Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO)
Grants ranging from $5,000 to $35,000 and grants ranging from $35,001 to $75,000 to Washington nonprofits, for-profits, individuals, government agencies, and school programs to engage students in outdoor recreation and education experiences. Emphasis is placed on students with the greatest needs.
Grants are available for outdoor environmental, ecological, agricultural, or other natural resource-based education and recreation programs serving youth through the age of 18 or those enrolled in high school or a General Education Development (GED) programs.
This grant program is intended to empower local communities to engage students in outdoor education and recreation experiences and focuses on serving students with the greatest needs. Students work to improve their overall academic performance, self-esteem, personal responsibility, community involvement, personal health, and understanding of nature.
-Make use of research-based, effective environmental, ecological, agricultural, or other natural resource-based education curriculum.
-Contribute to healthy lifestyles through outdoor recreation and sound nutrition.
-Provide students with opportunities to directly experience and understand nature and the natural world.
-Employ veterans in implementation or administration2 of the project.
Programs include, but are not limited to, the following:
-Canoe and kayaking
-Environmental outdoor education
-Outdoor-based after school program and camps
Eligible costs include, but are not limited to the following:
-Cameras, photography supplies, film processing
-Electronic devices (and associated software) such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), avalanche beacons, tablets, etc., if used as part of the program
-Camping equipment and supplies
-Chaperones, teacher stipends
-Computers and computer supplies if used as part of the program
-Supervisory activities, including the direct management of the funded project. This usually includes scheduling, coordinating activities, and fiscal management of direct costs associated with the project.
-Fees for park entry and camping
-Fishing equipment and supplies
-Food and non-alcoholic beverages
-Hunting and archery equipment and supplies
-In-state transportation and travel including to bordering counties and cities in Oregon and Idaho
-Leasing transportation, mileage, and gasoline
-Lodging and facility rentals
-Recreational vehicle rental
-Trailers and transporting supplies
-T-shirts and awards
GrantWatch ID#: 166766
-Tier 1: $5,000 - $35,000
-Tier 2: $35,001 - $75,000
Project must be completed by June 15, 2019.
-Formal school programs and informal after school programs
-Local governments (cities, towns, counties, port districts,park and recreation districts, etc.)
-Nonprofit organizations (501(c)3, 501(c)1, or 501(c)4 tax exempt organizations)
-Private entities including individuals, businesses, non-political groups, community-based programs in Washington State
-Religious groups only if non-religious activities are planned
Ineligible programs include, but are not limited to the following:
-Programs that are primarily targeted to participants older than 18
-Facility construction projects
-Annual community festivals, expositions, promotional or fundraising events
-Teacher or instructor training programs that do not include hands-on student participation
-Organized, traditional team sports such as soccer, baseball, basketball, etc.
Ineligible costs include but are not limited to:
-Computer games, curriculum development, exhibits and displays (as stand-alone projects that do not have an outdoor component)
-Costs not directly related to implementing the project such as indirect and overhead charges
-Equipment only projects
-Out of state travel, with the exception of bordering counties and cities in Oregon and Idaho
-Purchase of automobiles, vehicles, or boats with motors
-Pre-agreement Costs. There are no eligible pre-agreement costs. RCO will pay only for work performed after project agreements have been signed by both RCO and the project sponsor.
-Preparation of this grant application
-Software development for indoor activities
-Teacher training only
$1.5 million is available, with $500,000 awarded to organizations that have at least one veteran on staff who will be assigned primarily with implementation of the grant.
Although match is not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to provide matching resources to demonstrate a local commitment to the project and to make funds available to more projects. Project scores are weighted to reward projects that include matching shares.
Match may include, but is not limited to:
-Appropriations and cash
-Donations: cash, materials, or the value of labor, equipment use, or services
-Applicant’s labor, equipment use, and materials
-Grants: Federal, state, local, or private
The grant process, from application to grant award, spans about 4 months, and is outlined below. While the order of the steps in this process remains consistent, for precise dates, visit the RCO Web site.
-November 17, 2017: Entering Applications. RCO strongly encourages applicants to start the online application early.
-January 17, 2018: Applications Due
-March - April 2018: Project Evaluation
-March 2018: Post-Evaluation Conference
-April 2, 2018: Pre-agreement Materials Due
-April 2018: Projects Approved
-May 2018: RCO Issues Project Agreements
Successful Applicants’ Workshop: After State Parks approves funding, RCO hosts a workshop, which is often Webinar, for successful grant applicants.
RCO pays grants through reimbursement. Grant recipients may request reimbursement only after they have paid their employees and vendors. RCO does not provide money before vendors are paid.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Request a login ID and password to apply:
Apply online through PRISM:
Recreation and Conservation Office Natural Resources Building
1111 Washington Street
Olympia, WA 98501
P: (360) 902-3000
F: (360) 902-3026