The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering funds through the No Child Left Inside Grant Program. The grants help more children cast a line, study animal tracks, hike or bike or simply learn more about nature.

“We’ve had a great response to the first couple phases of the grant program and we’re excited to be able to continue to support getting more kids outdoors,” said Jeff Ledermann, DNR education and skills team supervisor. “These mini grants are here to boost outdoor programs and initiatives all around the state, especially in communities with limited opportunities to connect with nature.”

Public entities and non-profit organizations serving youth under age 18 are able to apply for grants. A total of $200,000 is available. The minimum request is $500 and the maximum is $5,000. Future phases of the grant program will have larger grant awards with more extensive application and review processes.

Applications can be submitted starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2, and awards will be made on a first-come, first-served basis. The application period will close once all the money is awarded. All the reimbursable grant project work must be completed by June 30, 2023.

Funding can be used for outdoor recreation equipment, transportation and related natural resource education expenses. Successful grants will:

• Be distributed in a way that ensures statewide impact.

• Provide students direct experiences and understanding of nature.

• Use research-based, effective environmental, ecological, agricultural or other natural-resource-based educational curriculum.

• Maximize the number of participants.

Serve children with limited opportunities to outdoor activities.

• Use public parks and other natural resource venues and personnel as resources.

• Commit matching funds or in-kind support.

For more information on the grant program and a link to the application, visit