No Child Left Inside


Following a successful pilot program by Washington State Parks in 2008 in which 26 qualified natural resource based education and recreation programs were awarded $1.36 million, the legislature resurrected the program upon the State Parks request and made it permanent in 2015, with roughly $1.5 million appropriated to a grant fund every other year. Now administered by Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, grant distributions have ranged from $1 million to $1.5 million in a grant year. 

Funding focuses on serving students at risk of failing or dropping out of school, under-represented learners, and children facing social, behavior, economic and health barriers and helping them improve their overall academic performance, self-esteem, personal responsibility, community involvement, personal health, and understanding of nature. Funded projects are typically backpacking, camping, or hiking trips for disadvantaged youth, canoeing, kayaking, or sailing camps, outdoor environmental education, fishing and hunting camps, orienteering, or rock climbing adventures. Teacher professional development that does not involve hands-on student participation is ineligible for funding. 

Community-based programs, formal school programs, informal after school programs, local agencies, Native American tribes, nonprofit organizations, private entities including individuals and businesses, special purpose districts (i.e., park and recreation districts), and veteran organizations are all eligible to apply. Grants are separated into three tiers, with the first ranging from $5000 to $25,000, the second ranging from $25,000 to $75,000, and the third ranging from $75,000 to $150,000. From 2015-2019, the program has awarded grants to 58 projects serving 30,196 youth.