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Lacey sketches in her nature journal. Photo by Cheryl Senter.

Lacey sketches in her nature journal. Photo by Cheryl Senter.

Wellborn Ecology Fund

Encouraging local science exploration

The Wellborn Ecology Fund is dedicated to increasing environmental and ecological science knowledge in the Upper Valley.

Marguerite Wellborn was a naturalist and a writer who believed that knowledge was the key to environmental preservation.

In her will, she left nearly $10 million to create the Wellborn Ecology Fund at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, “to be used for public awareness of environmental and ecological issues in the Upper Valley.”


What we’re funding

Since its inception in 2001, the fund has awarded grants totaling more than $5.5 million to more than 125 organizations and programs.

  • Place-based ecology education has been implemented in schools across the region. Students are tracking wildlife, studying vernal pools and stream ecology, measuring climate – and much more.
  • Teachers get significant professional development and resources through the Wellborn Institute.
  • Farm-to-school projects have kids learning about local farms, local food production and good nutrition.
  • The Outside Story,” a weekly essay series, appears in Northern Woodlands magazine and in newspapers, spreading environmental education to a general audience.
  • The Upper Valley Teaching Place Collaborative connects educators, administrators, and school across the Upper Valley to the resources they need in order to meet their place-based education goals.


Marguerite’s legacy

“The Wellborn Ecology Fund has done so much to help children connect with the natural environment,” said Sally Wellborn, Marguerite’s daughter. “I think she’d probably be amazed, really, at how efficiently her simple bequest has been organized into something real and effective.”

Apply for a grant

Each year, The Wellborn Ecology Fund awards $300,000 in grants to support organizations and people that provide experientially-oriented, place-based, ecology-education programs that focus on the people and communities of the Upper Valley.

Learn more


We're here to help

To learn more about how we're bringing place-based education to kids, contact:

Traci Fowler
  • Traci Fowler
  • Senior Program Officer, Upper Valley Region