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Sample Schoolyard Habitats® Action Plan

Action Plan Forms


Before completing your action plan, you should carry out the Schoolyard Habitats® audit.

Creating the Action Plan

1.  Schoolyard Habitats Audit Review

  • Using the data from your audit, students can investigate ways for improving native wildlife habitat, outdoor experiences and learning on school grounds.

2.   Group Brainstorming

  • In small groups, brainstorm possible courses of action. Groups can be assigned specific issues to address. Alternatively, all groups can be assigned the same prominent issues to achieve a greater variety of interesting solutions.
  • As a team, discuss and agree on the most effective solutions. Compile these solutions into a final action plan. Above you will find a sample action plan for reference and a blank action plan that the Eco-Action Team can populate with their specific plan of action.
  • Assign tasks to appropriate individuals within the team and across the school. Agree on measurable outcomes and realistic timeframes in which tasks can be completed.

3.   Execution Of Tasks

  • Set aside time for students to carry out the activities they have assigned themselves and notify other staff and students of the responsibilities assigned to them. Frequent check-ins and/or reminders are encouraged.
  • If needed, provide training to staff and students on the process for establishing the Schoolyard Habitat.
  • Set up the school for success. For example, hold an assembly or create a garden day to kick off the design and preparation of the new habitat area.
  • Communicate with facilities managers to agree on grounds maintenance plans that advance your goals. Involve community members or organizations with expertise in relevant areas, such as knowledge of native plants, to help you carry out your plans.

Follow Up

  • Set a review date to revisit your action plan as a group.
  • Analyze how far you have come and identify what else you can do. Celebrate small successes!
  • Schedule a follow-up Schoolyard Habitats audit, after your campaign or project is complete, to measure the effectiveness of your program. 

Extension Ideas

  • Add a section on your schoolyard habitat to your school's website.
  • Use the school’s communication channels (broadcasting channels, assemblies, staff meetings, morning announcements, etc.) to share results, achievements and development plans for the future.
  • Prepare a school notice board showing infographics, achievements and ways for students and staff to get involved and take action throughout the community.
  • Involve the local press and radio to let the greater community know about the school’s new outdoor habitat and how they can support your efforts.
  • Collaborate with another school in the area to deepen the Eco-Action Plan’s impact.


Greening Your Grounds by Creating a Schoolyard Habitat

The Eco-Schools USA Schoolyard Habitats pathway provides an opportunity to fully engage students, administration and community members. The National Wildlife Federation provides an action plan and guide for creating a sustainable schoolyard habitat.

The Schoolyard Habitat online planning guide is divided into seven sections from conception of project to use and maintenance.

Part 1: What is a Schoolyard Habitat?
What is a Schoolyard Habitat and how does it benefit students, teachers, our school and our community? Find answers to these topics, a list of frequently asked questions, and how the National Wildlife Federation's Schoolyard Habitats program can help you along the way as you build an outdoor classroom and a new home for wildlife.

Part 2: Understand the science of Schoolyard Habitat
Learn what wildlife species need from their habitat, how to fulfill those needs through your Schoolyard Habitat, and how to attract certain wildlife to your site.

Part 3: Teaching Tool
Find techniques and activities for teaching grades K-12 in an outdoor classroom on a variety of subjects, and ways to analyze and manage your curriculum.

Part 4: Planning for Schoolyard Habitat
A guide through key steps to begin your Schoolyard Habitat, including gathering a team, choosing a site and planning your garden, and activities to keep students involved from beginning to end.

Part 5: Installing the Schoolyard Habitat
Checklists and steps to finalize your plan, help gathering resources like volunteers and funds, important factors to optimize your habitat's design and accessibility, and suggested steps and activities as you break new ground and coordinate the planting.

Part 6: Sustaining your Schoolyard Habitat
Make sure your habitat site continues to thrive for years to come with key steps including a maintenance plan for the site, process for regular site upkeep, and activities to keep students and their parents involved.

Part 7: Appendix and Resources
Find additional information on the National Wildlife Federation's mission and education programs, workshop overviews, contact information for school-based programs, tips for teaching outdoors, a glossary of terms and more.

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