Watchable Wildlife Grant Program

This grant is biannual and will return in 2023. Thanks to all who applied in 2021

In 2021 the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) created the Washington Watchable Wildlife Grant Program to support wildlife viewing opportunities and foster an appreciation for and stewardship of wildlife. Funds to support the Washington Watchable Wildlife Grant come from the Wild on Washington: Eagle license plate – one of WDFW’s specialized license plates.

Watchable wildlife or wildlife viewing is a recreational activity of observing animals or signs of animals in their habitats (e.g. tracks, nests, scat). This includes exploring habitat in person or online to better understand wildlife.

WDFW’s Watchable Wildlife Program as defined by RCW 77.32.560 includes but is not limited to: Initiating partnerships with communities to jointly develop watchable wildlife projects, building infrastructure to serve wildlife viewers, assisting and training communities in conducting wildlife watching events, developing destination wildlife viewing corridors and trails, tours, maps, brochures, and travel aides, and offering grants to assist rural communities in identifying key wildlife attractions and ways to protect and promote them.

WDFW will accept grant applications for projects that create, improve, increase, and/or promote opportunities for communities to view wildlife.

WDFW encourages initiatives brought forward by/co-developed with underserved communities to address stated community needs and that are imbued with equity and justice values. They will benefit or address barriers of underserved/underrepresented communities and/or apply diverse, equitable, and inclusive concepts in their projects.

2021 Grant application schedule

  • May 31: Application open
  • July 25: Application due
  • July 26 - Aug 20: Application review
  • Aug 23 - Aug 27: Award notification
  • Aug 23 - Sept 24: Grants issued
  • Sept 27: Project initiation
  • June 23, 2023: All costs must be incurred and project deliverables due


  • Total available: $30,000
  • Grant award minimum: $5,000
  • Grant award maximum: $30,000


Grant is intended to:

  • Create, improve, increase, and/or promote opportunities to view wildlife
  • Benefit Washington wildlife and residents
  • Increase awareness of wildlife conservation efforts in communities
  • Increase community involvement in wildlife conservation

Grant is NOT intended to:

  • Fund citizen/community science with data collection as the primary goal
  • Fund projects outside of Washington

Project examples:

  • Develop a pollinator garden in your schoolyard
  • Take students from a Title I school on a trip to a local WDFW wildlife area
  • Create signage for wildlife identification in a park or along a trail
  • Build purple martin or bat boxes with a scout troop
  • Install wildlife viewing platforms
  • Host a community outreach event to ride bikes and go birding together
  • Incorporate ADA-accessible features and materials into a nature center

Who can apply

  • Individuals
  • Non-profits
  • Schools
  • Local and county governments

WDFW employees are NOT eligible to apply for the Watchable Wildlife Grant.

Matching funds and efforts

A project match of 25% strongly encouraged. Match must be listed in project proposal. Matching costs may be cash (a proportion of each dollar spent on project activities being paid for by WDFW funds) or in-kind (non-cash contributions towards the project)

A match may include:

  • Funds
  • Labor (this grant will NOT reimburse grantees for salaries and benefits for grantee staff working on these projects)
  • Equipment
  • Materials
  • Federal, state, local, or private grants

Application Requirements


In general terms, please tell us about yourself or the organization you're representing and the project or effort you are proposing.

Project description

  1. Explain how project relates to watchable wildlife/wildlife viewing
  2. Explain how project creates, increases, and/or promotes opportunities to view wildlife
  3. Clearly define project goals and partners

Outreach and education

  1. Describe audience you are trying to engage and how you plan to do so
  2. Describe how project will engage with target audience

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

  1. Explain if your project plans to address ways to be more diverse, equitable, or inclusive to underserved/underrepresented audiences or is imbued with equity and justice values?
  2. Explain if project plans to connect with an underserved/underrepresented audience and if so, who that audience is
  3. Describe if project plans to meet a stated community need or address a barrier to participation
  4. If project is intending to address barriers to underserved/underrepresented communities, describe if and how project is being brought forward by/co-developed with the underserved/underrepresented communities it intends to serve


  1. Describe how you plan to measure success of effort
  2. Describe how data will be collected from participants, public, and/or project


  1. Clearly define requested grant dollar amount and detailed budget justification
    • Clearly describe use and costs of budget in line-item form
    • Describe matching funds, in-kind hours, or other types of match
  2. Clearly describe what the deliverable(s) is for your project.