2017 School Yard Initiative (SYI)

Grants to Colorado Schools and Agencies to
Construct and Enhance Schools' Outdoor Space

GrantWatch ID#: 140856
Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW)




Request a Grant Writer

Grants to Colorado schools partnering with a local government to encourage students, especially underserved youth and families, to participate in nature-based learning and play, by improving school playgrounds and other outdoor recreation environments. An optional draft application is due December 19, 2016.

Eligible project components can include traditional playgrounds, natural playgrounds, wild zones, and experiential environmental learning components like gardens, bioswales, wetlands, water features, weather stations and the similar items. Sports fields, tracks and other components for organized play are not eligible for funding.

Schools awarded 2016 and 2017 grants will also become partner schools in Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Schools and Outdoor Learning Environments program (SOLE). SOLE provides outdoor experiences and teacher training to help students and families connect with nature on-site, and through fourth-grade field trips to nearby natural spaces.

Up to $110,000

Work on the proposed project may not begin until after the grant has been awarded (April 2017) and a contract is signed with GOCO. Grantees are allowed up to two years for construction.

Schools can apply if they partner with an eligible local government, such as a city, county or parks, and recreation district. These entities can sponsor projects on behalf of ineligible entities like school districts as well as unincorporated cities, towns and community groups.

While most schools are eligible to apply, the majority of successful applicants have Free and Reduced Lunch rates above 40%, and/or propose projects that help overcome significant barriers to youth and families enjoying the outdoors in their communities. We strongly recommend contacting GOCO staff before beginning work on your application to ensure that your project will compete well in the initiative, or to recommend other opportunities.

Charter schools should review the application carefully for requirements regarding land ownership.

A grant assistance webinar will be held on September 8, 2016.

Applying for an SYI grant is a two-step process; schools first apply for planning and design funding before submitting a second application for implementation. SYI applications are made available annually, with awards made in the fall and winter for planning grants.

The applicant and partner must provide 25% of the total project cost in matching funds. That 25% must include at least 10% in cash while the remaining 15% can be in-kind contributions, cash, or donations.

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Jackie Miller

Great Outdoors Colorado
303 E. 17th Avenue, Suite 1060
Denver, CO 80203

See the full text of this grant

USA: Colorado

Live Chat with a Grant Specialist

Our team of researchers and grant specialists review hundreds of funding resources daily to make sure provides members with the most up-to-date grants.

We have grants for:


Need help?

Hi, I would love to guide you through the site.
Please feel free to call or write.

Customer Sales & Support (561) 249-4129