The Nature Education Facilities Program was created under the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006 (Proposition 84). This program provides funds for grants for nature education and research facilities and equipment to non-profit organizations and public institutions, including natural history museums, aquariums, research facilities and botanical gardens. Eligible institutions include those that combine the study of natural science with preservation, demonstration and education programs that serve diverse populations, institutions that provide collections and programs related to the relationship of Native American cultures to the environment, and institutions for marine wildlife conservation research. Grants may be used for buildings, structures and exhibit galleries that present the collections to inspire and educate the public and for marine wildlife conservation research equipment and facilities. The program is administered by California State Parks, Office of Grants and Local Services, utilizing the Department’s extensive experience and 40-year history of administering and managing grant programs. The development of program guidelines included a public involvement process whereby the Department solicited written comments and held public hearings at convenient locations throughout the state as part of the process for developing the procedural guide. Technical assistance workshops were also held throughout the state. Guidelines are posted at http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=1008
. Selected projects are administered using a grant administration system that ensures frequent reporting and communication with grant recipients, routine monitoring and auditing of project progress, and timely project completion.