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Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in cooperation with its partners announce an innovative initiative to connect youth to the outdoors by providing financial support for conservation education and employment programs. An expansion from our 2012-2017 program, this Request for Proposals (RFP) brings together public and private partners to support organizations developing innovative educational opportunities and job experiences for youth and young adults. These opportunities encourage and support young people, particularly urban, tribal and minority youth, to engage with the natural world and discover career opportunities available in conservation.

The program invests in two focus areas to engage youth and young adults in conservation.

Category One: [Conservation Stewards] This category engages children from preschool age to high school students through approaches that integrate in-class and out-of-class experiences in conservation literacy and stewardship. Projects funded under this category will create and sustain partnerships combining grade level appropriate in-class learning, out-of-class experiences and hands-on conservation actions. The program will award grants to a consortium of organizations who work together to develop and execute interconnected strategies under a lead partner. The consortium will work collectively to implement a project that maximizes stewardship identity, conservation behaviors and a sense of place within the target audiences. NFWF expects to award 1-3 grants for this category.

Category Two: [Conservation Corps] This category supports young adults aged 16-25 in paid conservation corps and conservation-focused internships to connect young adults to the outdoors through conservation employment programs. These experiences build on the conservation education that these young adults have received and introduce them to career opportunities and mentorship in conservation employment fields. Projects will bring together public and private partners to support organizations that develop innovative conservation job opportunities for youth on public and publicly accessible lands. NFWF expects to award 10-20 grants for this category.

In 2018, approximately $950,000 ($150,000 BLM [subject to appropriations], $340,000 USFS, $460,000 from private funders) will be available for matching grants nationwide. This funding provides meaningful educational and employment opportunities to young Americans to protect, restore and enhance our nation’s outdoors. Project work funded through this program should focus on habitat and species restoration projects directly benefitting agency facilities, lands, programs or mission and NFWF’s conservation business plans.

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