The Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program gives small monetary grants to schools, nature centers, and other non-profit and not-for-profit places of learning in the United States with a site available for a stewardship project. Successful non-school applicants often are a partnership between a youth group (scouts, 4-H, etc.) and a site owner. Libraries, goverment agencies and houses of worship are eligible subject to youth participation.
Established by Wild Ones in 1996, the Seeds for Education (SFE) Program honors the late Lorrie Otto, our “philosophical compass.” Money for the grant program comes from donations from Wild Ones members, chapters and other benefactors.
Electronic Applications for SFE Awards
To be considered for the annual award, applicants must submit an electronic application by October 15th of the year prior to the grant year. Notification of awards will be made by February 15th of the grant year.
Right-click here to download grant application and instructions.
Right-click here to review a example of a completed grant application.
Project goals should focus on enhancement and development of an appreciation for nature using native plants. Projects must emphasize involvement of students and volunteers in all phases of development, and increase the educational value of the site. Creativity in design is encouraged, but must show complete and thoughtful planning. The use of, and teaching about, native plants and the native-plant community is mandatory, and the native plants must be appropriate to the local ecoregion and the site conditions (soil, water, sunlight). The Project Coordinator should be knowledgeable and committed.
Examples of appropriate projects are:
- Wildflower gardens with habitat for butterflies or other pollinators
- Rainwater gardens that capture run-off and feature native plant communities
- Groves of trees or native shrubs that support birds and other wildlife
Larger-scale projects that may receive funding include:
- Design, establishment and maintenance of a native-plant community such as prairie, woodland, wetland, etc., in an educational setting such as an outdoor classroom.
- Developing and maintaining an interpretive trail landscaped with native plant communities.
- Developing a wetland area to study the effect of native vegetation on water-quality improvement.
Cash awards range from $100 to $500. Funds are restricted to the purchase of native plants and seed for the grant-award year. Successful projects are eligible for discounts on seeds and plants from SFE Nursery Partners.
Applicants who receive a SFE Program Grant must submit an electronic final report by February 15th of the year folowing the grant year. Click here to download a copy of the report.