NCF-Envirothon Diversity Enhancement and Underserved Audience Grants

The National Conservation Foundation (NCF) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), share a mutual goal of encouraging students to expand their knowledge and explore the environment and natural resource conservation through participation in Envirothon and its five areas of study: Aquatic Ecology, Forestry, Soils and Land Use, Wildlife and Current Environmental Issues. Recognizing that historically underserved communities and students often face significant barriers to participation, NCF and the USFS collaborate to offer the Diversity Enhancement and Underserved Audience Grant program (Diversity Grants) to provide additional support and financial resources to recipients with the goals of:
  • Increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion within local state and provincial Envirothon programs
  • Improving access to hands-on, outdoor natural resource education opportunities
  • Encouraging education exploration
  • Educating young adults on the importance of conservation

Examples of projects include, but are not limited to:
  • Participation Projects
  • Outreach and engagement projects that encourage and facilitate participation of historically underserved communities and students in the Envirothon
  • Cultural inclusion projects incorporating underrepresented culture into state/provincial Envirothon competitions and/or programs (in the form of ceremonies, histories, oral traditions, indigenous systems of science, traditional ecological knowledge, etc.) or translation of education materials into languages other than English
  • Projects that improve environmental literacy and provide students access to hands-on learning experiences
  • Accessibility projects that seek to adapt training and/or testing access to accommodate hearing, visually or mobility impaired students.

Thank you to our Grant Sponsors

Award History

Funds awarded in the past several years:
  • 2021- $12,000
  • 2020- $23,000
  • 2019- $11,500
  • 2018- $12,000
  • 2017- $10,000
  • 2016- $13,500

2022 Diversity Grants: New Envirothon Programs Grant

OPEN: now
CLOSES: August 31, 2022 (11:59 pm ET)

Please review the below Request for Proposals document for eligibility, budget conciderations, application details and more:

Diversity Grant Spotlights

Envirothon Women in STEM Outreach – New Brunswick, Canada 2019

Approximately 2500 students and teachers participated in outreach and engagement activities focused on spotlighting women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). (Click here to read more)
Title of Project: Women in STEM Outreach project
Funds Received: $1,500 from the National Conservation Foundation

Project Summary: The 2019 Envirothon New Brunswick (NB) – Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Outreach project goals included; increasing the number of female youth participating in Envirothon NB, increasing awareness amongst the Women in STEM community about the importance of encouraging girls to enter into natural resource management; and to offer opportunities for females to meet and engage with professional Women in STEM. The Envirothon NB is working hard to get more Canadian girls and young women excited about pursuing careers in scence by introducing them to professional women within their own communities.

The Envirothon NB program’s Women in STEM Outreach project included promotion and recruitment efforts to increase interest in both Anglophone and Francophone district high schools around New Brunswick with emphasis to females and First Nation communities. Additional efforts include professional development sessions for teachers, field day workshops for students, attending education conferences (Atlantic Teacher’s Tour, Girls STEM Up: Discovery) as well as presenting hands-on workshops to in-class and after school meetings to school who have environmental/leadership clubs.

The funding received from the NCF-Envirothon Diversity Grant also helped to start an Alumni campaign to reach out to past Envirothon students and teachers. During 2019, the focus was reaching out to female alumni to learn where they are now and how Envirothon impacted their career path. The collection of alumni success stories will be used in social media during the 2019/20 year.

Project Impact: Approximately 2500 students and teachers participated in participated in a series of seven events in 2019, including increased participation in the 2019 Envirothon NB competition.

Project Sustainability: The Girls STEM Up: Discovery conference, with over 400 high school and university girls in attendance, generated a lot of interest in the Envirothon NB program for the 2020 competition year.

Envirothon in Underserved Urban School Districts – Ohio 2018

Seven new teams from Cleveland Metropolitan School District compete in Envirothon and 180 students receive Envirothon training. (Click here to read more)
Title of Project: Developing Confidence and Skills for Envirothon Participation in Underserved Urban School Districts
Funds Received: $2,000 from U.S. Forest Service

Project Summary: The Ohio Envirothon partnered with the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District to prepare under-represented students to compete in Ohio's Area 2 (regional) Envirothon and increase the overall diversity of participation in the Ohio Envirothon program.

Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, Ohio, is racially diverse and contains a city (Cleveland) with one of the largest populations in Ohio. Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is the second largest urban district in Ohio, comprised of nearly 40,000 students in 105 schools. Approximately 83% of CMSD students identify as minority, with only 16% identifying as white, Non-Hispanic. The Ohio Envirothon and the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District used awarded funds to help purchase training materials, trained teachers and students, worked with other agencies to provide mentors to help prepare students and held two practice Envirothon events for urban high school students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. CSWCD collaborated with principals, teachers, curriculum directors and local community partners to promote participation and support training to under-served urban schools and students for the Envirothon competition.

Project Impact: Approximately 180 students received training sessions where the topics of wildlife, aquatic ecology, soils and land use, forestry and agriculture conservation were presented by resource professionals. Seven new teams from the CMSD area participated in the Ohio Area 2 Envirothon in 2019.

Project Sustainability: In addition to the new teams that participated in 2019, several new partnerships were formed within the CMSD; The Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District hosted an aquatics field day for Rhodes School of Environmental Science. The Washington Park Environmental Studies high school and the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine-John Hay Campus both borrowed the Envirothon training materials for additional Envirothon training. Additionally, the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District is working with their local USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Resource Conservation and Development Program to develop an Envirothon teacher training workshop or other programs that would allow this project’s goals to be extended to other urban communities in northeast Ohio.