Metro is taking applications for the Nature in Neighborhoods nature education and outside experiences grants. The program will award up to $700,000 total. Grants can be for up to $100,000.
Grant applications are due May 17 and will be awarded in the fall.
Nature in Neighborhoods grants are funded through voter investments in nature. In 2016, voters renewed a local option levy that supports the program. Each year, the levy-funded Nature in Neighborhoods program alternates between community stewardship and restoration grants and nature education and outdoor experiences grants.
In 2020, Metro awarded 12 grants, ranging from $20,000 to the full $100,000. Awardees included culturally specific programs that connected refugee and immigrant communities to nature, free field trips for students at Title I schools in Multnomah County, natural resource job training, among others.
Organizations are encouraged to submit applications for projects benefitting, designed by and led by Black and Indigenous communities, communities of color and other marginalized groups.
Past grants have funded programs that serve people at all stages of life from children to elders, including job training and life skills for youth, and outreach and engagement programs for residents from around the region.
The grants are built on partnerships. The grants require a program or project to include at least three partners. Karissa Lowe, the Nature in Neighborhoods program manager, says Metro encourages these partnerships to expand the reach and capacity of local organizations, and in particular connect emerging, community-specific organizations with established groups.