Our Children, Our Future

Program History

In 2001, The Russell Family Foundation established the Environmental Education Fund with the purpose to connect and increase access for youth to outdoor environmental education experiences throughout Puget Sound.  Since then, it has awarded over 400 grants totaling approximately $12M to support projects and programs resulting in positive impacts to the environment and communities in the region.

Our organizational and community partners are at the core of helping us accomplish our mission to deliver experiential learning to students in 5th to 12th grade.  We believe in building the human connection to local environments and healthy Puget Sound waters.  The core elements that help us prioritize our environmental education investments are:
  • Support experiential learning with a strong local context
  • Inspire leadership opportunities for youth and their communities to become environmental stewards and environmental champions
  • Continue to support teacher learning, professional development and capacity building
  • Convene grantees for discussion, collaboration and learning
  • Programs in King, Kitsap, Thurston and parts of Pierce County outside of the Puyallup River Watershed geographic area
  • As part of the Puyallup Watershed Initiative, TRFF supports the collective impact approach of the organizations and individuals involved in the Environmental Education Community of Interest.

To learn more about our most recent Environmental Education grants, please revie the list of 2016 Environmental Education Grantees, including project name and grant amount.


2018 Grantmaking

Size of Grant Program
In 2018, there is $640,000 budgeted for Environmental Education grantmaking. Historically, grants range from $10,000 to $40,000 and our average grant size is $25,000. Typically, we do not fund 100% of a project.  These guidelines are being shared to help you when deciding how much to apply for.


Grantmaking Timelines
Grants will be decided on during our March 2018 and November 2018 board meetings. The LOI deadline for our March 2018 meeting is October 16, 2017 and can be submitted through our grantmaking site starting September 12, 2017. Applications will be invited by November 8, 2017 and will be due on January 10, 2018. We typically allow grantees 4 weeks from invitation to submission of the application but with the holiday season, we have extended the timeline so organizations have ample time to review and submit applications.

How to Apply
Step 1: Submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI): To submit your LOI, log-in to our grantmaking site: https://www.grantinterface.com/russell/common/logon.aspx

  • New Organizations: If you believe your request meets the eligibility criteria as outlined above, create an account through our online grants management system. This portal will be the place where you will submit applications if invited, reports and any other documentation as requested by the grants manager.
  • Returning Organizations: Use existing login information to access your account. Please update your profile information and notify the Foundation if you have any changes regarding your organization.

Step 2: Submit a Proposal

  • After your LOI is reviewed, you will be notified as to whether you are invited to submit a full proposal. You will receive instructions via e-mail, however, if you have technical issues please contact Linsey Sauer.

Staff