Assistance Available for Environmental/STEM Programs

oyf9sxf7qwju9ndo23ax.pngMinnesota is prominent in the vanguard of the “seed lending library” movement, one of public libraries’ most successful and innovative experiments to date in gardening and agro-education.

If your library is looking to invest in such a program – or desires ‘seed money’ for another program centered around environmental topics and geared toward young people – the Captain Planet Foundation may be able to help. As the name suggests, this foundation (the brainchild of Ted Turner) exists to foster “high quality, hands-on environmental stewardship projects.”

Through its so-called Small Grant Program, the Captain Planet Foundation is currently inviting schools and 501(c)3 nonprofits to apply for between $500 and $2500 to aid in the coordination of new initiatives that are “project-based, performed by youth, and have real environmental outcomes or implications.”

Visit their website for project examples from past years, and for a comprehensive FAQ. Preferential consideration is given to requesters who have secured at least 50 percent matching or in-kind funding for their project. Note that library landscaping and beautification projects are ineligible. Apply by Friday, September 30 at latest for consideration.

If your library is interested in diversifying their children’s programming and offering more STEM-centered activities and events, consider applying instead for the foundation’s EcoTech Grant. Grants in the amount of $2,500 will be awarded to schools and non-profit organizations coordinating programs based around STEM. Strongest attention will be paid to applications focused around the role of technology in ongoing addressing environmental problems. (The EcoTech Grant entries window is currently closed, but will re-open soon.)