Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Program

The Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Program (SFE) is named for Wild Ones lifetime Honorary Director Lorrie Otto, the founding inspiration for Wild Ones, Native Plants, Natural Landscapes, Ltd. SFE program provides meaningful learning opportunities that connect youth to nature and the Wild Ones mission. For more than 25 years, this vital Wild Ones donor-funded program has provided grants ranging from $100 to $500 for native plant gardens and landscaping projects throughout the United States. The funds are designated for acquiring native plants and seeds for outdoor learning areas that engage youth (preschool to high school) directly in planning, planting and caring for native plant gardens. Examples include

  • pollinator gardens,
  • rain gardens to improve water quality,
  • tallgrass prairies,
  • native plant monarch waystations featuring community science activities,
  • and sensory and natural playgrounds.

Do you know of a local school, nature center, after-school care program, community 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 an SFE grant. All public and private schools, non-profits such as nature centers, youth organizations and community youth centers in the US are welcome to apply so long as the project uses native plants or seeds to educate youth. Please note, at this time, SFE grants do not fund vegetable gardens.

See the announcement of 2024 awardees.

This important program is only possible due to the active support of Wild Ones members.


Applications for the 2024 planting season must be submitted online during the application period, which is from July 14th – November 15th, 2023. Awards will be communicated to recipients by February 15th 2024.

Grant Reports

Grant reports for the 2023 planting season are due by February 28th, 2024. The Seeds for Education Report Form is currently open. Projects funded for the 2024 planting season will need to submit a report by February 28th, 2025 (the year following award disbursement).

Local Chapter Support

When there is a local Wild Ones chapter nearby, members are tremendously helpful as garden advisors encouraging project success through recommendations for appropriate native species, planning and planting. Members may also share time or resources.


If you have questions about this program, you can reach out to us at [email protected].