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Schoolyard Habitats FAQs

All ages are involved. From children in day care centers and preschools, and thousands of students in grades K-12, to parents, university students, teachers, administrators, community members, and volunteers, Schoolyard Habitats® projects truly do reach all ages.
The number of certified Schoolyard Habitats® sites grows each day. There are certified schoolyard in every state in the nation and two territories. Certified habitats are also international, with sites in Thailand, Italy, United Kingdom and other countries.
There is no minimum amount of land needed for Schoolyard Habitats® projects. Many schools complete successful projects with no land at all! They build planter boxes and add feeders, bird baths, etc. onto an unused section of their asphalt playgrounds or even on their roofs. They remove areas of asphalt to create new planting areas. Others use their limited amount of green space--such as a small courtyard--to its fullest potential. Smaller projects may focus on attracting and supporting local insects, butterflies, and birds. Schools with more land do everything from restoring native prairie to creating a wetland.
Schools, backyards, community and business sites each certify the same way. All must incorporate the four elements of habitat (food, water, cover and places for wildlife to raise their young) and be registered with NWF through our online certification form.

The planning, design, implementation, and on-going monitoring and maintenance of a schoolyard habitat provides endless opportunities to meet and exceed high academic standards across the curriculum.

Learn more about the academic benefits to Schoolyard Habitats® >>

Schools and organizations benefit from certifying their habitat projects in many ways. When a school gets certified, National Wildlife Federation sends the school a press release the school can send to local papers. This publicity helps schools gain additional community support and aids in future fundraising efforts for the schoolyard project. Once certified, schools are also able to order an attractive sign, which they can post to announce and describe their efforts.

In addition, certified schools can receive an online newsletter specifically for educators, and benefit from belonging to this dynamic network of educators and schools involved in habitat restoration and hands-on outdoor instruction.

Most people find that applying for certification is a helpful, tangible goal along the road of habitat restoration. Receiving Schoolyard Habitats® certification from NWF is a huge accomplishment and reason for a school-wide celebration. Certification represents official acknowledgment of a school's hard work and achievements, and provides a new boost of energy for the work that lies ahead to maintain and fully utilize the schoolyard habitat. Certification is just the beginning!

The number of certified Schoolyard Habitats® sites grows each day. There are certified schoolyard in every state in the nation and two territories. Certified habitats are also international, with sites in Thailand, Italy, United Kingdom and other countries.