certify your yard today!

Community Outreach

Reach out to your community to get materials when making your Schoolyard Habitats® project. You might be able to apply for a grant to fund your project. Another type of support is called an in-kind donation, when you receive materials directly instead of money.

Since Schoolyard Habitats projects accomplish so many goals, they often are eligible for many types of grants. Consider this: a local watershed protection organization may like to support plantings of native species, while a violence prevention agency may award the work being done to build a sense of community through the project; a private foundation or business focused on improving science education may fund curriculum purchases or Schoolyard Habitats educator trainings, while a regional environmental group may fund your efforts to attract pollinators!

Potential Donors and Volunteers

  • School PTA/PTO
  • Foundations
  • Endowment funds
  • School board of education
  • Garden clubs
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Park Service
  • Soil Conservation Service (Soil & Water Conservation Districts)
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • USDA Forest Service
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • State Departments of Education, Fish & Game, Forestry, Natural Resources or Parks and Recreation
  • City or County Councils
  • Colleges/Universities
  • Cooperative Extension Service and Master Gardeners
  • Nature Centers
  • Non-profit Organizations such as 4-H, Audubon, Boy and Girl Scouts, Lions, Kiwanis, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, The Wildlife Society, Future Farmers of America and of course, National Wildlife Federation
  • Businesses such as banks, “chain" stores (for example: Target or Home Depot), Chamber of Commerce, grocery stores, hardware stores, landscaping companies, nurseries, growers and bird feeding stores.
  • NWF's Habitat Stewards® (volunteers who have 40 hours of training on planning and implementing habitat projects)
  • Volunteer clearinghouses (maintained by nonprofits in many towns and cities)
  • Retirees

Tips on Getting Donations

  • Place a wish list in the school newsletter or on a prominent bulletin board. Decorate a small tree in the school lobby with wish ornaments (papers on string, labeled with project needs); as people enter the school and see something they are able to donate, they remove the paper and return with their donation!
  • Identify local stores which sell various needed items (child-sized garden tools, seeds, etc.). Write letters and/or have students write letters describing the project and requesting donations of a few items to help it get off the ground. Be clear about the value of the project, and where and how they will be publicly thanked if they donate - businesses often enjoy the public attention that acts of local good will bring.
  • Inspire a group of volunteers to take on a project such as a bench or plant project.

How To Guide
Green Your School
10 Million Kids Outdoors
circle of friends
Take learning outside with NWF's habitat themed activities
Discover which plants are native to your region