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Virginia Wildlife Grant Program

In October 2010, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) and the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia (WFV) created a mutually beneficial relationship for the purpose of developing new or enhanced fundraising projects and managing funds to implement projects which aligned with the missions of the DWR and the WFV. Funds to support the Virginia Wildlife Grant Program (VWGP) come from:

Grant Conceptual Focus

Through this grant, DWR and WFV are connecting youth to the outdoors through recruitment and retention. Recruitment is creating awareness and interest in an outdoor activity and most importantly, providing a first-time or trial experience of that activity. Retention is defined as efforts or programs that will support and encourage youth to continue participating in an outdoor activity in which they are currently engaged. Effective recruitment and retention efforts provide participants with learning experiences to increase their interest and participation in the outdoor activity. By providing support and opportunities to overcome barriers and learn new skills, participants will gain confidence to continue the activity even after the program is completed. To learn more, see the DWR R3 Strategic Plan.

Grant Program News & Updates

  • The 2024 Launch and the 10th Anniversary of the Virginia Wildlife Grant Program will kick-off on January 1, 2024, with award announcement in February 2024! The new contact for the Grant Program is Kelsey Steenburgh.
  • The Virginia Wildlife Grant Program was awarded the Stephen Kellert Award at the 113th Meeting of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies for improving inclusivity and diversity of the outdoors—many thanks to all those that contributed! The meeting was held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, with more than 600 attendees, from September 23–27, 2023.

Our History

From 2014–2021, We Funded 222 Programs in These Categories

  • Archery $62,000

  • Boating/Paddling $94,400

  • Fishing $132,300

  • Hunting & Shooting Sports $84,500

  • Wildlife Viewing $158,000

2022–2023 Award Summary

Overall Stats

Award Submissions Launched: January 6, 2023

Award Submissions Concluded: February 1, 2023

Award Decision: March 15, 2023

Total Number of Submissions: 110

Total Awardees: 14

Total Award Amount: $167,600


In line with the mission of the DWR Inclusive Excellence Strategic Plan, the Grant Program continues to provide assistance to under-served communities such as:

  • Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)
  • Low income
  • Foster and kinship care
  • Persons with disabilities

Award by Activity Type

  • Archery $30,500

  • Boating/Paddling $24,000

  • Fishing $39,400

  • Hunting & Shooting Sports $35,500

  • Wildlife Viewing $38,250

Projects Funded in 2023


Organization Grant Amount
Club Archery at George Mason University $12,487.32
YMCA of the Virginia Peninsulas $4,006.00
SE 4-H Educational Center $14,021.21


Organization Grant Amount
Camp Piankatank $13,942.80
The Wild Way $10,000


Organization Grant Amount
Community Lab School $11,000
The Mayfly Project $14,031.97
Shenandoah Reel Women $14,335.35


Organization Grant Amount
Independence Outdoors $10,000.00
Virginia Tech Foundation $12,608.00
The Delta Waterfowl Foundation $12,902.00

Wildlife Viewing

Organization Grant Amount
Camp25 Inc $16,750.00
Avian Ecology Lab at Old Dominion University $10,000.00
New River Land Trust $11,500.00

How to Apply

Grant submission period: January 1 – February 1, 2024

Review Grant Application Guidance
The Outdoors are Better Together Virginia DWR Wildlife Foundation of Virginia