Apply for mini-grants

The Ecology and History of Onondaga Lake
Exploring Haudenosaunee and Scientific Perspectives

Grant opportunity
For Middle School and High School teachers in the Onondaga Lake watershed

ROLLING DEADLINE – Please apply!

Teachers are invited to apply for small grants to implement and test a new curriculum about traditional and scientific ecological knowledge, focusing on Onondaga Lake and structured around the Thanksgiving Address and its values of gratitude and reciprocity.

The purpose of the grants is to support one to three teachers within a single school district who wish to implement at least two lessons from the curriculum during the Fall of 2017. Three grants averaging $4000 will support

• One or more field trips to the Skä·noñh — Great Law of Peace Center on Onondaga Lake
• An in-school project
• An outreach event or display
• Teacher stipends

Experts in environmental education will be available as consultants to each project and to lead the field trips. Teachers will be expected to administer a student survey before and after the program is implemented, and to write a final report about the project, offering a critical evaluation of the curriculum.

Examples of potential in-school projects are: development of plant signage for the Skä·noñh — Great Law of Peace Center, or mapping of habitat for a chosen species. Examples of outreach projects include: creation of a mobile display or student created short video for the Skä·noñh Center featuring some aspect of Onondaga Lake natural history as related to the Thanksgiving Address (e.g. birds, fishes, plants, water). All outreach projects should highlight the school’s place in the Onondaga Lake watershed.

We encourage groups of teachers to apply who plan to engage with the curriculum from multiple disciplinary perspectives (e.g. social studies, science, and ELA).

For more information, contact Rachel May, Director of Sustainability Education, Syracuse University ( or 315-443-9726).


Applications will be considered as they come in. Please apply as soon as possible.

Submit a proposal of up to two pages that addresses the following questions:
1) What do you teach, and how do the themes of traditional and scientific ecological knowledge, Onondaga Lake, and/or Haudenosaunee values relate to your class(es)? How many students will be involved in the project? What is your school district and the grade level of your classes?
2) What specific portions of the curriculum do expect to implement? (For Middle School, they include an Introduction to the Thanksgiving Address, Plants, Sun-Moon-Stars, and the Thunderers and Four Winds. For High School, they include an Introduction to the Thanksgiving Address, Plants, Water/watershed, Food plants, and Birds.) The draft curriculum is available online at
3) What is your vision for an in-school project to complement the field trips and curriculum?
4) What will you do to reach out to your entire school to introduce the basic concepts of the thanksgiving address, your in-school project, and the school’s place in the watershed?
5) How do you expect that this opportunity will benefit you, your students, and your school?

On a separate page, include:
1) A timeline showing approximately when you expect to begin the curriculum, when you would wish to take field trip(s), and when you would complete the in-school project and school-wide outreach. The time frame for the mini-grants is September – December, 2016.

2) A budget that outlines expected expenses for the field trip(s) and materials and supplies for the in-school project and school-wide event or outreach. Food should not be included in the budget, unless there is a direct relationship to the project (e.g. a project on growing and preparing native foods). Please include an admission fee of $5 per person for field trips to the Skä·noñh-Great Law of Peace Center, and an honorarium of $250 for expert assistance with the curriculum/field trip from the developers of the curriculum. Also include a stipend of $500 for each teacher who takes a leadership role. If additional teachers want to participate in part of the project, you may include stipends of $100-$250 for them, depending on the extent of their involvement.  The total budget should be between $3000 and $4500.

3) Contact information for the budget or financial office of your school district.

Applicants must also submit a Letter of Cooperation signed by an authorized representative of the school, acknowledging that students will be completing surveys as part of this project. We will guide you through this process after you submit a proposal.

Submit proposals by mail or e-mail to:
Rachel May, Director of Sustainability Education
Syracuse University
323G Crouse-Hinds Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244