Environmental Education and Conservation - North Cascades Bioregion


The environmental programs offered help people of all ages learn, enjoy and understand more about Skagit River and the North Cascades. The primary objectives include field-based environmental education (focusing on natural and cultural history), providing programs of public education, involvement in conservation, natural science, history and related fields of study, and conducting interpretive activities. All of these activities are to foster and enhance understanding and appreciation of the North Cascades bioregion. North Cascades Institute (operating the Learning Center under an agreement with Seattle City Light, provides all of the Learning Center's environmental education programs, serving children and adults from Skagit and Methow Valleys, the Puget Sound region and beyond. The Learning Center reaches more than 10,000 people each year in a wide variety of field-based and overnight programs. Scholarships are available. Programs include:
- Natural and cultural history seminars for adults
- Professional development experiences for teachers
- Mountain School for elementary school students
- Youth summer experiences such as North Cascades Wild and Parks Climate Challenge
- Volunteer stewardship programs
- Environmental education internships
- Graduate program: Master of Education in Environmental Education.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of the Interior
Office: National Park Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Direct Payments for Specified Use (Cooperative Agreements); Provision of Specialized Services
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: No information available. Fiscal Year 2015: No information available. Fiscal Year 2016: No information available.
16 U.S.C. 1g provides that the National Park Service may enter into cooperative agreements that involve the transfer of National Park Service appropriated funds to State, local and tribal governments, other public entities, educational institutions, and private nonprofit organizations for the public purpose of carrying out National Park Service programs pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 6305 to carry out public purposes of National Park Service programs. The Outdoor Recreation Act, as amended, 16 U.S.C., 4601-1(f), (1988), states that the Secretary is authorized to sponsor, engage in, and assist in research, undertake studies through cooperative agreements, and cooperate with educational institutions in establishing educational programs and activities relating to outdoor recreation. The North Cascades Environmental Learning Center (NCELC) is a residential education facility located on the shore of Diablo Lake in North Cascades National Park. The Learning Center is one of the central elements of the 1995 federal relicensing of Seattle City Light's Skagit River dams. This project and others are designed to mitigate the impact of hydroelectric projects on the Skagit River environment. Seattle City Light, the National Park Service and North Cascades Institute each have unique responsibilities in this partnership:
- Seattle City Light funded the design and the construction of the facility, own the buildings, and are leasing them to North Cascades Institute.
- The National Park Service dedicated land for the Learning Center within the Ross Lake National Recreation Area of North Cascades National Park Service Complex. The National Park Service also provides services such as water, sewer, fire management and educational support.
- North Cascades Institute is a non-profit organization based in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. It operates the Learning Center and provide environmental education programs for all ages and backgrounds.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
The North Cascades Institute has a legal relationship with Seattle City Light to provide the facilities and programs that meet the requirements of the FERC to provide the learning center within North Cascades National Park Complex.
Ability to provide qualified personnel to conduct training and develop programs for educational purposes in support of outdoor recreation, resource preservation and appreciation. Experience in cooperatively developing successful, cost-effective programs that meet both park and Institute educational and budgetary goals, including providing integrated educational programming.
Beneficiary Eligibility
General Public
Education Professional
Graduate Student
Sponsored Organization
Public Nonprofit Institution/Organization
Other Public Institution/Organization.
2 CFR part 200, in its entirety, applies to this program. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
All funded projects will be developed collaboratively between the three partners and executed in accordance with availability of appropriations, application law and regulations including DOI Regulations regarding Financial Assistance awards at 43 CFR Part 12 and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). An environmental impact statement is required for this program. An environmental impact assessment is required for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Projects will be documented in task agreements to be issued under the terms and conditions of a master Cooperative Agreement. Each project will include the appropriate documentation for a Financial Assistance award in accordance with National Park Service policy and regulation.
Award Procedure
Projects will be selected based on criteria developed with the partners and as approved by the Superintendent, North Cascades. All awards will be made in accordance with Department of the Interior's Policy, Departmental Manual 505DM2 based upon Unique Qualifications.
Not Applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not Applicable.
Not Applicable.
In accordance with applicable law and regulation.
How are proposals selected?
Projects will be accomplished in cooperation with the three partners and be in accordance with established priorities. Funding source will be determine criteria for prioritization.
How may assistance be used?
North Cascades National Park Service Complex was established in 1968 "In order to preserve for the benefit, use, and inspiration of present and future generations certain majestic mountain scenery, snowfields, glaciers, alpine meadows and other unique natural features in the North Cascade Mountains" (North Cascades's Act, Oct. 2, 1968, 82 Stat. 926, 16 U.S.C. 90). North Cascades National Park contains three hydroelectric power plants operated by Seattle City Light that predate establishment of the Park. As part of the license agreement from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, mitigation elements were required. North Cascades Institute operates the residential North Cascades Environmental Learning Center, an 11.6 million dollar facility which is imbedded within NOCA as required by a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) agreement with Seattle City Light, operator of three hydroelectric dams within NOCA. The Learning Center is one of the required mitigation elements for Seattle City Light's federal FERC license for continued operation of three hydroelectric reservoirs on the Skagit River. The NPS has, or is able to obtain, qualified personnel to conduct interpretive training, participate in related programs with a public purpose of support or stimulation of outdoor recreation, resource preservation, and appreciation, and recognizes the Institute as an educational organization. Discretionary appropriated funds shall be made available for Task Agreements on a case specific basis.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reports, if any, shall be specified in each Task Agreement and DOI regulations (OMB Circular A-110 and the Common Rule 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart F, paragraphs 12.951 through 12.953, and 12.971 through 12.973) and subsequent modifications as implemented by OMB. Cash reports are not applicable. Progress reports are not applicable. Expenditure reports are not applicable. Performance monitoring is not applicable.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.
Per 2 CFR Part 200.333 – 200.337.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Not applicable. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. Charles Beall
Chief of Interpretation and Education
North Cascades National Park
810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284
Headquarters Office
Deanne Adams, National Park Service, Pacific West Regional Office, 1111 Jackson Street, Suite 700, Oakland, California 94607 Phone: (360) 854-7302.
Website Address
No Data Available
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Direct Payments for Specified Use (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 14 $33,665; FY 15 est $50,000; and FY 16 est $50,000 - Request for Reimbursement schedules vary depending on projects.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range: $20,000.00 - $60,000.00
Average: $21,000.00.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
2 CFR, Part 200, 43 CFR, OMB Circulars, standard forms, and program information
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: Past project have brought educational and interpretive programs to the program’s focus area. Fiscal Year 2015: No information available. Fiscal Year 2016: No information available.


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