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Home » Student Success » Resources by Subject Area » Science » Outdoor Education for All Program

Outdoor Education for All Program

Office Hours

We will host Virtual Office Hours, with your questions and ideas until all funds are distributed, every Monday from 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Contact Information

Sheila Wilson
Program Manager, Outdoor Education

The Washington State Legislature funded the House Bill (HB) 2078, Outdoor Learning Grants Program with the goal to develop and support outdoor educational experiences for students in Washington public schools. Programs must ensure equitable access for students in all geographic regions, and high levels of accessibility for students with disabilities.

From reducing stress, to improving mental and physical health, outdoor-based learning helps kids thrive. Research shows that kids who participate in outdoor educational activities are more likely to graduate, are better behaved in school, and have more relationships with peers, higher academic achievement, more critical thinking skills, and more direct experience of scientific concepts in the field. They also have better leadership and collaboration skills, and a deeper engagement with learning, place, and community.

Review these Considerations for Outdoor Learning to learn about the alignment to state standards and offers examples of school district programs from PreK-12 grade.

HB 2078 provides funding for allocation grants to schools and districts to support outdoor education experiences for all students. The grant programs are administered by OSPI.

Grant Opportunities


Grant applications will start being reviewed on October 19! iGrants will remain open until all funds are awarded. 

This portion of SHB 2078 supports allocation-based grants for school districts to develop or support educational experiences. In implementing student educational experiences under this section, school districts and outdoor education providers should ensure equitable access for students in all geographic regions, and high levels of accessibility for students with disabilities.

Grant awards will be in the range of $25,000–$35,000/project. Funding is allocated based on prioritizing schools based on meeting the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility Criteria

Priority will be available to schools that identify as at least one of the following:

Grant activities can include:

  • Hands-on, environmental education, nature-based learning experiences
  • Science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education activities
  • Learning about habitat restoration and environmental stewardship activities
  • Integration of professional environmental and land management mentors in learning
  • Immersed learning in field studies, journaling, and group discussions
  • Pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade, experiential, outdoor education program activities learning in, for, or about the outdoors
  • Support for new outdoor education learning programs, capacity building within current outdoor education learning programs, and/or building outdoor shelters for student learning
  • Outdoor education programs should be aligned with the Washington State content learning standards and the development of social and emotional learning skills
  • Programs are encouraged to review the Since Time Immemorial Curriculum developed by the Office of Native Education at OSPI and infuse traditional ecological knowledge into the field experiences for students
  • Programs must ensure equitable access for students in all geographic regions, and high levels of accessibility for students with disabilities

Application Questions

  1. Provide a description of your project including your project’s goals and objectives and how it supports the grant priorities identified in the purpose.
  2. How does your school/district meet the grant program eligibility criteria?
  3. Why is this grant program important to your school? What do you hope to achieve?
  4. How many students and teachers will participate in the grant activities? How many educators?
  5. Who are the key leads on the project? Describe their backgrounds and their roles as project leads.
  6. How will you include family and communities in the Outdoor Education for All program?
  7. How will you include student voice and equitable participation in this grant program as envisioned by HB 2078?
  8. What is your timeline? What are your milestones and communication plans for sharing with community partners, colleagues, families, and students?
  9. How will you know you are successful?

Please login to the iGrants website for more information. 


Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, OSPI shall award grants to eligible school districts, federally recognized tribes, and outdoor education program providers. OSPI may consult with the Washington RCO in awarding grants under this section.

This portion of SHB 2078 supports competitive grants for federally recognized tribes, and outdoor education providers to support existing capacity and to increase future capacity for outdoor learning experiences.

Please visit the RCO website for more information.


The purpose of the outdoor education experiences program is to develop and support outdoor learning opportunities for fifth and sixth-grade students in Washington public schools, with related opportunities for high school students to volunteer as counselors. The program will consist of hands-on learning experiences that are:

  • 3-5 days in duration and up to four nights;
  • Overnight or consecutive day programs (when overnight programs are impractical due to health or cultural consideration and have a focus on environmental education aligned) with the Washington state learning standards, and the development of social and emotional learning skills.

OSPI may work with a statewide nonprofit organization, representing school principals, to create guidelines for the program established by this section.

The priority focus of OSPI must be given to schools that have been identified for improvement through the Washington school improvement framework and communities historically underserved by science education. These communities can include, but are not limited to:

  • Federally recognized tribes, including state-tribal education compact schools,
  • Migrant students,
  • Schools with high free and reduced-price lunch populations,
  • Rural and remote schools,
  • Students in alternative learning environments,
  • Students of color,
  • English language learner students, and
  • Students receiving special education services.

For more information, please visit the Washington School Principals Education Foundation Website.

Outdoor Schools Washington Grants provide additional funding for overnight learning experiences through Outdoor Schools Washington.