Grants Help Virginia Students Experience the Great Outdoors

The Virginia Wildlife Grant Program has announced that they have awarded $55,000 in funds to various schools and non-profits this year in order to help students experience the outdoors in a new way. 27 different organizations throughout the state have received the much-needed funds. 11 of the groups cater to at-risk children. Several of the charities focus on sports like archery and fishing, while others allow children to view wildlife in its natural habitat.

The Virginia Wildlife Grant Program was established in 2014 as an initiative of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia. Working with private sponsors and using revenue from the organization’s online store, the Virginia Wildlife Grant Program has disbursed $95,000 in funds since its inception. With their 2017 round of funding, the Virginia Wildlife Grant Program has helped connect over 9,000 children with the great outdoors.

Each year, eligible charities, schools and governmental organizations apply to be the recipient of a grant from the program. Successful grantees in 2017 include organizations that promote outdoor sports like archery charity The Greenbow Foundation and The Friends of Hungry Mother State Park, a group that focuses on boating instruction. Other non-profits that have been awarded grants are the Gap4Lyfe Mentorship Program that supports children without fathers and Blue Ridge Discovery, a non-profit geared towards environmental education and outdoor exploration. Several Virginia schools have been awarded grants by the Virginia Wildlife Grant Program, including L. C. Bird High School, Pinchbeck Elementary School and Laurel Lane Elementary School. The program has also provided much-needed funding for non-profits like Apple Ridge Farm, an educational charity that provides at-risk children with a chance to engage in outdoor recreation and experience a natural woodland environment for themselves.

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