Seeds for Education (SFE) Fund

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For years, Wild Ones members and chapters have worked with schools and nature centers to plant and maintain natural landscapes in these centers of learning. In 1996, the Wild Ones Board of Directors started the Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education (SFE) Fund to further foster such projects.

Wild Ones is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the use of natural landscaping with native plant species as an ecologically better alternative to traditional landscaping practices. Founded in the late 1970's, Wild Ones has members in 43 states and 5 provinces of Canada and more than 40 chapters. Wild Ones publishes the Wild Ones Journal and its chapters sponsor seminars and field trips, and rescue native plants from destruction brought about by the development of roads and buildings. Lorrie Otto, the inspirational leader for Wild Ones, is widely acknowledged as the heart and soul of the Natural Landscape Movement. It is an honor to provide these awards in a program that carries her name.

Eligible Applicants:
Schools, nature centers and other non-profit and not-for-profit places of learning including houses of worship with a site available for this stewardship project may apply for an SFE grant annually.

Eligible Projects:
Project goals should focus on the enhancement and development of an appreciation for nature using native plants. Projects must emphasize involvement of students and volunteers and increase the educational value of the site. Creativity in design is encouraged, but must show complete and thoughtful planning. The use of and teaching about native plants and the native plant community is mandatory, and they must be appropriate to the local ecoregion and the site conditions (soil, water, sunlight). For further information on selection of local ecotype, go to Wild Ones native landscaping webpages. The project leader should be knowledgeable and committed.

Examples of appropriate projects are:

  • Wildflower gardens with habitat for butterflies or other pollinators
  • Rainwater gardens that capture run-off and feature native plant communities
  • Groves of trees or native shrubs that support birds and other wildlife
  • Larger-scale projects that may receive funding include:

  • Design, establishment and maintenance of a native-plant community such as prairie, woodland, wetland, etc., in an educational setting such as an outdoor classroom.
  • Developing and maintaining an interpretive trail landscaped with native plant communities.
  • Developing a wetland area to study the effect of native vegetation on water-quality improvement.

    Eligible Costs:
    Cash awards range from $100 to $500. Funds will be provided only for the purchase of native plants and seed.

    To be considered for the annual award, applicants must submit an electronic application by October 15th of the year prior to the grant year. Notification of awards will be made by February 15th of the grant year.

    For more information, or to download the application, visit

  • Author: 
    Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, Ltd.
    Topic Areas: 
    Target Audience: 
    Grades Pre K-12
    Citizen and Youth Groups
    Geographic Location: 
    All Minnesota
    Outside Minnesota
    Library loan: 
    Is training required?: 
    Contact(s) or order information.: 

    SFE Director
    Wild Ones Natural Landscapers
    P. O. Box 1274
    Appleton, WI 54912-1274

    WWW Link: (Add http://):