Roslyn Imrie, Youth Grants Chair

The Ozark Society’s Youth Conservation Grant strives to empower and elevate the next generation. Twenty-one grants have been awarded since 2020 to area nonprofits and schools for various projects that involve youth under 18 years of age. The focus has been on funding projects that have real environmental impacts through conservation, education, and recreation. We believe in the power of education and recreation to shift the hearts and minds of young people. But we also value projects that take it a step beyond and encourage conservation, such as when students pick up trash, remove invasive species, or plant a garden while both learning and recreating outdoors. 

This past summer, The Ozark Society granted $3,000 to the Ozark Natural Science Center (ONSC), a nonprofit that we have awarded funds to in the past. In 2021, we helped ONSC fund a unique trail building project. The proposed trail would be handicap accessible and allowed the center to better serve students with mobile disabilities. After receiving the report on this trail building project and seeing the impact it had on the center’s ability to serve local schools more inclusively, the grant committee considered another proposal from the organization to Teach Campers to Camp. In this grant, the Youth Grant funds will be used to purchase backpacking and camping supplies, so the organization can launch a new program that weaves education and recreation together in an immersive experience. 

The grant committee is made up of volunteers who believe deeply in the work they are doing. It is a time consuming but rewarding effort. This past year, the committee adjusted the grant windows to better fit the schedules of the volunteers, with a summer and winter grant cycle. The summer cycle opened in May and closed July 1st. The upcoming winter cycle will open in December and close February 1st. All awarded grantees will have one year to utilize their grant funds and report on their project. More information about the Youth Grant can be found under the Ozark Society Awards, Grants, Scholarships tab on the Ozark Society website.