Outdoor Equity Grants
Housed within the Department of Parks and Recreation, the recently passed AB-209 Outdoor Equity Grants Program is designed to support outdoor environmental educational experiences at state parks and other public lands where outdoor environmental education programs take place. Grant funding will be available to public organizations, including local governments and local educational agencies, joint powers authorities, open-space authorities, regional open-space districts, other relevant public agencies, or nonprofit organizations, with a focus on funding transportation, logistical, and program operations and capacity costs associated with reaching underserved or at-risk students, including students eligible for free/reduced-price meals, foster children, and limited English proficiency students.
Though no allocation has yet been made, funds for this grant program would come from the state as well as private donors. Grants will be awarded to programs that align with state curriculum standards, support stewardship, foster healthy lifestyles, contain a service learning component, and more. This legislation prioritizes projects that Demonstrate partnerships between public, private, and nonprofit entities. Annual evaluation of the program’s effectiveness will be required. The Assembly Appropriations Committee estimates that cost pressures for funding will be around $10 million per year, whatever the source of funding.