AREA WIDE -- Educators interested in taking students, grades K-12, on field trips to an Indiana state park or state-managed lake in the 2018-2019 school year can receive financial help through the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation (INRF).
Grants from the Discover the Outdoors Fund are available for public, private, parochial or home-school educators, according to INRF director Jody Kress.
“Part of our mission at the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation is to encourage educational programs of DNR,” Kress said. “The grant gets kids outside for an adventure that teaches the importance of preserving and protecting our natural resources.”
Since the grant program’s inception in 2013, a total of 111 grants have been awarded, providing the opportunity for more than 8,000 students to visit state parks at less cost to the schools and students.
Indiana has 24 state parks and eight state-managed lakes eligible for field trip funding that will engage students in learning about Indiana's fish, forest, wildlife, natural habitats and conservation.
“These trips help children understand how previous generations viewed the significance of Indiana's natural and cultural resources, and at the same time let them make great memories that they will carry into adulthood,” said Ginger Murphy, deputy director for stewardship for DNR State Parks.
The maximum grant award is $250 per application.
Applications are accepted from May 1-June 30 prior to the school year for which the grant is requested. Applications must be postmarked no later than June 30.
Applicants will be notified by Aug. 15 regarding potential grant awards.
The grant application is at IN.gov/inrf/educate.html.
A video explaining the program is at youtu.be/uC4QjhsBLO8
The INRF is accepting donations to the fund from individuals, businesses or anyone who supports the idea of getting kids outdoors. The fund was established in memory of Tom Huck, a longtime DNR employee who was an ardent supporter of outdoor experiences for children.
For further information, including how to donate, email DiscoverOutdoorsGrants@dnr.IN.gov.