Whether it’s a waste reduction program within the walls of the school building or natural projects, such as habitat enhancement or outdoor classrooms in the exterior schoolyard, school environmental projects have the potential to significantly benefit both human and natural communities. Creating a successful project takes time and determination to ensure its continued use and long-term sustainability. The common qualities of excellent school projects are: ecological significance, curriculum integration and long-term community connection. Effective projects improve the community’s environmental health and provide students & teachers with opportunities for interactions with the natural world. These projects are an integrated component of the curriculum inextricably linked to the academic achievements of the school and the ecological health of the community. Whether you already have a project in mind, or are simply interested in learning about potential project choices, these first steps will help you create the foundation to ensure your project’s success.
- Establish a Schoolyard Habitat Team: Form a team to provide support & whole-school investment.
- Form an Eco Action Team: Form a diverse team to help qualify for Eco-Schools USA awards
- Brainstorm Project Ideas: What needs could a potential project address?
- Survey the School Community: Survey your school community to spur ideas and involvement
- Brainstorm Project Possibilities: Consider appropriate project types & features.
- Understand & Develop a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE)