Youth Access to Nature Fund

Applications are now open and due by 11:59 PM PST May 6, 2024. Apply here.

 Youth Access to Nature Fund awarded over $1.3 million in 2023, and we are committed to doing even more in 2024!

“rarely, if ever, are any of us healed in isolation. Healing is an act of communion.” 

— bell hooks (All About Love)

We at Justice Outside have been so honored to be in the movement for community healing and the work for our collective liberation. Together with our program participants, grantees, and you—our community—we are growing towards systemic change, to build a future that honors the strength, joy, and leadership of Communities of Color. Grantmaking is one of our core strategies to support that systemic change, that strength, that joy and that leadership. 

In 2016, the San Francisco Foundation launched the Youth Access to Nature Fund to ensure youth of color have access to meaningful experiences in nature, to support their growth as leaders and students, and to improve their mental and physical health. During its six-year incubation period at the foundation, 35 organizations received more than $7 million in grants from a pooled-donor fund at the foundation, and 125,000 youth received hands-on, transformative experiences in the outdoors.

In January of 2022, the Youth Access to Nature Fund transitioned from being managed by the San Francisco Foundation to being managed by Justice Outside. We are excited and so humbled by their trust in our vision and our dedication to the youth of the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Liberated Paths Grantmaking: Youth Access to Nature Fund is committed to:

  • The prioritization of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led youth-serving organizations, in order to overcome the racial bias in philanthropic funding
  •  Ensuring that grant application and reporting processes that are co-designed and informed by grantees 
  • Providing grantee opportunities to participate  in quarterly capacity-building trainings to support sustainability and growth

Your work is eligible for funding if: 

  • Projects and programming engage young people* of the nine counties of the greater San Francisco Bay Area of California:
    • Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma counties

In the spring of 2023 the Liberated Paths: Youth Access to Nature Fund will opened a new round of open application funding, you can learn more about next steps with the Youth Access to Nature Fund, including how and when to apply for grants, by joining our email community, or reaching to YAN Grantmaking & Program Manager, Amelia Vigil, at You can also find answers to Frequently Asked Questions here

Interested in funding  Youth Access to Nature? Learn more about joining this pooled fund by contacting Danielle Wolfrum, Director of Donor Engagement, at

Special thanks to our friends at The San Francisco Foundation for their continued partnership in our work toward liberation.

Timeline of 2024 YAN Grantmaking

2024 Youth Access to Nature Grant MilestoneTimeline (subject to slight changes)
Application submission deadlineMay 6, 2024 by 11:59PM PST
Justice Outside review processMay 7 – June 11, 2024
Additional information requests due (if applicable)May 2024
Awards announced to selected grantees +
Updates to applicants not selected
July 2024
Awards announced publicly July 3, 2024
Funds releasedJuly to August 2024 (dependent on grantee responsiveness)