DNR GRANTS: Deadline approaching for field trip funds to state parks, reservoirs
Educators interested in taking students, grades K-12, on field trips to an Indiana state park or reservoir in the 2014-2015 school year should act quickly to receive financial help through the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation.Applications for the Discovering the Outdoors Field Trip Grant Program must be postmarked no later than June 30.The program is for public, private, parochial or home-school educators. In 2013, 18 grants benefited more than 1,400 K-12 students from 16 schools.“We are proud to be a partner in improving school access to our state’s natural and cultural resources through field trip grants for all types of educators and students across Indiana,” INRF director Bourke Patton said.The program has been a hit with both students and educators. Teacher Cory Groover of South Newton Elementary took students to Turkey Run State Park last year.“This field trip has been many students’ favorite field trip,” Grover said. “Many students have never been to Turkey Run and this is a great opportunity for them to see Indiana.”Indiana has 24 state parks and eight reservoirs eligible for field trip funding that will engage students in learning about Indiana's fish, forest, wildlife, natural habitats and conservation. "Field trips to our state parks and reservoirs give children a sense of place,” said Ginger Murphy, assistant director for stewardship for the DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs. “These trips let them understand how previous generations viewed the significance of Indiana's natural and cultural resources, and at the same time let them make great memories that they will carry into adulthood.” The maximum grant award is $250 per application. Applicants will be notified by Aug. 1 regarding potential grant awards. The grant application is at IN.gov/inrf/educate.html. The INRF is accepting donations to the fund from individuals, businesses or anyone who supports the idea of getting kids outdoors. The fund was established in memory of Tom Huck, a longtime DNR employee who was an ardent supporter of outdoor experiences for children. For further information, including how to donate, email DiscoverOutdoorsGrants@dnr.IN.gov.