top of page

UPEC Environmental Education Grants

Applications for the 2024 round of grants were due February 15, 2024


Are you a teacher with a great idea for getting your students interested in the environment? We invite you to make your idea a reality through our Environmental Education Grant program.

For over 15 years, UPEC’s Board has approved grants of up to $500 to support educator-promoted environmental projects within schools or other educational organizations.

UPEC believes this grant series is especially important because schools are strapped for dollars to do innovative environmental education programs.

Applicants may propose an in-person project, a hybrid in-person/virtual project, or an all-virtual project.

Recently, UPEC has funded such programs as:

  • The Dickinson Conservation District for the Shark Tank Sustainability program, in which students compete to develop the best project in areas such as managing invasive species or improving water quality.

  • The Ontonagon Conservation District for its Educational Outreach Brochures project. The brochures provide basic information about the District and its activities. Michigan Tech’s Center for Science & Environmental Education for Earth Day: Celebrating 50 Years of Stewardship, a week-long program with a wide range of stewardship activities for kids.

  • Gwinn Middle School for its Salmon Release Field Trip. Students care for eggs and help raise hatchlings before the fish are released into the wild.

  • Aspen Ridge Middle School for its student-initiated West End Trails project. The young conservationists will use the money to upgrade the school’s trail system and make it more accessible.

  • MSU Extension for its ongoing Life of Lake Superior project, a holistic effort to encourage environmental awareness and more sustainable lifestyle choices.

  • Superior Hills Elementary School for its Superior Hills Outdoor Learning Spaces project, which includes a natural playground.

Environmental Education Grant FAQs

  • WHO IS ELIGIBLE? Educators in Upper Peninsula schools, public or private, or other nonprofit groups with 501(c)3 status wanting to create or enhance an environmental education program or support an ongoing activity in the UP.

  • HOW ARE WINNERS CHOSEN? The judging committee rates each proposal on six standard criteria:

    • The proposal is clear and complete in terms of purpose,
      requested information, budget, and how the project will proceed
      and required materials were submitted on time.

    • The project includes specific learning goals, and those goals
      are likely to be met.

    • The project will allow children to spend time outdoors and to
      appreciate the outdoors.

    • The project deals directly with UPEC’s mission, i.e. to protect
      and maintain the unique environmental qualities of the UP by
      educating the public and acting as a watchdog to industry and

    • The project involves a high ratio of educational and/or
      environmental benefits received to UPEC dollars spent.

    • The project addresses a current, specific threat to the UP

  • Grants will be funded to provide financial assistance to quality environmental education programs and/or ongoing projects in need of support. We welcome proposals that provide hands-on experiences for young people in outdoor settings.

  • Special consideration will be given to fund at least one grant that uses the arts (visual arts, dance, or music) to advocate for environmental protection. This grant award is made from a gift to UPEC in memory of the late Bonnie Miljour. 

  • Grant may not be used for salaries, but all other expenses (for example, transportation, meals, supplies, honoraria) are acceptable. Grant recipients will be required to present a final report that includes an accounting of funds expended and outcomes achieved upon completion of the program. Reports may be published in the UPEC newsletter and may be edited.

  • HOW MUCH? Depending upon the quality of the application as evaluated by the UPEC board, grants of up to $500 each will be made for projects completed over the next 12-month period. We welcome new proposals and seek to help new projects receive funding.

  • WHEN do I need to apply? Applications for the 2024 round of grants are due February 15, 2024.

bottom of page