T0 see the 2022 Youth Grant Winners click HERE.

Ozark Society Youth Environmental Engagement Grants for 2023-2024

The Ozark Society (OS) is soliciting proposals for Youth Engagement grants from local organizations working with students in environmental and conservation efforts.  Grants will be awarded to organizations who encourage young people (K-12) to engage in environmental awareness and conservation in the Ozark and/or Ouachita region. OS wants to see projects that start with the community and start with the young people. Funds will generally range between $500 and $3000 depending on the scope and needs of the project. Funds may be combined with other sources of funds to increase the size / impact of the project. To apply, groups must be affiliated with a 501c3 nonprofit or school located in the Ozark and/or Ouachita regions in Arkansas, Oklahoma, or Missouri, as well as the Caddo, Bossier, Webster, DeSoto, and Claiborne parishes of Louisiana. Funds may not be used for administrative operating expenses, including but not limited to postage, billing, computer software or systems, rentals, paper goods, food/beverages, or social functions. Direct costs, such as paying teaching staff, is permitted only for nonprofits. Past projects awarded grants by the OSF Grant Committee engaged young people in hands-on learning, service learning, community projects, and advocacy. Funding was not awarded to projects in which students merely listened to lectures or were just taken outdoors.

 Grant Requirements:

All grant projects should align with the Ozark Society’s mission: Our principal purpose is the preservation of wild and scenic rivers, wilderness, and unique natural areas. A greater understanding of our mission can be gained by researching the Ozark Society at www.ozarksociety.net

  • All grant projects should engage youth in some way.
  • Applicants should be associated with a 501c3 organization or an accredited K-12 school (Checks will not be made out to individuals.)
  • Projects must be located in the Ozark or Ouachita eco-regions of Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, or Louisiana.  In Louisiana this specifically applies to the following parishes: Caddo, Bossier, Webster, DeSoto, or Claiborne.

Preferences will go to:

  • New projects that have not previously received funding from the Ozark Society
  • Projects that include hands-on learning, service projects, and/or tangible outcomes. OS wants to see active engagement, not passive learning
  • Nonprofits who have experienced an interruption to their revenue stream due to the pandemic
  • Small nonprofits with under 25 full-time employees or an annual budget of less than $500,000
  • Organizations with a mission that is based in the Ozark or Ouachita eco-regions, in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, or in the Caddo, Bossier, Webster DeSoto, and Claiborne parishes of Louisiana
  • Organizations that are NOT funded by county, state, or federal governments
  • Projects that engage students in lasting conservation efforts that will have long term outcomes
  • Projects that serve marginalized communities, low income families, communities of color, and diverse ethnic groups

Areas of Focus: (grants are not limited to these areas of focus but OS is most interested in funding these types of projects, especially the first five on this list)

  • Preservation of Wild Spaces
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Water Quality
  • Native Plants
  • Enhancing Access to Nature
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Community Gardens
  • Sustainability-Focused Community Art

Who OS will not fund:

  • Direct grants to individuals
  • Political campaigns, events, or lobbying activities
  • Projects serving religious purposes
  • Any use not specified in the grant proposal and budget
  • Organizations or schools outside the Ozarks or Ouachitas regions
  • International organizations based outside the United States
  • Organizations that are fully funded by county, state, or federal tax dollars

 Grant Timeline:

  • Applications open Monday May 1st 2023
  • Deadline for applications is midnight on Saturday July 1st 2023
  • Awards will be announced and funds will be distributed in August 2023
  • Final grant reports will be due by Sunday September 1st 2024

Application Requirements:

  • Application must be filled out and submitted by the deadline.
  • Applications should be submitted through Google Forms (you do not need a Google account to fill out the form)
  • Questions can be emailed to the head of the OS student engagement committee at:  osfoundationgrants@gmail.com

Application contains these fields:

  • Name and address of organization or school
  • Tax exempt ID number (if applicable)
  • Contact name, email, phone number
  • Student-led projects will also need a teacher or sponsor with name, email, phone number listed.
  • Project name
  •  Area of focus
  •  Project date range
  • Number of students who will be engaged
  •  Age range of students
  • Demographic or ethnic diversity of the students who will be engaged
  •  Amount requested
  • Program Suhttps://forms.gle/QaY7BTPWeJYaXfpg6mmary: Describe your existing program and its general purpose.
  • Project Summary: Describe the proposed project and its need based purpose.
  • Goals and Objectives: Both your short-term plan and long term outcomes
  • Student Engagement: As it pertains to both the outputs and outcome
  • Continuation: How the project will continue after the grant money is gone.
  • Budget Summary: Provide a short summary of how the funds will be used
  • Evaluation and Impact: Explain the lasting impact of the project and how success will be evaluated
  • An attached budget (see budget example)
  • Signature


Projects can take place during the 2023 – 2024 school year and/or during the summer of 2024.  Within 60 days of the completion of the project, the grant report should be submitted for review and approval.  Reports will be due Sunday, September 1st 2024 and should include:

  •   An impact report that describes the scope of the project
  •   A description of how the objectives of the grant were achieved
  •   A budget report detailing how the funds were used

Did you face any challenges in connection with this project?  If so, how did you address these challenges?

  •   Description of how the Ozark Society was recognized
  •   At least one photograph of the project in action
  •   At least one example of students’ work or engagement

If the grant requirements were not met and the report does not show that the funds were used as the grant outlines, the Ozark Society may ask for a partial or full reimbursement of the grant funds. 

Links to Apply:

Click HERE to view the budget example

Click HERE TO APPLY for the grant through Google Forms (you do not need a Google account to apply) 

If you received funding last year, please submit your grant report HERE.

Tip: it is best to write the grant in a document that can be saved and then copy and paste into the form.

Helpful Definitions:

  • Goal: Overall aim the project will help achieve, which may be longer-term and extend beyond this grant.
  • Objectives: Specific, measurable implementation steps within the grant period that will help realize the goal.
  • Outcomes: The quantitative or qualitative change expected as a result of engagement in the grant-supported project.
  • Outputs: Direct and short-term results of activities which are necessary but not sufficient to produce the targeted outcomes.
  • Sustainability: The quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.
  • Conservation: The careful utilization of a natural resource  in order to  preserve and protect them through prudent management.