Launching an Outdoor School Program

Outdoor School Request for Letter of Interest (RFLOI)

Grant Deadlines

Applications received no later than… Will generally be considered in…
January 15 Mid-February
April 1 Mid-May
July 1 Mid-August
October 1 Mid-November


In November 2016, Oregon became the first state in the country to fund a full week of outdoor education with the passage of Measure 99. In July 2017, Governor Kate Brown signed into law a bill providing $24M in funding for the next biennium to support 5th or 6th grade students to attend outdoor school. Oregon State University Extension (OSU-Extension) is tasked with allocating these secured funds to support this statewide program through grant awards to school districts and education service districts (ESDs). To learn more about these programmatic funds, please visit OSU-Extension’s outdoor school site at

Despite the availability of programmatic funds, Gray FF recognizes that not all schools and communities are prepared or eligible to directly apply for programmatic funding from OSU-Extension. The Gray Family Foundation’s Launching an Outdoor School Program seeks to increase the capacity of schools and outdoor school providers to deliver high quality outdoor school experiences to all Oregon 5th or 6th grade students.

The Gray Family Foundation seeks requests that serve three categories of programs:

  • Planning grants for schools or districts. These grants will support the planning required to launch or revise an outdoor school program in geographic regions or among communities currently with limited or no outdoor school opportunities. Schools, districts or ESDs can submit a request for a planning grant to support launching an outdoor school program with the intention of applying for programmatic funding from OSU-Extension in the future.
  • Planning grants for outdoor school program providers. Current or prospective outdoor school program providers may request funds to plan how to better serve all 5th and 6th grade Oregon students. Specifically, Gray FF seeks to increase the capacity of program providers to deliver high quality, culturally responsive programming to better serve all Oregon communities.
  • Program grants to schools or student groups currently ineligible to apply for OSU Extension outdoor school funding. Gray FF acknowledges that there are limitations of how OSU Extensions funds may be distributed which may exclude private, charter and home school students from eligibility. Gray FF will accept requests for programmatic grants to help these students participate in the outdoor school experience.

To learn more:

  • Review the Outdoor School Request for Letter of Interest (RFLOI)
  • ‘Office Hours’: Gray FF’s program officer, Rachael Bashor, will be available by phone 503.552.3511 most Tuesdays from 3:00 to 5:00 to answer general or specific questions about the outdoor school grant program, application or review process. Please do not hesitate to reach out.
  • E-mail: You can e-mail questions to