Chesapeake Bay Field Office
Northeast Region


schoolyard enhancement

A Guide to Management & Maintenance of School Grounds. Wood, Jane and Littlewood, Michael. Learning through Landscapes, 1996. This guide is designed to help schools develop a plan to efficiently maintain all aspects of their school grounds. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $26.00 Cdn.

A Citizen’s Streambank Restoration Handbook. Firehook, Karen, Doherty, Jacqueline. Izaak Walton League, Gaithersburg, Maryland. 1995. Guide to understanding watersheds, diagnosing stream health, and planning a restoration project. Call 800-BUG-IWLA.

Conserving and Enhancing the Natural Environment, A Guide for Planning, Design, Construction, and Maintenance on New and Existing School Sites. Maryland State Department of Education, Baltimore MD. 1999. The manual provides a rational and practical ideas for all interested (especially those involved with school construction) in developing rich outdoor learning areas on school grounds. Call 410-767-0098. Cost $18.

Gardening for Nature. Virginia Museum of Natural History. Virginia Museum of Natural History. 1993. A teacher’s guide to hands-on-activities for wildlife gardening.
Grounds for Learning: A Celebration of School Site Development in Scotland. Kenny, Kate.

Learning through Landscapes, 1996. Drawing on the experience of schools across Scotland, this book aims to inspire and support schools interested in developing their grounds. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $25.00 Cdn.

Habitat Restoration: A Guide for Proactive Schools. Cheskey, Edward D. The Waterloo County Board of Education. 1993. Based on work with schools in Toronto. Includes information and tips on natural communities; design considerations; plant materials, etc. Call 800-567-3800. Cost $20.00.

Homes for Wildlife. Wyzga, Marilyn, C. New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 1993. Practical applications for enhancing schoolyards for wildlife, and for creating outdoor classroom sites geared toward grades K-6. Call 603-271-3211. Cost $8.00.

National Wildlife Federation(r) offers educators resources to utilize their outdoor classrooms all year long. Visit to order your resources now.

National Wildlife Federation
(r) Schoolyard Habitats(r): A How-To Guide for K-12 School Communities. 2001. An introductory tool for schools and other education organizations interested in restoring and creating a wildlife habitat on school grounds.

Pond Design for Schools. Flatt, Graham. Learning through Landscapes, 1989. This booklet is a practical step-by-step guide to help teachers and students with the construction, planting, and maintenance of a school ground pond. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $10.00 Cdn.

Prairie Restoration for Wisconsin Schools. Fifield Murray, Molly. Earthkeeping Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, 1993. A how to manual that includes prairie history, ecology, wildlife, curriculum ideas, and source of native prairie seeds and plants. Call 608-262-5522. Cost $20.00 plus $3.00 for s/h.

Schoolyard Ecosystems for Florida, A Guide for Planning, Installing, Maintaining, and Using. Schaefer, Joseph M., Donelin, Dan W., Linscott, Lester L., Cronin-Jones, Linda. University of Florida, Tallahassee, Florida. 1995. Only available in Florida

So You Want to Start an Outdoor Classroom. The Oklahoma Conservation Commission and The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Special Places; Special People. Titman Wendy. Learning through Landscapes, 1994. This package is the result of a two year research project which examined the influence of school grounds and children’s views of the environment and the adults who spoil or cherish it. This manual assists schools and communities in the management of schools and their grounds. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $35.00.

The Challenge of the Urban School Site. Edited by Martin, D., Lucas, D., Titman, S., and Hayward, S. Learning through Landscapes, 1996. This book offers practical advice for urban schools wishing to holistically develop their school grounds environment. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $27.00 Cdn.

Using School Grounds as an Educational Resource. Young, Kirsty. Learning through Landscapes, 1990. This booklet provides ideas on ways to develop and use school grounds within the daily curriculum. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $7.00.

Wild School Sites, A Guide to Preparing for Habitat Improvement Projects on School Grounds. Schiff, Paul, Smith- Walters, Cindi. Western Regional Environmental Council, Inc. 1993. The purpose is to help students and teachers take responsible action to improve their community. Discusses planning, team building, implementing and provides case studies. Call 310-493-5627.

Schoolyard Activities - Curriculum

Art in the School Grounds. Keaney, Brian. Learning through Landscapes, 1996. Numerous artistic opportunities include subject areas of design, music, drama, and movement. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $21.00 Cdn.

Beekeeping: A Practical Guide to Beekeeping in the School Grounds. Dr. Feltwell, John.Learning through Landscapes, 1991. This guide provides many ways which beekeeping and the study of bees can be incorporated into different areas of the curriculum. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $7.00 Cdn.

Botany for all Ages. Hunken, Jorie and The New England Wild Flower Society. The Globe Pequot Press, 1994. Introduction to botany, designed around the principles of observation, experimentation, and self-expression and is filled with information and suggested activities using plants.

Bridges to the Natural World. Kane Patricia F., Roselet, Dale A., and Anderson, Karl. New Jersey Audubon Society, 1992. A natural history guide for teachers of grades Pre-K through 6th developed to help New Jersey teachers lead students to a better understanding of their local natural environment. ISBN # 0-9624065-1-1.

Bright Ideas: The Outdoor Classroom-Curriculum in the School Grounds. Keaney, Brian and Lucas, Bill. Learning through Landscapes, 1993. This activity based resource provides individual, self-contained curriculum ideas directed at teachers with little teaching experience in the outdoors. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $20.00 Cdn.

Butterflies: A Practical Guide to their Study in the School Grounds. Dr. Feltwell, John. Learning through Landscapes, 1991. This guide identifies how butterflies can be used to teach a wide spectrum of science concepts. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $7.00 Cdn.

English in the School Grounds. Kaeney, Brian. Learning through Landscapes, 1993. Encourage creative thought and develop speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills within the context of outdoor elements. Call The Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $19.00.

Exploring Woodlands: A Cross-Curricular Approach to Investigations of Woodlands. Pearce, Tony. Learning through Landscapes. This in-depth exploration of woodlands provides cross-curricular, field-based activities plus follow-up classroom work suggestions. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $30.00 Cdn.

Geography in the School Grounds. Attenborough, Hare, C. & Day. T. Learning through Landscapes, 1996. A range of exciting activities for practical work in geography using the school grounds as a resource. For grades K-6. Call The Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $21.00.

Hands-On Nature: Information and Activities for Exploring the Environment with Children. Lingelbach, Jenepher, Ed. Vermont Institute of Natural Science, 1986. This guide contains a wide variety of clearly focused hands-on activities on natural cycles, designs, adaptations, and habitats.

Mathematics in the School Grounds. Rhydderch-Evans, Zoe. Learning through Landscapes, 1993. A range of exciting ideas for teaching math outdoors using outdoor features including ponds, animals, etc. Call The Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $19.00.

Minnesota School Nature Areas: Notes on Benefiting the Biomes. Nielson, Matt and the School Nature Area Project. School Nature Area Project, 1996. Background information and resources on Minnesota’s biomes. Call 507-646-3599. Cost $5.00.

National Wildlife Federation(r) Access Nature(tm). 2005. An inclusive outdoor education curriculum focused on the theme of habitat, containing hands on activities aimed at youth and teens.

Outdoor Wildlife Learning Sites, OWLS. Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks. 1993. Guidelines for Kansas Schools to educate students in the areas of biology, wildlife, and our natural environment.

Pond Watchers, Guide to Ponds and Vernal Pools of Eastern North America. Massachusetts Audubon Society, Lincoln, Massachusetts. 1995. A full color laminated three fold field key to common pond and vernal pool life. Call 617-259-9500.

Science in the School Grounds. Thomas, Gill. Learning through Landscapes, 1992. This book provides dozens of practical science activities done in the school grounds. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $19.00.

Sharing Nature with Children. Cornell, Joseph. CA: Dawn Publications, 1979. Guide with activities and games for young children designed to help participants learn ecological concepts and develop a closer affinity with the natural world. Contact a bookstore.

Slugs, Snails & Earthworms: A Practical Guide to their Study in the School Grounds. Dr. Feltwell, John. Learning through Landscapes, 1991. A curriculum guide showing the ways of studying the world of worms and gastropods are explored in this guide. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $7.00 Cdn.

Ten-Minute Field Trips: A Teacher’s Guide to Using the School Grounds for Environmental Studies. Russell, Helen Ross. National Science Teachers Association, 1990. Activities and ideas for using school grounds as a resource for relating textbook concepts to everyday life. Call 800-722-6782.

The Schoolyard Wildlife Activity Guide. Cronin-Jones. Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, 1992. Activity guide that includes 35 activities which focuses on the plants and animals commonly found in Florida schoolyards. Only available in Florida. Write to Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission, 620 South Meridian St., Tallahassee, FL 32399.

Trees. Clark, R. And Walters, P. Learning through Landscapes, 1992. Using trees as the focus, this guide contains twelve main activity themes and five class/school-wide projects. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $16.00.

WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands. Kesselheim, Alan S., Slattery, Britt Eckhardt, Higgins, Susan H., Schilling, Mark R. Environmental Concern Inc. and The Watercourse. 1995. Call Environmental Concern at 410-745-9620 or The Watercourse at 406-994-5392.

Habitat Restoration, Natural Landscaping, and Plant Guides

American Wildlife and Plants, A Guide to Wildlife and Food Habits. Martin, Alexander C., Zim, Herbert S., Nelson, Arnold L. Dover Publications, Inc., New York, New York. 1951. An extensive reference about the use of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants by birds and mammals of the United States. ISBN # 486-20793-5.

Backyard Wildlife Garden. Schneck, Marcus. Rodale Press, 1992. Identifies how to attract and identify wildlife in your yard. Rodale Press Book Reader’s Service, 33 East Minor St., Emmaus, PA 18098. Cost $24.95.

Creating Landscapes for Wildlife - A Guide for Backyards in Utah. Nordstrom, Sue. UT Division of Wildlife Resources, 1991. Guidelines for habitat enhancement, geared towards residential backyards. Call 801-538-4720.

Design of StormWater Wetland Systems. Anacostia Restoration Team, Dept. Of Environmental Programs. 1992. Guidelines for creating diverse and effective stormwater wetlands systems in the mid-Atlantic region. Cost $25.00. Send a check to MWCOG, 777 North Capital St., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20002-4201.

Growing and Propagating Showy Native Woody Plants. Bir, Richard. University of North Carolina Press, 1992. Covers over ninety native plants in the Southern to Mid- Atlantic region. Provides color photos, natural history, landscape use and methods to grow and propagate. Contact a bookstore.

Landscaping for Wildlife. Henderson, Carroll. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 1994. Landscape plans specifically created for the Midwest climate. Call 612-297-3000 or 800-657-3757. Cost $10.95.

Meadows and Meadow Gardening. New England Wildflower Society. New England Wildflower Society, 1990.

Native Plants in the Creation of Backyard, Schoolyard and Park Habitat Areas. Mowery, Marci. Audubon Council of Pennsylvania, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. 1995. Outlines the stages of planning a habitat garden, an understanding of wildlife needs and a detailed list of Pennsylvania native plants. Call 717-763-4985.

Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat. Mason, Rich, Hitchcock, Jason. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Annapolis, Maryland. 1995. An abridged guide to common native plants of the mid-Atlantic states that are available through nurseries. Call U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 410-573-4500. No cost.

Plants in Wetlands. Redington, Charles B. Kendall/Hunt Publishing, Dubuque, IA 1994. Provides key and secondary species for six major wetland types. Provides illustrations of each plant and detailed ecological relationships of the plant to other plants and animals. ISBN # 0-8403-8983-3.

Providing Wetlands for Wildlife While Controlling Stormwater. Brittingham, Margaret. Pennsylvania State University, College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension. A manual showing how stormwater management structures can be enhanced for wildlife. Write to Publications Distribution Center, 112 Agricultural Administration Building, University Park, PA 16802.

Soil Bioengineering for Upland Slope Protection and Erosion Reduction. Sotir, Robbin B., Gray, Donald H. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1992. A manual detailing different techniques that use vegetation to reduce erosion from slopes. Call 202-205-0026.

The Natural Habitat Garden. Druse, Ken. Clarkson N. Potter, Inc, NY, 1994. ISBN # 0-517-58989-3.

The National Wildlife Federation’s Guide to Gardening for Wildlife. Tufts, Craig and Loewer, Peter. Rodale Press, 1995. Rodale Press Book Reader’s Service, 33 East Minor St., Emmaus, PA 18098.

The Natural Lawn & Alternatives. Plants & Gardens, Botanic Garden Record. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Inc. 1993. An overview of several alternative practices to lawns. ISBN # 0-945352-80-8.

Wetland Planting Guide for the Northeastern United States. Thunhorst, Gwendolyn A. Environmental Concern, Inc., St. Michaels, MD 1993. Consolidated information on wetland plants including characteristics, growth, planting, habitat, appearance, hydrology, and wildlife benefits. Call 410-745-9620.

Woodworking for Wildlife. Henderson, Carroll. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 1994. Features numerous diagrams for building shelters for birds and mammals. Call 612-297-3000 or 800-657-3757 Cost $9.95.Child Play and Playground Design

Plants for Play: A Plant Selection Guide for Children’s Outdoor Environments. Moore, Robin C. Learning through Landscapes, 1993. A reference manual with more than 200 plant species listed in this informed guide to creatively include plants in children’s play settings. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $24.00 Cdn.

Play, Playtime & Playgrounds: Key Issues for Teachers/Supervisors of Primary Schools. Titman, Wendy. Learning through Landscapes, 1992. This teacher’s guide raises the issues related to the use of school grounds for play and playtime in primary schools. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $5.00 Cdn.

The Great Outdoors, Restoring Children’s Right to Play Outside. Rivkin, Mary S. National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1995. The author sounds the call for schools and communities to restore children’s outdoor play opportunities and practical ideas for bringing the great outdoors to your schools. ISBN # 0-935989-71-4.

Thinking About Seating in Your School Grounds. Russell, Lisa. Learning through Landscapes, 1991. A CD Rom helps you to explore all the issues connected with choosing, developing, locating and using seating in your school grounds. It is designed to be used by educators with students of all ages. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $22.00 Cdn.

General Resources

A Sand County Almanac. Leopold, Aldo. Ballantine Books, New York, New York. 1949. A classic essay about ecology and land management.

Grounds for Examination. Video. Learning through Landscapes. This video looks at the secondary school site and deals with: image and ethos; social interaction; curriculum organization; environmental stewardship. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $35.00.

Grounds for Celebration. Video. Learning through Landscapes. Presented by Sir David Attenborough, this inspirational video shows how one school has turned its modest grounds into a hugely valuable educational resource. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $25.00.

Grounds for Change. Video. Learning through Landscapes. This video produced by the Evergreen Foundation, explores the positive impact of school ground naturalization featuring planners, ecologists, teachers, and students sharing their discoveries. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $15.00.

Making the Best of Your School Grounds. Video. Learning through Landscapes. This video will help to you to take a detailed look at your school grounds and will encourage you to undertake a process of change which will greatly enhance your student’s learning environment. Call the Green Brick Road at 800-473-3638. Cost $30.00.

Noah’s Garden, Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Back Yards. Stein, Sara. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, New York. 1993. Through her own experience, the author provides a proactive rationale for changing the American lawn into something more beautiful, interesting, and alive. ISBN # 0-395-65373-8.

The Field Guide to Wildlife Habitats (two volumes, Eastern and Western United States). Benyus, Janine, M. Simon and Schuster, 1989. Guides include definition of habitat, observation tips, profile of each habitat, includes charts, maps, illustrations, keys, and specific info on individual species. Fireside Books, $14.95 each.

The Bird Feeder Book. Stokes, Donald and Lillian. Little, Brown and Co., 1987. Guidelines on attracting more birds to your yard, identifying species, and understanding bird behavior at feeders. Little, Brown and Co., Boston, MA. Cost $8.95.

The Butterfly Book. Stokes, Donald and Lillian, and Williams, Ernest. Little, Brown and Co., 1991. An easy guide to butterfly gardening identification and behavior. Little, Brown and Co., Boston, MA Cost $11.95

Photo of school-age child

Image of the Schoolyard Habitat Program Development Toolkit
Schoolyard Habitat Program Development Toolkit

Image of Toolkit for Conservation Landscating for Community Spaces
Toolkit for Conservation Landscaping for Community Spaces

Last updated: January 28, 2011