Virginia Wildlife Grant Program now accepting applications

Published 10:10 am Saturday, August 4, 2018

by Tom Wilcox

The Virginia Wildlife Grant Program applications are now being accepted for programs that connect kids to the outdoors.

This year, $65,000, a $10,000 increase from 2017, will be awarded to qualifying programs for hunting, fishing, boating, shooting sports, trapping, and wildlife viewing activities. The Virginia Wildlife Grant Program provides a funding source to non-profits, schools and government organizations with a focus on connecting youth to the outdoors.

The program is a partnership effort between the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) and The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia (WFV) and is funded through the sales of merchandise at, private contributions and fundraising events. The application period ends Aug. 31.

For the third year in a row, Ron Kody, president of Richmond Ford, has made a substantial contribution that has sparked interest from other private individuals who recognize the powerful impact this grant program has on kids. A special thank you to Steve and Heidi Crandall from Nelson County who are dedicated to creating the next generation outdoor enthusiasts, and retired DGIF employee, Marika Byrd, for their very generous contributions to get kids outdoors. We appreciate the efforts of our donors to honor their passion.

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“Ron, Steve and Marika have not only had an immeasurable impact on the reach of this grant program, they have also paved the way for other committed sportsmen and women to direct their own charitable giving to a cause that will have a lasting effect on the outdoor landscape in Virginia.

“Our goal is to continue to grow this grant program so that maybe one day, we will have enough funds to award to every very worthy request we receive,” said Jenny West, executive director of The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia.

Bob Duncan, DGIF Executive Director, adds “Getting kids outdoors will continue to be part of the future direction of DGIF to recruit new anglers, hunters, wildlife viewers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The grant focus also supports a significant national initiative to build engagement in the outdoors called R3 – recruitment, retention, and reactivation.”

Last year, 144 applications were submitted and 27 projects were selected. The estimated number of youth impacted by these programs is about 9,500. Eleven programs focused on high-risk youth which included visually impaired and urban kids.

Applications for the Virginia Wildlife Grant Programs can be found at:  DGIF Grant Applications. Applicants should review information to determine grant focus, eligibility, funding priorities, allowable expense and grant compliance.

 Tom Wilcox is with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. He can be reached at 804-367-6892 or