THV Explore Awards


(1) Create opportunities for students to explore the history, environment, and culture of the Hudson River Valley, connecting their studies to significant places.

(2) Encourage students’ appreciation for and stewardship of their communities and cultures.

(3) Connect teachers with site educators and place-based learning.

Who Can Apply

K-12 public and private schools, 2-year community colleges, not-for-profit after-school or summer programs, and qualified places (see below) hosting classes or youth groups may submit applications. Schools/groups and places visited must be in Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Ulster, or Westchester counties.

Eligible Places

Sites with cultural, historic, and/or natural significance and missions that embrace education,  interpretation, or preservation are eligible. Places must be owned or managed by a not-for-profit or government body and be open to the public regularly. Significant sites include but are not limited to archives, art galleries and museums, parks, libraries, museums, nature preserves, and other historic or heritage sites.

Performances are considered if they promote appreciation for or stewardship of the region. Performances simply held in historic buildings do not qualify; program content must be related to the purpose of Explore Awards.

Thank you

We are grateful to Stewart's Shops Holiday Match for supporting grants made in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

How to Apply

Review this page and the instructions found here. Download the application and submit the completed form by e-mail at least six weeks before your proposed trip. No other material is needed. THV acknowledges receipt of applications by e-mail only and will review proposals continuously until funds are exhausted. Applicants typically receive a response within three weeks.

Important note: please do not open the application form with Adobe Reader; use an Adobe program that allows you to type into the form. If you do not have access to such a program, let us know and we will send you the form in Word.

Explore Awards require a dollar for dollar match. Matches may be cash, in-kind, or a combination. They may come from any source, e.g., school budget, another grant, or PTAs.

In-kind contributions include non-cash support, e.g., supplies, and  the value of time spent by teachers, parents, and others preparing for and going on the trip.

See the budget section in tips for additional details. Most applicants can easily meet the required match. Please contact us if you have difficulty identifying matches.

More Funding Sources

When arranging a field experience, be sure to ask if the site has its own discount or grant program for schools. If it does, use the discount or grant as part of your Explore Award match. Here are more ways to help pay for field experiences:

Connect Kids reimburses schools up to $1,000 for transportation costs and program fees for visits to NYS parks, nature centers, or historic sites, Dept. of Environmental Conservation Environmental Education Centers, and some other sites. Eligible: Title 1 schools and their sponsored clubs, NYS Advantage After School Programs, US Dept. of Education 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and municipal youth bureaus.

Albany Institute of History & Art. Thanks to a grant from the Review Foundation, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade Title 1 classes in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady counties may apply for grants to visit the Albany Institute during the 2017-2018 year. Details: Patrick Stenshorn,, education coordinator. Space is limited.

Roosevelt Road Trip Bus Grants, made possible with support from the Dyson Foundation, are available to Mid-Hudson K-12 schools that want to visit the FDR Presidential Library and Museum. Contact the Library's education specialist,, for details.

Many community foundations have field trip programs; check with yours: Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley serves Dutchess, Putnam, and Ulster; Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan; Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region serves Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, and Saratoga; and Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation serves Columbia and eastern Dutchess.

Other funding sources include BOCES and the Candreva Environmental Foundation, which serves Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Ulster counties. Target and DonorsChoose have national programs.


After the trip, grantees resubmit their original budget sheet making any necessary adjustments and attaching appropriate invoices and proof of the match.

Explore Awards may be used for program fees, transportation, and/or admissions. In making decisions, THV takes into account cost per student, as well as total cost, and recognizes that school and community needs and resources vary.

THV summer institute

Grantees are not required to attend, but we would love to have you, and participation can help you meet the match. Since the institute is place-based professional development related expenses and unpaid time (up to $600 per person per day) may be counted as an in-kind contribution. Learn more.

More Questions?

Email or phone 845-229-9116, ext. 2035.

Photos contributed by 2016 grantees. From the top: Boys & Girls Clubs of Westchester at Westmoreland Sanctuary; Bulkeley MS (Rhinebeck) students at Time & the Valleys Museum exploring the Rondout and Neversink watersheds ; Newburgh Free Academy students at Storm King Art Center.