Educators interested in taking K-12 students on field trips to an Indiana state park or state-managed lake in the 2019-2020 school year can receive financial help through the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation (INRF).
Grants from the Discover the Outdoors Fund are available for public, private, parochial, or home-school educators, according to INRF director Jody Kress.
“The Foundation’s mission is to celebrate and preserve Indiana’s natural legacy,” Kress said. “This grant gives children an adventure that showcases some of Indiana’s natural and cultural treasures and teaches the importance of protecting and preserving them for everyone to enjoy.”
Since the grant program’s inception in 2013, a total of 135 grants have been awarded, providing the opportunity for more than 10,000 students to visit state parks at less cost to the schools and students.
Indiana has 24 state parks and eight state-managed lakes eligible for field trip funding that will engage students in learning about Indiana’s fish, forest, wildlife, natural habitats, and conservation.
“These trips help children understand how previous generations viewed the significance of Indiana’s natural and cultural resources, and at the same time let them make great memories that they will carry into adulthood,” said Ginger Murphy, deputy director for stewardship for DNR State Parks.
The maximum grant award is $250 per application.
Applications are accepted from May 1-June 30 prior to the school year for which the grant is requested. Applications must be postmarked no later than June 30.
Applicants will be notified by Sept. 1 regarding potential grant awards.
The grant application is at IN.gov/inrf/educate.html.
A video explaining the program is at youtu.be/uC4QjhsBLO8
The INRF is accepting donations to the fund from individuals, businesses, or anyone who supports the idea of getting kids outdoors. The fund was established in memory of Tom Huck, a longtime DNR employee who was an ardent supporter of outdoor experiences for children.
For further information, including how to donate, email discoveroutdoorsgrants@dnr.IN.gov