This grant program is kicking off a new initiative of the Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund in partnership with Prairie Rivers of Iowa to expand and partner with current outdoor learning programs in Iowa. This three-phase grant program has been carefully developed to facilitate the planning, design, and implementation of outdoor learning environments in Iowa. The Natural Resources Educator will help applicants through the process of applying for grants and generating additional support for the project.

To begin, contact the Natural Resources Educator to discuss your project idea.

First Phase – Exploratory:

phase-one2This is the first phase of the Outdoor Learning Environment Grant Program. The main goal of this phase is to bring the group of people together who are needed to ensure a successful project. This includes school administrators, maintenance providers, educators, students, conservation groups, and other people applicable to your community.

There is a maximum of $300 available for this phase. The grant can provide funding for project organization supplies for stakeholder meetings.

Second Phase – Planning & Design:

This is the second phase of the Outdoor Learning Environment Grant Program. Contact the Natural Resources Educator to finalize Phase One and prepare to apply for Phase Two.

The main goal of the planning and design grant is to work with design professionals and prairie specialists to create a plan for your project.The outcome should be a detailed site design including site location, scaled site plan and section drawings, native species selection, prairie establishment and maintenance plan, a list of supplies and equipment needed and identification and interpretative sign design. A maximum of $10,000 is available, with a 20% match of the total eligible project costs. Funding can assist with project organization supplies and hiring a landscape architect and native landscape specialist to assist with the project.

Third Phase – Implementation:

This is the third phase of the Outdoor Learning Environment Grant Program. The main goal of the implementation grant is to install your outdoor learning environment. You should already have your team together and the plan set in the first two phases.

In this phase you will work with your team, other volunteers, and contractors depending on your project needs. Funding can provide LRTF approved Iowa native plant material (seeds or plants), identification signage, and interpretive panels. A maximum of $15,000 is available for this phase with a 20% match of total project costs.