Ranger Rick is now available for all ages!

School Grounds Pathway

eight pathways schoolgrounds

For many schools, the outdoor space is dominated by expansive maintained lawns, athletic fields or asphalted play areas. As today's school districts and individual schools are challenged to increase both energy efficiency and testing scores for students, redesigning the school grounds and reclaiming the landscape as an outdoor classroom can assist schools in achieving both objectives.

For more than 17 years, the National Wildlife Federation has worked with schools to provide the resources and tools needed to create outdoor classrooms and to provide educators with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities for students. More than 3,400 NWF Schoolyard Habitats have been certified across the country to date.

What Can Schools Do About School Grounds?

In today's learning environments where schools are striving to meet and exceed high standards of learning, educators and youth leaders must be creative in presenting content. The school grounds provides an engaging, hands-on and real-world location for teaching concepts in a variety of disciplines. Research has demonstrated that in all discipline areas, students who are given the opportunity to directly engage in outdoor education and experiential learning have been able to significantly increase their capacity for learning.

Has your school developed a great way to use the school grounds as outdoor learning spaces? If so, why not share it on our Facebook page?

Eco-Schools USA Partner 

Green Ribbon Schools

For examples of other activities, check out these suggested actions from the Texas Green Ribbon Schools that align with our pathways.  Activities under the Texas Green Ribbon program can be used for meeting many of the Eco-Schools USA seven step requirements!

Improve Student Learning
State Education and Environment Roundtable (SEER)

Find out how using the environment as an integrating context improves student learning.

Schoolyard Habitats

Shoolyard Habitat

See how educators and students can attract and support local wildlife in their Schoolyard Habitats®.