No Child Left Inside Grant Program
Minnesota is the second state to adopt a No Child Left Inside policy, joining Washington State in supporting outdoor experiences in both formal and informal education settings, with an emphasis on traditional outdoor activities, natural resource education, and disadvantaged youth. While the House bill was a Democratic partisan bill, it’s Senate counterpart was bi-partisan and both benefited from significant bipartisan support. There was notable disagreement about the name of the bill, with commonly held negative associations with the No Child Left Behind Act, but not on the merits of the bill itself.
Funded through the Department of Natural Resources, grants between $5000 and $50,000 are awarded in three categories: Natural resources education and outdoor recreation, Fishing, hunting and shooting sports programs (at or in coordination with public or tribal schools), and High school fishing leagues. $500,000 is available for natural resources education and recreation, $500,000 for fishing, hunting, and shooting sports programs, and $200,000 for high school fishing clubs. California, Oregon, and Nevada are considering similar legislation.
The funding for the grant program is assembled from a variety of state sources: $500,000 the first year is from the Department of Natural Resources’ game and fish fund, $518,000 from the heritage enhancement account within the game and fish fund, and $182,000 from the general fund.