Resources and Research

Environment and Sustainability Education

Elizabeth Schmitz

Program Supervisor

Danelle Bessett

Administrative Assistant

The Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) team at OSPI works closely with national and statewide partners and is dedicated to providing guidance for development and implementation of ESE. On this page, you will be able to view competitions, resources, and guidance.

Outdoor Learning Grants

Apply through iGrants FP 357. No match is required.

Schools and school districts are eligible to apply for grants of $35,000 or less to:

  • Implement outdoor learning on or near school grounds
  • Attend outdoor school for the 2022-23 school year

Funds may be used to purchase rain gear, outdoor science lab materials, professional learning, transportation, support curriculum development, develop partnerships between school districts and community-based organizations, outdoor learning stations (e.g. seating, tables, dry-erase boards, gardening equipment, gloves, trees, tools).

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. (No office hours on December 26 and January 2)

Outdoor Learning & COVID-19 Response

Green Schoolyards America, presents this proposal to engage school grounds and parks as strategic, cost-effective tools for improving academic, mental, and physical wellbeing as schools reopen.

On their Guidance and Policies page, from the North American Association for Environmental Education, “When taking an inventory of usable space for learning, school districts should consider all of the available outdoor space that can be used for outdoor classrooms. Evidence increasingly suggests that the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases is significantly lower in outdoor settings when appropriate measures are taken,” (Page 4). From the American Academy of Pediatrics, “For every age group from PreK-secondary school, the AAP recommends that schools “Utilize outdoor spaces when possible,” as a high priority strategy for returning students to schools with physical distancing measures in place. This guidance also applies to meals.”

Finally, their “Media Coverage Related to Outdoor Learning” page includes several helpful articles, including this one, “Fauci: Schools Should be Outdoors As Much as Possible.”

Posting Your Events & Workshops

We receive many requests for student and teacher opportunities. Due to the large volume, we are unable to advertise. However, we would like to call your attention to a few different ways that you can reach teachers with your professional development and other teacher and student opportunities. We encourage you to check out organizations that provide event calendars and/or newsletters:

Organizations & Resources