Environmental Education

The Environmental Education grants program funds projects that develop knowledge and skills in protecting and restoring our environment.

This program is currently closed to applications and will reopen in September 2024.


The Environmental Education program funds projects that develop, broaden and transform the community's knowledge, skills, and intrinsic motivation to engage in sustainable behaviour and encourage participation in protecting the environment.

Funding proposals are expected to incorporate the following elements:

  • environmental benefit
  • community need
  • collaboration
  • transformative learning leading to behavioural change
  • evaluation and dissemination.

Who can apply?

  • Community organisations
  • Community groups
  • Incorporated associations
  • Incorporated non-profit organisations
  • Local councils
  • Local Land Services
  • NSW Local Aboriginal Land Councils
  • Non-commercial cooperatives
  • Other local government-controlled organisations
  • Regional organisations of councils
  • Registered NSW Aboriginal Corporations
  • State government agencies and/or statutory committees
  • Universities.

Funding available

Two funding tiers are available for environmental education projects.

Total annual allocation Funding tier Funding amount per project Project timeframe
$1,000,000 1 up to $60,000 2–3 years
2 from $60,001 to $250,000 3–5 years

For more information on the funding tiers and the types of activities and outcomes expected for each, please refer to the program guidelines below.

Priority themes

Since 2020, the Trust has been implementing its Strategic Plan 2020–24.

Applications to the 2023–24 round were required to address at least one of the following immediate funding priorities from the NSW Environmental Trust Strategic Plan 2020–24:

  • addressing climate change impacts on the natural environment – both mitigation and adaptation
  • supporting threatened species recovery.

The program is currently closed. The guidelines and forms below are for interest only.

All applications must be made via the Trust's online Grants Management System (GMS), which is purpose-built to manage the entire grant process online, from application to final acquittal.

Download the Grants Management System Online Portal user manual, which explains how to register, log in, start and manage access to your application only.

By using the Grants Management System, we will collect some personal information. The Grants Management System privacy policy outlines how this information will be managed.

Apply now

The following documents are available to assist applicants in preparing their application in the Grant Management System:

All aspects of planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting (including expenditure) will be managed through the online Grants Management System. Instructions for using the Grants Management System are available through either:

More information on planning and reporting can be found on the Trust's planning and reporting page.

The successful 2022 projects have now been announced. In the 2022 round we:

  • received 23 applications to Tier 1
  • received 25 applications to Tier 2
  • awarded funding to 4 Tier 1 projects totalling $226,731
  • awarded funding to 4 Tier 2 projects totalling $900,115

2022 Education program project summaries

The Trust has all its contestable grants programs independently evaluated to assess their effectiveness.

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) – Institute for Public Policy & Governance and Institute for Sustainable Futures recently evaluated the Trust’s Environmental education program. The evaluation examined how the program was delivered, and the projects it funded, from 2010–16.

UTS completed its work in April 2018 and then presented its final report (PDF 3.6MB). The Trust considered and accepted the report in October 2018.

The evaluation concluded that the program was well run and filled a critical niche in the environmental education space; however, it also recommended changes to:

  • program design, operating and policy context
  • program governance and customer experience

These recommendations are progressively being incorporated into the program by the Environmental Trust.

The Trust developed an administrative response (PDF 356KB) to address these issues.