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No Child Left Inside (NCLI) Program

Grants to Washington Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies, and Individuals
for Outdoor Recreation and Education Programs for Youth

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants to Washington nonprofits, businesses, individuals, agencies, and educational institutions to engage underserved youth in outdoor recreation and education experiences. Applicants are required to submit a pre-application prior to submission of a final application. Emphasis is placed on youth with the greatest needs. Funding is intended to provide underserved youth with quality opportunities to experience the natural world.

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 General Education Development (GED) programs.

This grant program intends to maximize the number of Washington State youth who are provided quality outdoor experiences and empower local communities to engage youth in outdoor education and recreation, focusing on youth participants with the greatest need. Students work to improve their overall academic performance, self-esteem, personal responsibility, community involvement, health, and understanding of nature.

The "No Child Left Inside" grant program is especially geared to fund activities that benefit:

  • Students at risk of failing or dropping out of school;
  • Under-represented learners;
  • Children facing social, behavior, economic, and health barriers.

Programs include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Backpacking
  • Camping
  • Canoe and kayaking
  • Environmental outdoor education 
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Orienteering
  • Outdoor-based after school programs and camps
  • Outdoor cooking
  • Rock climbing

For a list of eligible costs, see the Grant Manual:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 166766

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

There are three funding categories for this grant program:
- Tier 1: Grants are limited to $25,000 (minimum request is $5,000).
- Tier 2: Grants are limited to $75,000 (minimum request is $5,000).
- Tier 3: Grants are limited to $150,000 (minimum request is $75,001).

Term of Contract:

Successful applicants have until June 30, 2023 to complete their projects.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following organizations may apply for grants:
- Educational institutions
- Federal government agencies
- 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. Grants may not be used to pay for activities of religious worship or instruction.
- State agencies
- Tribal governments
- Veteran’s organizations

Tier 1: Grants in this category are open only to programs and organizations that have never received NCLI funding.
Tier 2: Grants in this category are open to new programs, expansion of existing programs, and existing programs.
Tier 3: Grants in this category are open to new programs, expansion of existing programs, and existing programs.

Ineligible programs include the following:
- Programs that are targeted primarily 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 the following:
- 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 except for travel to bordering counties and cities in Oregon and Idaho
- Purchase of automobiles, vehicles, or motorboats
- 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
- Property leasing
- Religious activities
- Software development for indoor activities

Pre-Application Information:

Grant Application Schedule

Applicant Webinar, Applications Open: August 10, 2020
Pre-Application Due: November 1, 2020
Final Applications Due: March 1, 2021
Evaluation Period (Written Reviews Tier 1 and 2): April 1, 2021 - May 14, 2021
Evaluation Period, In Person Presentations-Tier 3: May 12, 2021 - May 13, 2021
Preliminary Ranked Lists Approved: June 1, 2021 Estimate
RCO Issues Project Agreements: July 1, 2021 Estimate

There is no match requirement for Tier 1 projects. A match of 25 percent is required for Tier 2 and Tier 3 projects. Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide matching resources to demonstrate a local commitment to the project and to make state funds available to more projects. To qualify, a match must be composed of elements that would be eligible in the No Child Left Inside program. Match may include, but is not limited to the following:

- Appropriations and cash
- Donations: cash, materials, or the value of labor, equipment use, or services
- Applicant’s labor, equipment use, and materials
- Other grants

RCO strongly encourages applicants to start the online application early.

The outdoor grants manager guides applicants through the process, reviews application materials, helps determine whether proposals are eligible, and may visit the project site to discuss site-specific details.

RCO pays grants through reimbursement.

How to Apply:

Additional information:

2020 Application Webinar video:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Contact staff:

RCO grant managers are available to answer questions about this grant program. Please feel free to call.

Recreation and Conservation Office
Natural Resources Building
1111 Washington Street
Olympia, WA 98501

Telephone: (360) 902-3000
Fax: (360) 902-3026

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Washington

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