Schools in Wisconsin receive more than $7,000 in small grants from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

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The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin has awarded $7,856 to seven Wisconsin schools through a 2015 Teachers Outdoor Environmental Education Fund grant. The Teachers’ Outdoors program awards grants to projects focused on outdoor environmental education. The 2015 recipients’ projects range from tree plantings to school gardening to aquatic ecology.

“A full understanding of the natural world cannot be found without getting out into it, where students can experience the concepts they learn in the classroom,” said Pete Ostlind, who established the Teachers Outdoor Environmental Education Fund in memory of his wife Sue Spaeth, a Wisconsin native and elementary school teacher for more than 30 years. “We remember best what we feel so these early experiences can help to foster a lifelong appreciation for the outdoors in children. This is where we begin to develop the environmental capacity of future generations.”

Both grant programs provide grants of up to $1,000. The 2015 recipients are:

Coleman Elementary School (Marinette County) for an overnight outdoor education program, including environmental science and outdoor recreation activities.

Crestwood Elementary School (Dane County) for a children’s outdoor education and garden project, to engage children in environmental, outdoor, and gardening-related activities.

Highland Community School District (Iowa County) for creating environmentally friendly gardens, engaging students in native plantings and gardening activities.

Laona School District (Forest County) for a forest education project that will include forest plantings, and native plant education and stewardship for students.

Malcolm Shabazz City High School (Dane County) for Project Green Teen, which will engage high school students through outdoor environmental science activities related to aquatic ecology.

Meadowview Middle School (Monroe County) for a prairie and woodlot restoration program including hands-on environmental education.

Pittsville Elementary School (Wood County) for a school forest environmental education project.

“By providing children with the opportunity to explore Wisconsin’s outdoors through this grant program, we are hoping to instill in them appreciation for our landscapes and wildlife in years to come,” said Caitlin Williamson, the Foundation’s program and development coordinator.

The Teachers’ Outdoor Environmental Fund, which is supported in part by the Chabot Family Foundation, provides grants for public school teachers (K-12) to undertake environmental education projects. The Teachers’ Outdoor Environmental Education Fund has now awarded $17,382 to 21 schools since its inception in 2010.

The next round of Teachers’ Outdoor Environmental Fund applications will be announced in April 2016. Learn about the grant programs and read about this year’s winners at

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Photo by: Christine Tanzer, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin

The Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin provides sustainable funding for Wisconsin’s most imperiled species and public lands, while helping citizens connect with our state’s unique natural places. Learn more at

Lindsay Renick Mayer
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
[email protected]
608-266-3138 (office)
202-422-4671 (cell)