Watchable Wildlife Small Grants Request

This granting opportunity seeks to help develop Watchable Wildlife Grants, funded through the Wildlife Conservation Fund and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, to help develop wildlife-viewing and nature-based experiences in Nebraska. The intent of these grants is to help the public build appreciation and stewardship for natural resources through an experience. A maximum of $6,000 is available per proposal. A 25% match is required, which may include an in-kind match. Potential projects include but are not limited to viewing site development, events, infrastructure, interpretive signs, equipment and plan development.

Eligible projects

  • Non-profit, governmental, and for-profit entities are all eligible to apply. If the application is by a for-profit entity, the applicant must describe how the project is not designed for the sole benefit of profit of the organization or company.
  • The proposal must distinguish if the majority focus is on game and/or nongame species, as related to wildlife-observation.
  • The project must develop ways to improve wildlife observation.
  • The project must have a net positive impact on natural resources and wildlife.
  • The project must promote stewardship and appreciation of local natural resources.
  • A project that is already completed prior to completion of the grant process is ineligible.
  • Computers, software, and items of similar nature are ineligible.
  • A project funded previously will not be funded.


  • Maximum of $6,000 per proposal.
  • A 25% match is required.
  • In-kind match is acceptable.


  • Deadline to submit proposals is October 23, 2022. 
  • Grants will be reviewed by a Nebraska Watchable Wildlife Committee.
  • Awarded projects will be announced in November 2022.
  • Projects must be completed, with final reports and invoices submitted by June 2, 2023.
  • No extensions will be granted for these funds.

Grant Application

Ranking criteria

1) Wildlife Observation Value:

      • Does this project provide a reasonable opportunity for people to observe wildlife?
      • Does it provide an observation experience that is not damaging or disruptive to wildlife?
      • Does this project reasonably relate to game and/or nongame species and habitats?

2) Education Value or Content Value:

      • Does it educate people on recreation opportunities at this location appropriately?
      • Does this project educate people about what they are experiencing?

3) Reach/Participation:

      • How many people are likely to be impacted by this project annually?
      • What is the target audience of this project?
      • How will this project recruit individuals to participate?
      • How will it encourage more nature-based recreation?

4) Integration:

      • How will this project impact or integrate with the region or local communities?
      • Does your project promote a larger region or your community as a tourism destination?
      • Are partners engaged in this project?

5) Capacity Building:

      • Is this a new development or a new component of an existing endeavor?
      • Does this project encourage new partnerships or secure new funding sources?

6) Sustainable:

      • Will this project be maintained in the future? How?
      • What is the expected lifespan of the project?
      • Is this something that will require this grant annually in order to continue?


  • To receive a grant award, a contract between the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the recipient will be established (allow 3–4 weeks).
  • Watchable Wildlife Grants are a reimbursement program, and must show receipts, established match, and a final report in order to receive reimbursement.
  • Depending on the nature of the project, an interim report may be required describing project progress including photos if applicable.
  • Projects must be available for site visits from Nebraska Game and Parks Commission staff.
  • Projects must give credit to the Nebraska Wildlife Conservation Fund and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission when appropriate.
  • A final report is due upon project completion, with a deadline of June 2, 2023.
    • There will be no ability to extend these funds past the June 2, 2023 deadline.


Grant Application Form
Sample Budget Sheet
Invoice Template
Final Report Template
Past Awardees

Awarded Projects 2022-2023

Organization Project Award Amount
Crane Maintenance Trust Inc. Wildlife Viewing Area Enhancements $2,400
ESU #3 (Gifford Farm) Nature Trail & Platform Project $5,516.35
Hastings Middle School Wetland Observation Deck $6,000
Bluebirds Across Nebraska Chimney Swift Tower $4,083.65
Neil Dankert Moth Addition to Nebraska Lepidoptera $6,000
Niobrara State Park Grouse Viewing Blind $5,615
Burchard Lake WMA Prairie Chicken Blind Improvements $500
E.T. Mahoney State Park Bird Viewing Pond $6,000
Smith Falls State Park Nature Trails Signs $2,392
Wildlife Education Division Neighborhood Nature Fest $1,493


Contact Olivia DaRugna at (308) 631-7463,