Scholarships & Reparations Fund

Great Blue Heron Scholarship Fund

The opportunity to learn and play in nature is a right, not a privilege. Yet for thousands of young people in our region, time spent outside is at an all-time low. VWS’s nature connection programs are extremely popular, and we want to ensure that every child can attend, regardless of their family’s economic situation.

VWS logoThe Great Blue Heron Fund provides over $20,000 per year in scholarship funds so that children, adults, and families can participate in VWS programs. Most scholarships provided are discounts of 10-30% of the low end of the sliding scale, but we consider all requests. We ask you to provide a short written description of your scholarship request. We do not ask you to provide evidence of income level or other personal financial information. Please ask for only what you need.

At an important moment in 1999, a Great Blue Heron flew over our assembled circle of children and adults. Other Great Blues have appeared repeatedly since then throughout our school’s history, and we honor them with in our school logo and with this fund. As the Great Blue Heron has taken care of us, we seek to take care of each other.

To request a scholarship:

  • Complete a registration form for the program in which you’d like to participate. The registration form asks you to indicate the amount of scholarship money you are requesting.
  • You must also provide a refundable deposit at the time of your registration. If you are unable to submit a deposit or complete an online registration form, please give us a call or email.
  • The deadline for scholarship requests is specified on the relevant program’s webpage. We may be able to offer scholarships after that time, but your best bet is to make your request before this deadline.
  • We will respond to your request within two weeks of the scholarship submission deadline. You then have one week after that to decide whether or not you plan to attend. If you choose not to, we will refund your deposit.
  • If the scholarship deadline has passed, you can still request a scholarship. Please contact by email or phone to make after-the-deadline requests. Your chances will not be as good, because all scholarship funds may already have been distributed.


Reparations Fund

The Reparations Fund at VWS provides funding for self-identified BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, & People of Color) individuals to participate in VWS programs.  

These funds are offered in acknowledgement of the need to undo systemic racism and colonization. VWS is a program operating on unceded Indigenous land and functioning within a colonizing system built with enslaved Black labor.  

Reparations are a crucial part of a larger effort to give back land and lifeways to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.  Our Reparations fund is an effort to contribute towards that larger goal.

This is not a scholarship fund, and it is not based on the financial situation of the participant. 

For this year, the Fund’s budget is $30,000.

To select this option, complete a registration form for the program in which you’d like to participate. Mark your selection in the BIPOC Reparations Fund section. If you select this option, you do not need to pay at the time of your registration.


We warmly welcome donations to these Funds.  Thank you!