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Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP)

Grants to Texas Nonprofits, Agencies, IHEs, and School Districts
to Engage Underserved Populations in Outdoor Activities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)

Deadline Date:

11/06/20 5:00 PM


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Grants of up to $30,000 to Texas nonprofit organizations, agencies, universities, and school districts for programs that engage underserved populations in outdoor activities. Funding is intended to support hands-on programs and activities in the areas of conservation, environmental, and outdoor recreation. CO-OP prefers grant-funded programs to be free or low cost to participants

This program builds relationships with constituencies who have been under-represented in Texas Parks & Wildlife Department activities and programs. Target audiences served include low income, ethnic minority, female, and physically or mentally challenged participants. Funds may be used for programming expenses such as personnel, food, travel expenses, participant liability insurance, entrance fees, outdoor recreation equipment, and environmental education supplies.

CO-OP priorities are derived from TPWD’s Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan and include:

  1. Increase access and participation in the outdoors
    1. Encourage people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to experience the outdoors
    2. Provide high quality outdoor recreation opportunities
    3. Increase and facilitate access to Texas’ natural and cultural resources for recreation
    4. Encourage nature and heritage tourism to Texas Parks & Wildlife Department operated sites
  2. Educate and engage Texans in support of conservation and recreation
    1. Develop life-long behaviors consistent with TPWD mission
    2. Cultivate support for the conservation of natural and cultural resources
    3. Experience hands-on science education outdoors to actively support the understanding of natural ecosystems
    4. Integrate TPWD personnel, programs & places into outdoor recreation and conservation education
    5. Nurture appreciation and understanding of the outdoors
  3. Enable science based stewardship of natural and cultural resources
    1. Promote citizen participation in hands-on conservation
    2. Encourage citizen participants to maintain, restore and protect natural and cultural resources
    3. Develop the next generation of leadership to promote and protect healthy ecosystems
    4. Inspire and nurture partnerships that result in tangible conservation benefits

Eligible activities include: Archery, Backpacking/Hiking, Birding/Wildlife Viewing, Camping, Canoeing / Kayaking / SUP / Boating, Caving, Cultural Resource Exploration, Environmental/Outdoor Education, Equestrian, Fishing / Angling, Hunting, Mountain Biking, Nature Photography, Orienteering / Geocaching, Outdoor Cooking (Participants Involved), Rock Climbing / Rappelling, Shooting Sports

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 143601

Estimated Size of Grant:

CO-OP provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $30,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grants are available to tax-exempt organizations such as local government, Universities, school districts, and non-profit organizations.

Funds cannot be used for facility construction projects, gazebos, ponds, benches, trail building, etc. The CO-OP grant is to be used to fund programs, not construction projects.

Training programs will be reviewed if part of the training involves actual hands-on participation programs. Training and research programs only will not be funded.

Vegetable gardens and agriculture projects are not eligible.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline is November 6, 2020, at 5:00 PM.

Awards will be announced on March 1, 2021. You will be notified via email.

This is a reimbursement grant program. Recipients must purchase eligible items and submit proper documentation before being reimbursed.

The Department offers grant writing workshops, technical assistance via phone or email. You can find out about workshops by signing up to receive the newsletter via email.

How to Apply:


Grant Deadlines:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Carly Blankenship, CO-OP Program Manager
(512) 389-8209

Texas Parks & WIldlife
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
(512) 389-4800
(800) 792-1112

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Texas

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