Schoolyard Habitat Program
Northeast Region

Schoolyard Habitat Program


Starting a schoolyard habitat is an important undertaking but does not need to be a daunting task. Good resources exist to help school communities create and use a habitat they are proud of. Below is a sample of a few of our favorites.

Teaching Resources

The Yale Hixon Center for Urban Ecology-Open Spaces as Learning Spaces Curriculum
The curriculum targets 6th graders but can be adapted to other grade levels. The curriculum aligns with CT State science standards and has been taught in dozens of classrooms over the past 8 years. It was adapted by the New Haven Board of Education as required instruction in 2009. The 6 units focus on open spaces including parks, rivers, ponds and cemeteries. They include classroom and outdoor activities, as well as handouts and worksheets.

Dreaming the Kid-Friendly Wildlife Garden
A short blog with some great ideas on how to create a kid-friendly wildlife habitat.

Design Resources

SYH porject guide

Schoolyard Habitat Project Guide
Pages 49-66 and Appendix A-E offer guidance on project design including help to create an attractive landscape, sample project plans, a formula for calculating the amount of mulch you need and design guidance on everything from wetland creation to seating area and platform building.

Funding Resources

Funding for School Yard Habitat Projects can come through a variety of sources including private donations, fundraising campaigns, external grants or funds from local USFWS offices.

Schoolyard Habitat Project Guide  pg 67-76 offers guidance on securing funding. The section includes a donation request letter template, budget worksheet and a links for finding inexpensive contractors.

The Environmental Education Association of Illinois offers an extensive list of funding opportunities for Schoolyard Habitat Projects

Northeast Native Plant Guides and Nurseries

Native plants for butterfly gardens in the Northeast
Includes a seasonal list of good plants for pollinators.

Lady Bird Johnson Native Plant Information Network (NPIN)
View recommended species lists by region, browse through native plant images, Ask Mr. Smarty Plants native plant questions, get tips on where and how to plant.

Connecticut Native Plant Nurseries, Tree and Shrub Guide
Review a list of native plant nurseries in CT and find information on native tree and shrub species that benefit wildlife in each of our four seasons.

Last updated: August 25, 2014