Our Children, Our Future

Our organizational and community partners are at the core of helping us accomplish our environmental education mission. 

We support organizations that provide opportunities for outdoor environmental education experiences throughout Puget Sound. These organizations deliver outdoor experiential learning to students in 5th through 12th grade who live in urbanized areas.

Strong Connections

We believe in building the human connection between local, urban environments and healthy Puget Sound waters. The core elements that help us prioritize our environmental education (EE) investments are: 

  • Providing grants that support experiential EE with a strong local context;
  • Supporting a continuum of EE experiences;
  • Supporting leadership development opportunities that tie together environmental education;
  • Continuing to look for opportunities to support teacher learning and development; 
  • Convening EE grantees for discussion, collaboration and learning.

Supporting outdoor experiential programs for urban youth is at the heart of our work.
Over 13 years, TRFF has awarded 353 grants totaling over $10.5 million to environmental education.

A Focus on Learning in Puget Sound

As a learning organization that supports other learning organizations, we continue to make refinements to our work. With an intent on having a higher impact in our community and the environment, we've decided to focus our investments in four geographic areas -- King, Kitsap, Thurston and Pierce counties -- for more intentional grantmaking.

Additionally, as part of the Puyallup Watershed Initiative (PWI), TRFF supports the collective impact approach of the 40+ organizations involved with the PWI's Environmental Education Community of Interest.

Grant Application Process for 2017

In 2016, we announced that The Russell Family Foundation will be assessing the current Environmental Education Program.  In order to focus on this assessment, we have made the following changes for funding in 2017:

  • By Invitation Only:  The open Letter of Inquiry process is closed for 2017.  The program will be reviewed and updates will be posted on the website by Fall 2017.  We will work directly with current grantees to provide updates for funding in 2017.

This shift is temporary and we welcome you to come back later in the year to learn about the changes and apply if you fit the guidelines.


For more information about our Environmental Education program, please contact Program Officer Fabiola Greenawalt at fabiola@trff.org or 253-857-1660.