$2.6 Million Available for Youth Outdoor Education

Sacramento — The Stewardship Council, a private nonprofit organization established in 2004 as part of the PG&E bankruptcy settlement, has released its first Request for Proposals (RFP) to provide outdoor experiences to poor and underserved youth in Northern and Central California.

The Stewardship Council expects to distribute $2.6 million in the coming year to organizations that provide underserved youth with access to compelling outdoor experiences, whether in wilderness settings or urban parks. Grants will be distributed four times in 2005-2006, with applications for the first round of funding due December 16, 2005.

The Youth Investment Program is based on studies showing that outdoor experiences uniquely transform individuals through personal, social and academic growth. Since poor and underserved youth frequently lack access to these life-changing experiences, the Stewardship Council will invest in organizations that increase and improve youth's access to quality outdoor experiences, as well as in organizations that increase cultural relevancy in outdoor programming. One-third of the grants are expected to focus on outdoor wilderness programs and two-thirds on urban parks and recreation.

The Stewardship Council has defined three levels of funding: Small Grants of between $1,000 and $20,000, Mid-size Grants of between $20,000 and $50,000, and Partnership Grants over $50,000. The first RFP is for the Small Grants program, with grant awards to be announced at the end of January 2006. For a detailed description of this program, go to The Stewardship Council.