UPEC offers two Grant Opportunities!


UPEC Environmental Education Grants

All grant applications are due the second Friday of January of each year.

Please complete this Word doc and submit the application in one complete DIGITAL file to upec@upenvironment.org    

Education Grant FAQs

WHO? K-12 educators in Upper Peninsula schools, public or private, or other groups and institutions wanting to create or enhance an environmental program or support an ongoing activity.

WHY? Grants will be funded to provide financial assistance in providing quality environmental education programs and/or ongoing projects in need of support. 

Special consideration will be to fund at least one grant, among those funded, that advocates for the environment through the arts, which will be broadly interpreted to include art, dance or music; this arts grant award is in memory of a donor, the late Bonnie Miljour. 

We welcome proposals that provide hands-on experiences for young people in outdoor settings.

WHAT? Grant may Not be used for salaries, but most all other expenses (for example, transportation, meals, supplies, honoraria) are acceptable. Grant recipients will be required to present a final report that includes an accounting of funds expended and outcomes achieved upon completion of the program. Reports may be published in the UPEC newsletter and may be edited.

HOW MUCH? Depending upon the quality of the application as evaluated by the UPEC board, monetary awards up to $500 each will be made for projects completed over the next 12-month period. We welcome new proposals and seek to help new projects receive funding.
WHEN Do I need to Apply? All grant applications are due the second Friday of January each year. 

HOW Do I Apply? Please e-mail this Word doc to us at: upec@upenvironment.org   
NOTE: Applications must be submitted in one digital file, either a Microsoft Word file or a pdf format; paper applications will not be accepted.

History of UPEC Environmental Education Grants:

Since 2003, Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) Board has approved funding for annual special non-endowed designated mini-grants. The funds represent a deepened commitment to environmental education in the Upper Peninsula. The Environmental Education Fund is designed to provide small grants each year to educator-promoted environmental projects within K-12 schools (public or private) in the Upper Peninsula. The initial total funding level was $1000 per year, this amount has been augmented by fund-raising and through member contributions directly into this fund. Karen Bakula, UPEC Board member at the time, and science educator from Marquette, played a key role in helping set up this fund. “With cutbacks in state and local funding for schools,” she said, “this UPEC fund can play a modest role in supporting the projects of U.P. science teachers. Even small amounts can make the difference between ‘go’ and ‘no go’ when you are on a shoestring budget.”


A special grant – the Bonnie Miljour Grant – goes to support environmental education through the Arts.
The 2016 Bonnie Miljour Grant was awarded to the Marquette Earth Angels, a performing arts program that presented “Solar Power to the People” 


During 2016 UPEC funded more than $4,000 in educational grants, awarded to 10 environmental education projects that supported: Copper Country School Recycling Initiative, students study of the spring raptor migration, students learning about our rich Ojibwa culture, school trail rehab, school organic garden and nature trail, and learning about local wildlife.

During 2015 UPEC funded 11 projects that included hands-on education about Lake Superior; studies of watersheds, native plants, and aquatic species; scholarships for regional students to attend the biennial Lake Superior Youth Symposium in Thunder Bay; a program about the biology of bats and threats they face; the conversion of a school playground into an outdoor nature classroom; and citizen science about the human footprint on the landscape.

For more information, contact us at: upec@upenvironment.org  




Click here for printable info sheet

Click here for UPEC Community Conservation Grant Application

Click here for general info on the CC grant

We have had great interest in our Community Conservation Projects Grant program.

This program began in 2016, and has been made possible by a bequest from long time UPEC member, the late Tom Church. UPEC has given away $94,500 so far under this CCG program: $30,000 to three grants in 2016 for land acquisition; $12,500 to three grants in 2017 that were not for land acquisition; $25,500 to three grants in 2018, one of which was for land acquisition and two to enable future
land acquisition; $26,500 to three grants in 2019, one for land acquisition, one for environmental protection, one for community environmental education. Our priority has been to further the permanent acquisition of ecologically rich
parcels of land with an eye to community support and vulnerability to loss. UPEC members past engagement with the issues in the grant requests has also played a role in our decisions.
The amount we have given away has depended upon the perceived quality of the grant applications and the health of UPEC’ s budget for that year.

The application deadline for CC grants is the second Friday of January each year.
Community Conservation Fund Description

This fund is designed to enable communities in the U.P. to step up a level in their promotion of conservation values in their watershed or locality. In the past the landscape of the U.P. was often hostage to the short-sighted actions of human owners, whether large corporations or small non-industrial landowners, and to the relentless play of market forces.  The opposite trend, embodied in the environmental laws of state and federal governments as well as in the private conservancy movement, works to protect natural areas for public benefit and to safeguard significant populations of fish, wildlife, and plants and the ecosystems which support them. These latter values are the conservation values which this Fund is intended to enhance at the level of community action.
The Upper Peninsula is in an envious position in terms of conservation planning.  Over forty percent of the landscape is protected, which may be enough to insure that most of our native flora and fauna will not be pressed into extinction, even with the added stresses of climate chaos and invasive species.  Our task is to hold our ground, and steadily to enhance the capacity of our public and private lands to support the full abundance of wildlife that once characterized the Great Lakes biosphere.  The return of all the top predators — wolves, cougars, lynx — is essential to a fully functioning ecosystem, where all the players are present in the drama of the evolution of life.  In its small way, the new CC UPEC grant program offers all of us, within our communities, the chance to be players, too, in what is being called the rewilding of North America. 


UPEC thanks our members for providing these pictures from across the UP!