Seeds for Education (SFE) Overview
Do you know of a local school, nature center or youth group in need of funding for a native garden or habitat for hands-on learning? If so, please invite them to apply for a Wild Ones Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program (SFE). Applications are available in July of each year, with a deadline of midnight, October 15. Awards are made the following February, in time for the planting season.
For more than 20 years, this Wild Ones donor-funded program has provided small grants ranging from $100 to $500 for naturally landscaped projects throughout the United States. These funds are designated for native plants and seeds for outdoor learning areas that engage children, preschool to high school. Youth participate directly in the planning, planting, and care of the native plant gardens.
Local Chapter Support
When there is a local Wild Ones chapter nearby, members are tremendously beneficial as garden advisors encouraging project success through recommendations for appropriate native species, planning and planting. Members may also share time or resources. Members are also welcome to help score grants as volunteer SFE judges.
SFE projects provide meaningful learning opportunities connecting children to nature and the Wild Ones mission. Examples include a preschool pollinator garden, a rain garden to improve water quality planted by high school students, a tallgrass prairie established by elementary students at a public library, a native plant monarch waystation featuring citizen science activities, and a sensory and natural playground for families at a state park. Nonprofits such as nature centers, schools, or religious institutions and governmental agencies may apply for funding, as long as the project uses native plants or seeds to educate youth.
Local Ecotype Guidelines
Due to uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, applications for the Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Program (SFE) will be on hiatus for the remainder of 2020.
Please revisit this site in 2021 for a grant application and the new deadline.
If your project is currently being funded for the 2020 grant cycle, the SFE project FINAL GRANT REPORT deadline has been extended three months. This deadline may be extended for an additional three months (six months total) with Wild Ones’ prior approval.
This worthwhile program is only possible due to the active support of Wild Ones members.