Schoolyard Habitat Program
Does your school have an underutilized area that you would like to see restored for wildlife habitat and a place for students to learn about the natural world? Would you like to create an outdoor classroom on your school grounds or a trail or boardwalk to explore a nearby wetland, forest or pond? Would you like to engage your students in a hands-on project?
The mission of the Schoolyard Habitat Program is to get students outside to experience nature. To accomplish this mission, USFWS biologists help schools create natural spaces on school grounds where students can observe, draw, write, think, and question. Ecologically sound Schoolyard Habitat projects provide habitat for local and migratory wildlife, including songbirds, small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. In many cases, these habitats also provide a vegetative buffer to nearby streams, lakes and wetlands, reducing pollution reaching these waterways.
Biologists from the Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Resources Office have partnered with several Vermont schools to implement successful Schoolyard Habitat projects. Projects have included: restoring wetland habitat, building nature trails, creating a native shrub nursery, installing wood duck boxes, removing invasive plants, planting wetland and riparian trees and shrubs, and hands-on ecology lessons. With long-term care from students and teachers, these projects provide students with a powerful example of land conservation and stewardship.
USFWS biologists teach students about stream sampling methods and fish identification
If you are interested in learning more about Vermont’s Schoolyard Habitat Program, contact Katie Kain (802-662-5307).
For more information on this national program, click here