Healthy Habitats is a nonprofit that provides grants and resources to schools and nonprofit youth organizations across the state, enabling students to engage in service-learning projects benefiting wildlife and the environment.


Schools and non-profit youth organizations conduct Healthy Habitats projects throughout Texas. From 2009 - 2012, 47 grants ranging up to $10,000 each were awarded to help address priorities in the Texas Conservation Action Plan (formerly the Texas Wildlife Action Plan), a blueprint to "keep common species common" and avoid more species from becoming threatened and endangered. The program involved more than 8000 students, 280 community partners, and 500 parents.


Through the program, students research and define a local environmental issue, investigate public and organizational policies related to the issue, and then design and implement a service-learning project in collaboration with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff and other community partners. Administrative coordinators monitor the students' work, and evaluations take place at various stages during the grant year. Results of each project are shared with public officials, community leaders and members of the media, and profiles are developed for each project for inclusion on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Healthy Habitats websites. In addition, photos, video and updates of progress and milestones are communicated on the Healthy Habitats Facebook page, and field data is shared with many citizen science projects.


Funding for the Healthy Habitats program was initially made possible by a donation from Encana Oil & Gas, one of the nation's largest independent natural gas producers, to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. Encana funded the program from 2009 - 2012. Currently, funding comes from multiple donations and grants. Texas is believed to be the first state offering grants for student service projects to support a state wildlife action plan.