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Environmental field trip transportation funding request

Field trips can provide audiences of all ages a meaningful experience to see environmental processes in-person, learn about sustainability in action, and develop a closer connection with the natural world. To overcome a common barrier to going on field trips, Hennepin County provides bus transportation to schools and organizations to take their groups on environmental field trips.

Buses are provided through a contract Hennepin County has with a bus company. The county cannot reimburse for bus funding arranged through other companies.

Steps to apply for bus funding

1. Decide where you are going

Select a field trip location and activity that aligns well with the age group and interest of your audience and your educational goals. To more easily get approved for funding, select a field trip site and activity from our pre-approved list (PDF). You can go to field trip sites not listed in this document, but you will have to provide more details about the field trip location and activities and how they align with the county’s goals for this program.

2. Schedule your field trip

Work with the selected field trip site to schedule a date and time for your field trip. You must have your field trip scheduled before you apply for bus funding.

3. Plan your pre and post activities

Plan pre and post field trips activities you will do with your group to prepare them for the field trip and reinforce and enhance the learning at the field trip. For ideas, ask your field trip site contact if they have pre or post curriculum or see Hennepin County’s environmental activity guides.

4. Apply for the field trip bus grant

Complete the field trip bus grant application form at least two weeks prior to your scheduled field trip.

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Field trip locations pre-approved for bus funding

We have developed a list of field trip locations and activities that are pre-approved for bus transportation from Hennepin County.

See the pre-approved environmental field trip locations (PDF) for sites and activities.

Field trip locations not pre-approved for bus funding

You can go to field trip sites not listed in this document, but you will have to provide more details about the field trip location and activities and how they align with the county’s goals for this program. Field trips must occur within the seven-county Twin Cities metro area.

Field trips that haven’t been pre-approved for bus funding should address one of the following topics.

Preventing waste, recycling and properly disposing of hazardous waste

Topics covered include what can be recycled in our community, how the recycling process works, what products are made from recycled materials, and why recycling is important. Additional topics covered include preventing waste, reusing materials and resources, identifying and properly disposing of hazardous materials, and reducing the amount of hazardous products we use.

Sustainability and green infrastructure

Explore how humans interact with the environment to get things we need like food, water and energy, how we can build infrastructure that protects the environment, and what actions we can take to be good stewards. Topics may include farming and food systems, green building, renewable energy, and water infrastructure.

Understanding ecosystems

Learn about what an ecosystem is, how we impact ecosystems, and what we can do to protect, preserve and enhance ecosystems. Activities illustrate human interaction and impact on our environment and the plants and animals that live in it.

Eligible organizations

Eligible groups and organizations include schools, nonprofit organizations, community groups, youth groups, congregations, watershed districts, environmental clubs, and cities, located within Hennepin County.


Groups must have at least 25 participants age 7 and above. The majority of participants must be Hennepin County residents.

Bus funding limits

Hennepin County will provide bus funding for each individual once per school year (defined as July through June). For school groups, this means the county will provide funding for one bus per class and/or grade level once per school year. For youth and adult groups, this mean the group can receive one bus grant within the school year timeframe.

Scheduling your trip

To ensure we can fulfill your request, please apply for field trip transportation at least two weeks before your field trip.


If you need to cancel, you must notify the Hennepin County bus grant coordinator 48 hours before your scheduled field trip. If you don’t let us know you need to cancel 48 hours before your scheduled field trip, the field trip may count as your one field trip for the school year.

Funding availability

Funding availability: Hennepin County offers busing for environmental field trips through a non-competitive process, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Bus funding for field trips is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis until funding for the year is allocated.

Field trip locations

Field trip destinations must be located in the Twin Cities metro area. Field trip requests for sites outside of Hennepin County must illustrate that the trip could not be accomplished within the county. For quick approval, select a field trip site and activity on our pre-approved field trip lists (PDF).

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