Montana Public Lands Field Trip Grants Available for Elementary Students
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: October 19, 2019

Helena, MT) – Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) is pleased to announce that applications for Montana Public Lands Field Trip Grants will be accepted October 6 through October 27, 2019. The $200 grants may be used for school field trips to federal and state public lands taking place between January 2 and August 30, 2020. The grant money is aimed at covering transportation-related costs with an emphasis on assisting Montana elementary students who are underserved in their ability to access public lands for outdoor education. For 2020, there will be 41 grants available.

Now in its fifth year, the program has already touched the lives of over 6,150 Montana students. One teacher from last year shared, “This field trip was an incredible experience for my students. They really enjoyed being outside on the land, and interacting with an expert! They asked very meaningful questions throughout our time at the park, and loved the opportunity of truly experiencing MT state history, culture, and the land! “

The grants are made possible through a partnership between Montana State Parks, Glacier National Park, and the Montana Environmental Education Association (MEEA) whose funding emanates from the National Park Foundation’s Open OutDoors for Kids program. This program complements the federal Every Kid in a Park (EKIP) initiative targeted toward fourth grade students. Last year, there were 40 grantees from 37 different schools and programs. Collectively they visited 24 different places, including a wide range of national and state parks, national forests, historical sites, and recreation areas. 80% of grant recipients noted that this funding helped to provide their only opportunity for outdoor education on public lands.

The $200 grant award can only be used to cover transportation costs. The field trips must be for Montana elementary-aged children, and there will be a preference for fourth grade students as part of the selection process. Applicants will be ranked with higher scores going to classrooms that are underserved. There will also be a preference for groups and schools that have not previously received an award. Selections will be made with an eye toward broad geographic dispersion across the state in terms of schools and groups represented, and trip destinations.

Awardees will be notified of their grant in November 2019 and funds will be distributed by the end of the calendar year for use in 2020. To learn more about this opportunity and apply, visit:  https://www.montanaeea.org/services/ekip/

Visit Montana State Parks (stateparks.mt.gov) and enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, boating and more and discover some of the greatest natural and cultural treasures on earth.