Apply Now! Schools and community-based organizations can now apply for the 2024 Maine Outdoor Learning Initiative grants through the Maine Department of Education (DOE). These grants support hands-on, engaging, interdisciplinary outdoor learning and career exploration opportunities that connect students with Maine’s amazing natural environments and landscapes.
Created by Governor Mills, the Maine Outdoor Learning Initiative has included thousands of students throughout the state in its Coastal Ecology and Inland Forestry Programs over the last two years. Read about past programs here: Maine Outdoor Learning Initiative: Past Programs | Department of Education.
The Maine DOE is excited to build on these successes to reach more students in this expanded program. The 2024 Maine Outdoor Learning Initiative Request for Applications (RFA, also known as grants) is available here: Grant RFPs and RFAs | Division of Procurement Services (maine.gov). See RFA 202311223.
Schools, private and nonprofit organizations, municipal Parks and Recreation Departments that are current members of the Maine Recreation and Park Association, and public libraries can apply. In this sense, “schools” include school administrative Units (SAUs), Career and Technical Education (CTE) Centers or Regions, Education in Unorganized Territories (EUTs), charter schools, and approved private schools located in Maine. See the RFA for explicit information and definitions on eligibility and allowable uses of funding.
Grant awards will range from $25,000 to $999,999 with a total of $2,000,000 available. The 2024 Maine Outdoor Learning Initiative grant requires a marketing and outreach plan for reaching students from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as an emphasis on Maine DOE’s Whole Student Framework.
This funding can potentially be used to facilitate outdoor learning programs before, during, or after school; on weekends; during school breaks and/or over the summer. Applications will also be considered for schools and organizations who wish to use the funding to enhance or expand existing outdoor programming. Grants are expected to be awarded in the early spring. All programing must be completed by September 1, 2024.
This 2024 Maine Outdoor Learning Initiative opportunity is funded in its entirety by the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) fund. Learn more about the Maine Outdoor Learning Initiative.