020!

Past and possible projects include: 

  • Educational programs – including virtual – provided by Nature Net sites
  • Nature exploration kits – i.e. materials that support science, art, language arts, math, etc.
  • Outdoor classroom supplies or construction support – get inspiration here
  • 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