By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator
There’s no shortage of ideas for great nature photography and conservation projects. And there are certainly many problems to address. What’s often lacking is funding, especially in a pandemic. If you have a peer-reviewed environmental project, the NANPA Foundation’s Philip Hyde Conservation Grant might be right up your alley.
Given annually by the NANPA Foundation, the $2,500 grant goes to an individual working on an existing project designed to improve, protect, or preserve the condition of the environment. Of course, photography has to be an important part of the project, but that doesn’t stop you from also using video, multimedia, sound recordings or, well, pretty much anything else. There are some rules and conditions, which can be found here. This year’s application window closes on October 30th at 11 p.m. Eastern, so start getting yours together now!
Receiving a grant can help deepen or expand a project. Having one grant often validates a project in the eyes of other grant-making organizations and donors. Even a small grant may give one enough of a cushion to get through an unexpected expense and keep a project on track.
Previous awards have gone to projects that focus on everything from bumble bees to big, old trees and from California to Washington, DC. Often, Philip Hyde Conservation Grant recipients have gone on to bigger things but each one has made a difference.
Florian Schulz received a Hyde Grant in 2006 for Yellowstone to Yukon: Freedom to Roam. This project aimed to create a corridor along the western mountains, connecting pockets of wilderness, parks and preserves that would allow animals to migrate and roam over an intact and healthy ecosystem. Florian went on to work on a second corridor, Baja to Beaufort, covering the coastal areas, both land and sea, along the west coast. He was recently working on a documentary film project about the beauty and value of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and is an in-demand speaker who received NANPA’s Outstanding Photographer of the Year Award in 2019.
Krista Schlyer received a 2016 Hyde Grant for her Anacostia Project, documenting the Anacostia River watershed and the plants and animals who live there. Running through suburbs and industrial areas in and around Washington, DC, the Anacostia had been one of “the most imperiled watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay region.” Her project turned into River of Redemption, several exhibitions and displays, a book and an interactive digital story map of the river. Krista has also received widespread recognition, including a 2021 NANPA Environmental Impact Award, for her Borderlands project along the southern border of the US involving roaming animals whose movement patterns would be disrupted by a border wall.
David Herasimtschuk’s Hidden Rivers: The Freshwater Biodiversity of Southern Appalachia was partly funded through a 2014 Hyde Grant. The Hidden Rivers photography exhibit was created to provide an immersive look into the seldom seen diversity of life that inhabit the rivers and creeks of Southern Appalachia. A resulting film premiered on World Water Day in 2019 and has screened at nearly 100 community events. Herasimtschuk gave us a project update here.
Mac Stone received his Hyde Grant in 2018 for The Old Growth Project, an exploration of three old-growth, bottomland, hardwood swamps in the American south. In the process, he and his colleagues were able to photographically document the pollination of the ghost orchid for the very first time.
The 2015 Hyde Grant went to Alison M. Jones and her project, No Water, No Life (NWNL). Since 2006 NWNL has been documenting the availability and quality of fresh water in North America and Africa. They had collected hundreds of interviews with “voices of the rivers,” the scientists, stakeholders and residents of the watersheds but needed extra funding to transcribe them. Hyde Grant to the rescue! When we last checked in with Alison and her project manager Sarah Ross, over 400 interviews had been transcribed.
If you’re involved in a conservation project involving photography, whether large or small, near or far, check out the rules and requirements for a Philip Hyde Conservation Grant. You could be the next recipient! But hurry. The application window closes on October 30th.
Frank Gallagher is a landscape and nature photographer based in the Washington, DC, area who specializes in providing a wide range of photograph services to nonprofit organizations. He manages NANPA’s blog and edits NANPA’s annual journal, Expressions.