Student | Teacher Resources

Outdoor Classroom Program (K-12)

The NRD’s Outdoor Classroom Programs were developed to provide funding to promote the education of our natural resources through hands-on learning.  Funding is provided through three types of grants: Outdoor Classroom, Community Grants, and Mini-School Grants (applications below).

Outdoor Classrooms For Schools- up to $2,500  Application   

Outdoor classrooms are provided to enhance learning through nature and found in both primary and secondary schools within the District. Schools that have received funding in the past include: Grand Island Northwest High School, Lexington District #22, Wood River Elementary, Centura Public Schools, Horizon Middle School-Kearney, Northeast Elementary-Kearney, Glenwood Elementary-Kearney, Doniphan-Trumbull Elementary, Cozad Community Schools, Grand Island Senior High, Kearney High School.
*Better Together- Monarch Butterfly Habitats was the latest project to receive funding in March 2018 to develop three Monarch Butterfly habitats in Grand Island.  Students from Success Academy, Westridge Middle School, Knickrehm Elementary, and Skills Academy students and mentors from Rotary’s Leadership Tomorrow Program will grow, design, and plant habitats at Westridge Middle School, Knickrehm Elementary, and Stuhr Museum. The goal of the three habitats is to provide an outdoor classroom space for students to engage in hands-on educational opportunities while providing shelter, food, and water for the conservation of the Monarch Butterfly.
*Outdoor Classroom & Garden  The board also approved an Outdoor Classroom & Garden application submitted by the Roots & Shoots Club at Barr Middle School. The project goal is to provide a place for students to learn about plants, insect pollinators, and how to grow vegetables. There are plans for the science and family consumer science teachers to use the area, reaching nearly 750 students each year. The Roots & Shoots Club plans to maintain the area throughout the summer.

Community Grant- up to $2,000   Application  

CPNRD Community Grant provides community organizations grant funds to provide natural resources education to school groups or to the public.  *Little Sprouts Outdoor Classroom- The Kearney Area Children’s Museum received funding from CPNRD to develop a Prairie Garden Walkway in their Little Sprouts Outdoor Classroom.  Plants will be selected that represent the prairie throughout the four seasons of the year.  Tours and workshops will be conducted focusing on biodiversity, characteristics of native prairie plants, and the role that these plants play in supporting the prairie ecosystem.   

Mini Classroom Grant- $35 per teacher   Application 

The Mini Classroom Grant provides $35 to classroom teachers for natural resources classroom activities, field trips, etc. Additional funding is available for environmental education activities and projects.

Contact Marcia Lee at (308) 385-6282 or for details on the school, community, or mini classroom grant programs.


Natural Resources Link – Educator Newsletter

January 2018 Edition:
~ Environmental Education: Nebraska Focus (K-12)
~ ACE Camp: Is Learning Really This Fun? (Middle School)
~ Free Arbor Day Seedlings (K-12)
~ Prescribed Fire/Range Management Outreach (High School)
~ Scholarships Available for College Students (College)
~ Register for Central Region Envirothon Contests (High School)

November 2017 Edition  Articles: Connecting With Nature, Register for Groundwater Festival, Change to College Scholarships, Free Arbor Day Seedlings, Citizen Science in the Classroom

March 2017 Edition  Articles: Outdoor Classrooms-Take It Outside!, Free Arbor Day Seedlings, Free Monarch Habitat Educator Packets, CPNRD-Ron Bishop College Scholarship Program, Taking Registrations for Groundwater Festival, Adventure Camp About the Environment for Middle School


Educator Workshops

Join Nebraska Project WILD and the Nebraska Natural Legacy Project for a FREE two day in-depth educator workshop on Monday June 18 & Tuesday June 19th, 2018 at the Derr House in Wood River, NE.

Our 2018 Legacy in Environment Education Discovery or LEED Educator Workshop will focus on the Rainwater Basin Biologically unique landscape.  This year educators will investigate the 100,000 acres of wetlands that are critical for numerous migratory birds and North American Waterfowl.  Participants will engage with natural resource professionals who will share their knowledge and expertise to the unique flora and fauna in this area of Nebraska.

This workshop is specifically designed for 5-12th grade formal classroom educators, of all subjects.  Educators will be doing hands on investigations, such as macroinvertebrates, plant hikes, water ecology and monitoring, bird lessons and much more in the hopes of taking this learned knowledge back to their classrooms.

Interested in attending this workshop?  Check out this flyer for more information.

Ready to register?  Please email with your full name, phone number, school/affiliation and grade levels and subjects taught.  Hurry! Workshop capacity is 20 participants…register today!

Monica Macoubrie |  Wildlife Education Assistant
Nebraska Game & Parks Commission   t:402.471.5363

Nebraska Children’s Groundwater Festival (5th)

All 5th-grade students (public & private schools) are invited to attend the Nebraska Children’s Groundwater Festival, held at the Central Community College and College Park in Grand Island, NE.  This educational event brings water and natural resources professionals together to educate students about groundwater conservation.
Find out more!


Scholarship Program

CPNRD-Ron Bishop College Scholarship   This program awards $1,000 scholarships to 5 students majoring in or enrolled in a natural resources field and is open to college students and high school seniors.  Return applicants and recipients are welcome to apply.   Scholarship Page


Summer Camps

Summer Camp Scholarships  The Central Platte NRD offers $100 scholarships for middle and high school students to attend natural resources-related summer camps such as ACE and Range Judging camps.  The NRD provides $100 per child towards registration costs to attend approved summer camps.  Eligibility Requirement: Students must live within the Central Platte NRD (map).   For more information on how to receive a summer camp scholarship, email Marcia or call (308) 385-6282.

NRDs Adventure Camp about the Environment   ACE Brochure & Registration Form  |  ACE Scholarship Application  Middle school students residing in the CPNRD are encouraged to attend ACE- Adventure Camp about the Environment (ACE), hosted by Nebraska’s 23 Natural Resources Districts and several education partners.  ACE Camp will be held at the State 4-H camp in Halsey, Nebraska from June 10-13, 2018.  The camp is for students who will have completed 6th, 7th or 8th grades. While at the camp students will learn from experts in the fields of forestry, energy, wetlands, soils, range, water and wildlife. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in archery, zip line, tanking and tubing at the camp. Contact Marcia or call (308) 385-6282.

Nebraska Youth Range Camp High school students are invited to attend the 55th Nebraska Youth Range Camp to be held June 2018 at the Nebraska State 4-H Camp in Halsey. Range Camp is for students between the ages of 14-18. The camp’s dynamic curriculum appeals to students with a wide array of interests including, but not limited to, rangeland management, conservation, ecology, animal science, and wildlife. Students who attend this camp will be actively involved with field activities, lectures, hands-on experience, recreational leadership and team-building activities.  POLICY REGARDING NEBRASKA YOUTH RANGE CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS  Central Platte NRD will reimburse qualified students in the amount of $100 after confirmation from the Society of Range Management that the students have attended the full camp.  CPNRD will request a list of camp attendees from the SRM and mail the sponsorship check to the parent listed on the registration form.  Students must request sponsorship prior to attending the camp by providing a copy of their registration form to Marcia Lee:    Fax: (308) 385-6285    Mail:  Central Platte NRD, 215 Kaufman Ave, Grand Island NE 68803


High School Contests

Click on the contests hosted by CPNRD below for details/results of each contest:

Envirothon   |   Land Judging   |   Range Judging