Jerry Wade Youth Habitat and Education Program (YHEP) Grants

Call for Proposals

Click here to complete online Grant Application

Work Period: Calendar Year
Final Report Due: One Year from Grant Award Date

The Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative (MoBCI) provides financial support to private and public organizations or to individuals who have partnerships that carry out bird habitat conservation projects in Missouri. Eligible activities include projects that protect, enhance or restore bird habitats on any lands in Missouri. All projects should be habitat based and include an educational component for youth.

About Jerry Wade

Jerry Wade was a teacher. As a rural sociologist and community development specialist, he greatly enjoyed working with small groups, guiding them as they made decisions to improve their communities and making them more desirable places to live—improving their habitat.

In December 1993, Jerry came upon a lone American Coot calmly exploring a tiny pond in the Chihuahuan Desert. He was astounded at the bird’s presence. The coot instantly became his favorite bird because of its ability to thrive in the hostile surroundings.

That encounter with the coot began a chain of thought. Jerry soon came to understand that the coot was flourishing because a piece of “just right” habitat was there. He put his skills into practice helping to form MoBCI, and worked to establish this fund for grants to support habitat development education. Jerry founded the Youth Habitat and Education Program as a partner with the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative Foundation. Funded solely by private citizens and non-profit organizations, grants up to $500 are available to educators—but not exclusively teachers—for habitat improvement to help birds.

Key Information for Jerry Wade Youth Habitat and Education Program (YHEP) Proposals:

  1. YHEP grants are intended to reinforce the commitment of Missouri youth and educators to bird habitat conservation (and the environment) in Missouri by providing modest financial support to projects that improve habitat for birds and involve students in grades K-12.
  2. Applicants must be youth educators in some capacity, including scout troops, clubs, 4-H or teachers.
  3. Awards will be made to the educator’s school or organization, not to an individual.
  4. Youth and partner organizations must be engaged in the project.
  5. Each project should educate its participants/students about birds and bird habitat conservation in addition to improving habitat.
  6. A 25% match is required of applicants. (Volunteer time and effort on this project can count toward your match.)
  7. YHEP dollars will be specifically directed to bird habitat improvement goals that meet the needs of birds that use native habitats in Missouri.
  8. Indirect (administrative overhead) costs will not be paid using YHEP grant funds.

Projects should benefit bird, such as grassland, woodland, forest, wetland, glade, urban or suburban birds. An acceptable project may target one or more bird species, involve habitat planning and management, and engage partners with shared goals and objectives.

Grant awards:

The Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative Foundation (Grantor) has made $1,000 available for YHEP grant(s) during each calendar year. Individual grant awards are available up to a maximum of $500 annually. YHEP grants require a 25% match of [local, state, federal, private, or NGO] funds. The match may include partner financial contributions, monitoring and evaluation costs, stewardship costs, volunteer time, etc. Potential sources of matching funds might come from the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation (email, visit or download their grant application form.), Missouri Department of Conservation (go to and search for Outdoor Classroom or Community Conservation Funding Opportunity), or Missouri Environmental Education Association ( and look under the Resources tab) for more information. Funds that support Monarch habitat creation might also serve as match dollars for YHEP grants.

Successful grantees will be required to submit a digital progress report at the conclusion of the award period at one calendar year timeframe that includes both a financial and narrative summary and photographs documenting the project activities and habitat creation/improvement. They will also be encourage to have a poster or digital presentation at the annual MoBCI conference in August following completion of the project.

Application and Review Process

YHEP grant applications must contain the information requested in the application form and must address the items listed in the “General Requirements” section below. Grant applications will be reviewed in a first come first served fashion throughout the calendar year. Application materials must be emailed to Allison Vaughn at with a subject line of MoBCI YHEP Grant.”  Only electronic applications will be accepted as attachments.

The YHEP Grant Subcommittee will review, score (based on the ranking criteria below), and provide funding recommendations to the MoBCI Steering Committee who will make the decisions regarding awards within 1 month. Priority will also be given to projects that engage underserved youth audiences.

Ranking Criteria that should be addressed in your application:

  • Audience (15 points)
  • Priority habitats conserved (5 points)
  • Bird habitat conservation goals and objectives (10 points)
  • Learning goals for trainees – educational content (10 points)
  • Priority bird species addressed (15 points)
  • Partnerships developed (10 points)
  • Assessment plan (10 points)
  • Use of project as a model for other projects/organizations (5 points)
  • Capacity of the organization(s)/individual(s) to accomplish the project (10 points)
  • Budget (10 points)

General Requirements Required in All Proposals:

  • Descriptive Title of Grant
  • Purpose of Grant (Clearly define audience, goals, objectives, and activities to be achieved with time lines.)
  • Project Location (include map if helpful)
  • Project Description including educational learning goals and teaching plans
  • Habitat types, birds, and other wildlife benefitted
  • Project must be completed within one calendar year
  • Measurable Outcomes (Identify specific and measurable outcomes that will be used for tracking progress)
  • Measurable Deliverables (Describe products or services that will be provided by the grantee. Note: Mandatory deliverables for the final report include a minimum of 3-5 good quality digital photographs of people conducting project actions and 1-2 photos clearly illustrating habitat improvements. Awardees will also be invited to have a poster or digital presentation of their work on display at the MoBCI annual conference in August.
  • Budget (Include Grant Request Amount, how it will be spent, and source of match dollars/volunteer effort/materials.)
  • Lead organization, point-of-contact, and their capacity.
  • List of partners involved in the project.

Funds will be available after the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the organization and the MoBCI Foundation. Final reports will be due at the conclusion of the award period which is one calendar year.

Grant Application

For Assistance Contact

Allison Vaughn
1659 East Elm, Jefferson City, MO 65101
573-522-3260 (W)


Jean Favara, Conservation Manager
Audubon Center at Riverlands
301 Riverlands Way, West Alton, MO 63386
Phone: (636) 899-0090

© 2003–2024 Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative