School Funding

Refuge, DDWS Supports School Grant Applications | News, Sports, Jobs – SANIBEL-CAPTIVA

REFUGE/DDWS Students, teachers and staff at JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge dug deep into the Pocket Refuge program last year.

In partnership with the “Ting” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge, the JN “Ting” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will provide grants to five Lee County schools for the 2022-23 school year.

Since 2005, it has provided annual conservation grants to local teachers for science projects related to the study of the environment. Last year, the Environmental Education Grant Program transitioned to Pocket Refuge Grants for district schools to teach students about the importance of pollinators and the habitat that supports them.

In conjunction with school district environmental education resource Susan Hassett, the DDWS distributed $12,000 to eight schools to purchase supplies to create native pollinator gardens from a menu of native plants, birdhouses, surveillance cameras, solar-powered fountains and other improvements. The schools submitted proposals to build their gardens and maintain them for two years.

“We are all very grateful for the leadership and generosity of the ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society in investing in a new learning experience for our students,” she says. “The students who came out last year to help plant with their teachers, families and community forged new bonds that will benefit a lifetime. Thanks to ‘Ding’ Darling for creating a more beautiful Lee County, both visually and experientially.

Interested schools (K-12) can apply for the 2022-23 grants until October 31.

Selections will be made in November for gardens to be planted by May.

For the grant application, visit

For more information about applying or to support the program, contact DDWS Associate Executive Director Sierra Hoisington at [email protected] or 239-472-1100, ext. 233.