School Ground Habitats
Creating school ground natural areas, specifically forest, wetlands, and meadows, can restore local species diversity and connect the school, its students and the community in positive ways. It offers learners an opportunity to make a difference in their immediate natural environment through an holistic approach to enhancing or restoring school grounds to natural areas, rich in species diversity and accompanying habitat components: food, shelter/cover and water. The final outcome can be a school ground which provides curriculum and outdoor teaching connections, benefits wildlife and watersheds, and requires less maintenance. We are committed to supporting school ground habitat enhancement and restoration projects through teacher workshops and providing resources. We can help you:
- Get information about resources that can help with projects
- Find people with expertise all areas of design and construction
- Determine which native plants are best for your site, though Audubon Center for Native Plants as well as other area retailers.
- Loan books and other resources through our Teacher Resource Center.
- Make contact with other school ground sites in western Pennsylvania.
- Find funding, including grants offered though ASWP. Applications are available now for the School Ground Habitat Merit Awards.
- Learn more about school ground habitats through ongoing teacher workshops ad our biannual School Ground Habitat seminar.
We also offer the School Ground Habitat Enhancement and Restoration Project, a program for select schools to join in an ASWP-led two-year series to design and implement their school ground habitat from the ground up, which may even include funding. Watch this page and our other publications for announcements regarding the next application phase.
If you are developing or have developed a school ground site, or have questions about any aspect of school ground habitats, please contact the School Ground Habitat Coordinator at 412-963-6100.