NEEF Awards 2017 Hands on the Land Mini-Grants

$90,000 in K-12 Environmental Education and STEM Programming Grants Awarded to Fund Place-Based Education on Public Lands and Waterways


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, NEEF (National Environmental Education Foundation), in collaboration with Partners in Resource Education, announced the 26 recipients of the Hands on the Land (HOL) mini-grants. The grants, totaling $90,000, support high quality place-based environmental education and STEM programming on our nation's public lands and waterways. 

Grants are awarded to partnerships between schools and public land (and waterway) sites that are part of the Hands on the Land network. These partnerships deliver place-based programming that aligns with national K-12 education standards.

Hands on the Land is a collaboration of NEEF, five federal agencies, schools, and other private sector partners. The HOL network of field classrooms and its website allow users to share information and learn about their local ecosystems, creative teaching strategies, and more.

Grants, in amounts ranging from $1,200 to $5,000 each, were awarded to the following recipients:

  • Bureau of Land Management: Agua Fria National Monument – Phoenix, AZ, Arizona Audubon River Pathways

  • Bureau of Land Management: Campbell Creek Science Center – Anchorage, AK, Anchorage School District

  • Bureau of Land Management: Idaho State Office – Boise, ID, Parma Learning Center

  • Bureau of Land Management: McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area – Grand Junction, CO, Colorado Canyons Association

  • Bureau of Land Management: Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument – Las Cruces, NM, Friends of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks

  • Bureau of Land Management: Ukiah Field Office – Ukiah, CA, ACORN Partners in Education

  • Bureau of Land Management: Friends of Sloan Canyon – Las Vegas, NM, Friends of Sloan Canyon

  • Bureau of Land Management: Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument – Albuquerque, NM, Rio Rancho Public Schools

  • Bureau of Land Management: King Range National Conservation Area – Whitethorn, CA, Mattole Restoration Council

  • Bureau of Land Management: Pompeys Pillar National Monument - Billings, MT, Will James Middle School

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service: Nashua National Fish Hatchery – Nashua, NH, Audubon Society of New Hampshire

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service: Nisqually River Foundation – Lacey, WA, Nisqually River Foundation

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service: Presquile National Wildlife Refuge – Charles City, VA, James River Association

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service: John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum – Philadelphia, PA, Friends of the Heinz Refuge at Tinicum

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service: Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge – Albany, NY, Warwick Valley Central School District

  • National Park Service: Buffalo National River - Harrison, AR, North Arkansas College Foundation Incorporated

  • National Park Service: Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Gatlinburg, TN, Great Smoky Mountains Association

  • National Park Service: Natchez Trace Parkway – Tupelo, MS, Tupelo Public School District

  • National Park Service: Ojai Valley School/Channel Islands National Park – Ventura, CA, Ojai Valley School

  • NOAA: Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary – Point Reyes Station, CA, Cordell Marine Sanctuary Foundation

  • NOAA: Greater Farallones Association – San Francisco, CA, Greater Farallones Association

  • NOAA: MERITO Foundation – Goleta, CA

  • NOAA: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary – Santa Cruz, CA, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

  • NOAA: Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary – Port Angeles, WA, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

  • US Forest Service: Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest – Everett, WA, North Cascades Institute

This year’s recipients plan to conduct student projects and programs such as conducting bird surveys, vegetation monitoring and stream quality assessments, planting native plant nurseries, removing invasive vegetation, and compiling and analyzing plant restoration and wildlife data, among many other educational activities. Recipients have one year to complete their proposed projects, which can include professional development or equipment purchases. Funding support for this cycle of HOL grants comes from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NEEF.

Non-HOL members can apply to become an HOL site to be eligible for future HOL grant opportunities and other HOL benefits.

For more information on NEEF’s grant opportunities, visit


About NEEF

NEEF was chartered by Congress in 1990 to partner with the EPA to advance environmental literacy nationwide.  NEEF’s vision is that by 2022, 300 million Americans actively use environmental knowledge to ensure the wellbeing of the earth and its people.  To achieve its vision, NEEF offers science-based, unbiased information through its own communications platforms, as well as a network of trusted professionals and affinity communities that, with their relationships and credibility, amplify environmental messages to national audiences. NEEF also implements environmental education investments in areas that best connect with everyday life: health, weather + climate, and nature where we live, learn, work, and play. Learn more at – or follow NEEF on Facebook & Twitter.

About HOL

The Hands on the Land (HOL) network of field classrooms, stretching across America from Alaska to Florida, and its website allow users to share information and learn about their local ecosystems, creative teaching strategies, and more. Sponsored by Partners in Resource Education, HOL is a collaboration of five federal agencies, NEEF (National Environmental Education Foundation), schools, and other private sector partners. Visit to learn more.