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Schoolyard Habitats How To Guide: 5 Assembling the Elements

Schoolyard Habitats How To Guide: 5 Assembling the Elements

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Published by: Greater Charlotte Harbor Sierra Club on Jul 18, 2010
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05/22/2012

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Section V
 Assembling theElements
ThissectionoutlinesthefinalelementstoconsiderinplanningyourSchoolyardHabitatsproject.DesignConsiderationsDiscouragingVandalism AccessibilityGuidelinesPuttingItAllTogetherProjectPlannin AcquiringResourcesCreatingaBudget Fundraising EngagingVolunteersBreakingNewGrounPlantingYourSitePlanningaPlantingDa
   ©   C  o  p  y  r   i  g   h   t   S   h  u   t   t  e  r  s   t  o  c   k .  c  o  m
 
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115
NATIONALWILDLIFEFEDERATION
www.nwf.org
SCHOOLYARDHABITATSDESIGNCONSIDERATIONS
Thechecklistbelowcanserveasausefulreminderofdesigngoalsintheearlstages.Nearprojectcompletion,besureallboxescanbechecked.Afterconsideringthespecificneedsofyoursite,issuesofaccessibility (p.117)andpreventingvandalism(p.114),addadditionalcriteriaofyourchoicenearthebottomofthepage.Plantsarenativetolocalarea.Food,water,cover,andplacestoraiseyoungarebeingprovidedforvarioustypesoflocalwildlife. Adiversityofplantsandhabitatfeaturesareincluded.Pesticideshavebeeneliminatedfromthehabitatarea.Locationofnewplantingshasbeendetermined,inpart,accordingtothesunandwaterneedsofindividualplanttypes. Whenplantsaregrowninclumps,tallerplantsareplacedtowardsback;lowerplantsareplacedinfront.Inanislandplanting,tallest-growingplantsareplantedincenter,andlower-growingplantsradiateoutward.Studentsideasandneedshavebeenincorporatedintothedesignasmuchaspossible.HighSchoolStudentsshouldcompletethecommunitySurveyActivity.Stepshavebeentakentomakethesiteaccessibletoall.Featureshavebeenincludedtomaximizetheeducationaluseofthesite(i.e., withtheinclusionofplansforinterpretivesigns,seating,smallplatformtoallowaccesstoschoolpond,compostbins,learningstations,workstations,etc.). Areasofshade(particularlyinwarmerclimates)areprovided.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Schoolyard HabitatsDesign Considerations
 
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NATIONALWILDLIFEFEDERATION
www.nwf.org
DISCOURAGINGVANDALISMINSCHOOLYARDHABITATSSITES
VandalismandthefearofvandalismareconcernstoschoolswantingtocreateormaintainSchoolyardHabitatssites.InNorthAmericathewillfuldestructionordefacementofpropertycostsschools,homeownersandothersbillionsofdollarseachyear.Mostvandalsareyoungandtheplacestheyvandalize,includingschools,areoftenintheneighborhoodswheretheylive.Yetinstancesof vandalismtooutdoorlearningareasarefew,andwhenthesitesaredesignedproperly,thethreatcanbekepttoaminimumwhilestudents,teachersandcommunitymembersenjoyahands-on,outdoorlearningopportunitythatcannotbeduplicatedinanindoorclassroomsetting. Whilethereisnocompletelyeffectivewaytopreventvandalism,therearewaystodiscourageitatyoursite.TheNationalCrimePreventionCouncil’s“CrimePreventionThroughEnvironmentalDesignprogramfocusesonseveralkey strategies,allofwhichapplytodiscouragingvandalismatSchoolyardHabitatssites.
Signs
 ASchoolyardHabitatssignshouldleteveryoneknowthatthisplaceisspecialandwhythatisso.Bypostinginterpretiveandothersigns,andmaintainingthem(forexample,cleaningoffgraffitiimmediately),youaretellingpeoplethatthisplaceisusedfrequentlyandismonitoredandcaredfor.Incorporatesigndesignandconstructionintoyourhabitatprojectcurriculum;thesetaskstouchonsubjectareassuchasmathematics,arts,andlanguagearts.
Maintenance
 WhileSchoolyardHabitatssitesdolessentheneedfortraditionalmaintenance,itisstillimportanttokeepyourhabitatarealookingpresentabletothepublic. Watering,weedingandgeneralupkeep,especiallyoverthesummer,givetheimpressionthatyourhabitatsiteisbeingusedandenjoyedandthatitisnotanovergrownweedpatchandnotareadytargetforvandalstoattackbecausenooneiswatching.Maintainingthehabitatsiteistheresponsibilityofstudents,teachersandvolunteers.Thisisagoodwaytoinvolveneighborswhocanlendahandandkeepyoursummercontactpersoninformedabouthowthesitelooksandwhoisusingit.Togainsupportofneighbors,itisespeciallyimportantthatyoursitebeattractive—notanuisance!
Location and Design
SchoolyardHabitatssitescanbeplannedforinteriorcourtyards,fenced-inareasoftheschoolyard,oropenareaseasilyaccessibletoeveryone.Whereyouplanandplantyoursitesdependsonthespaceavailableandonthestepsyoucantaketodiscouragevandalism.Ifyourneighborhoodhasanongoingvandalismproblem,consideraninteriorcourtyardwhichwilllimitaccessibility.Ifyourschoolhasthefunds,fencingmightbeappropriateforamoreopensite.Trydevelopingoursiteslowly.First,plantasmallareaandoveraperiodoftimeaddplantsandstructuressuchasbirdfeedersorawaterfeature.Giveeveryonea
Discouraging Vandalism inSchoolyard Habitats Sites

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