Awards and Grants

Making changes to our behaviors and schools is daunting. It is important to remember that changes can be both small and large, and all should be celebrated. See below for a range of ways to support, motivate and recognize progress.

Logo for California Green Ribbon Schools Program

Green Ribbon Schools and CA Green Ribbon Schools are federal and state awards programs that recognize schools, districts, and county offices of education for their work in sustainable education. Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate exemplary achievement in three “pillars.” Pillar I: reduce environmental impact and costs; Pillar II: improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and Pillar III: provide effective environmental education that teaches many disciplines and is especially good at effectively incorporating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, civic skills, and green career pathways. Annual applications are typically due in November.

Logo Biomimicry Institute

Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge The Youth Design Challenge is a competition for middle and high school students to design bio-inspired solutions to fight climate change. It gives educators a framework to introduce biomimicry to students, providing a great context for STEM and NGSS. University level competition is also available. 

Save the Redwoods League and Santa Cruz County Office of Education have partnered to provide grant funding for Santa Cruz County TK-12 classes to visit local redwood forests. Grants cover the cost of transportation and are awarded on a first come, first served basis. See the grant program overview for information and application form and find accompanying curriculum resources here.

Logo for Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI)

SEI Energize Schools Conservation Competitions Compete with schools around California to see who can save the most electricity during this annual fall competition. Energize Schools can help you launch a campaign at your site and get your school conserving! Or form a team to design and implement a wide-reaching Earth Day Campaign that changes sustainability behavior on campus, focusing on energy, waste, water, or transportation.  

Logo for Jane Goodall Institute's Roots and Shoots Foundation

Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots  provides mini-grants of $200 for service learning projects along with concrete tools that develop students' 21st century learning skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, and a spirit of collaboration, as well as a sense of compassion and commitment to their communities and the world around them.  


Students looking out over forest with changing leaf color.

General Funding

The Every Student Succeeds Act includes language making environmental education and environmental literacy programs explicitly eligible for federal education funds for the very first time. 

The key language is found in Title IV of the bill:

Logo for the National Marine Sanctuaries, a program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

California Bay Watershed Education and Training NOAA's B-WET program supports environment-based education throughout the watersheds of San Francisco Bay, Monterey Bay, and Santa Barbara Channel. Funded projects provide meaningful watershed educational experiences to students, teachers, and communities.

Logo for Captain Planet Foundation

Captain Planet Foundation offers grants of up to $2,500 for educators, both K-12 classroom and informal, who are interested in receiving support for students to design and implement hands-on environmental solutions. 

Logo for the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom

California Foundation for Ag in the Classroom offers $500 teacher grants for integrating agriculture into curriculum and $1000  grants for K-8 education on organic agriculture.

Seed Your Future maintains an excellent list of grants related to garden education. Have a grant to add? Contact Seed Your Future at