Schoolyard Habitats provide places of inquiry, discovery and imagination for children. These projects give students a chance to observe and learn from nature, and provide teachers a way to create hands-on outdoor learning experiences . This document provides a step by step guide (link to Schoolyard Habitat guide http://www.fws.gov/cno/pdf/HabitatGuideColor.pdf). Schoolyard habitats are created on school grounds or on adjoining lands. Students, parents, and teachers are involved in each step of the design and implementation of the project. Our Habitat Branch partners with local schools and organizations like the Fairbanks Soil and Water Conservation District provide support for the development of Schoolyard Habitats
Two Rivers School (Two Rivers, AK)
The school has created a learning landscape for children of the community which includes a vegetable garden that the students plant and maintain, a rain garden, bird nest boxes, a pollinator garden and a nature trail.
Watershed School (Fairbanks, AK)
Here students, parents and community volunteers have turned an area adjacent to the school from a weed-infested gravel lot to a place of natural exploration and activity. This schoolyard habitat includes a sledding hill, a student garden, and plantings of native trees and flowers.
Wood River School Rain Garden and Nature Trail (Fairbanks, AK)
Students and teachers at the school designed two rain gardens to catch and filter water coming off the school roof and planted them with blue and gold flowered plants- the school’s colors. They also designed and installed a nature trail that winds along the edge of the property featuring native plants and trees.
JP Jones Natural Playground (Fairbanks, AK)
The JP Jones Community Center is in an urban area of Fairbanks that lacks natural outdoor play facilities for area children. Students in the advanced Youth for Habitat program developed a natural playscape which includes a labyrinth, sandbox, sledding hill, and a natural obstacle course made of driftwood. They also created benches out of local spruce for visiting parents.
Anvil City Science Academy (ACSA) is a charter school from the Nome Public School System. The
ACSA focuses on place-based, hands-on study of local environments that connect children with nature. The Fairbanks Field Office Habitat Branch teamed up with the school in 2008 to rehabilitate local wetlands into a Schoolyard Habitat.
Last updated: January 13, 2014