4h Wildlife Stewards Logo

4H Wildlife Stewards
Bringing Science and Nature Together...one school at a time.

click here to view interactive Map of Member Schools and Clubs


What is a 4-H Member School? 4-H Schools are Where it Happens! 4-H Member Schools also:

  • work in partnership with 4-H volunteers to plan, develop, maintain and sustain wildlife habitat sites and food gardens on school grounds that benefit the entire community by enhancing educational opportunities for students and by saving a place for wildlife in our neighborhoods;
  • are places where students can develop both their appreciation of nature and the outdoors and their knowledge about water cycles, food chains,nutrition, healthy living, and biodiversity;
  • are a place for students to observe, study, and take action to protect their own environment and healthy livng; and
  • provide a place for wildlife – from butterflies to songbirds – and a place where students can observe, study, and take action to protect their own environment.

4-H projects help students and teachers to meet Oregon’s science education benchmarks by offering learning opportunities right outside the schoolroom door.

Steps to Become a 4-H Member School

To become a 4-H Member School, interested schools should complete and submit a 4-H Member School Application. 4-H Member Schools must also commit to developing habitat area that is sustainable over the long-term. This commitment includes:

  • Committing 3-5 years to the project;
  • Enrolling participating students as 4-H Junior Wildlife Stewards;
  • Organizing a “habitat team” of students, teachers, administrators, maintenance staff, parents and community members;
  • Obtaining school district and principal approval;
  • Identifying enthusiastic teachers to participate in the project;
  • Providing a meaningful volunteer experience for the 4-H Wildlife Stewards team; and
  • Certifing the habitat project through the 4-H Wildlife Stewards Project Sustainability Program;
  • Ensuring that the project is a student project and students are involved in the planning and creating of the Habitat Education Site.

To continue ongoing participation with the 4-H program, each year participating schools will be asked to submit two documents:

  • 4-H Group Enrollment Form
  • 4-H Member School Annual Project Site Review

Support for 4-H Wildlife Stewards Member Schools

The 4-H Wildlife Stewards Program provides a wealth of resources to assist you in creating a wide variety projects.   Through 4-H programming children are empowered to make positive contributions within their families, community, country and world as they lead the way in creating the environmental, social and economic success stories of the future.

Oregon State Universit
y Extension Supports 4-H Wildlife Stewards through:

  • Curriculum Support: 4-H provides research based curriculum covering a wide range of topics. There is something for everyone. As a 4-H volunteer or member school you will receive free and/or discounted curriculum. You can explore national 4-H curriculum and resources HERE. New lesson, activities and volunteer resources are developed locally each year. All curriculum is tied to the Oregon Science Education benchmarks.
  • Education Kits (varies by county): 4-H volunteers and member schools may borrow kits from the 4-H office. These kits provide exciting, hands-on activities perfect for school and club programs. The 4-H office has over 30 kits available. Topic areas include mammals, birds, soils, forests, and seeds. A full inventory will be posted online during summer 2010.
  • 4-H Volunteer Training: 4-H volunteers receive ongoing leader training in a variety of topics like group management, first aid/CPR, teambuilding, science discovery and much more.
  • On-site 4-H Faculty Consultation: 4-H faculty are available to provide on-site support to our 4-H club and school volunteers. Our faculty are experts in the field of youth development, program design/management, natural resources and more. Faculty have created programs that reach thousands of youth and volunteers in Oregon and across the nation. Whether you are a new volunteer creating your first after-school club  or in-school program or a veteran 4-H leader, our faculty are here to support you within your community.
  • On-site School/Club Leader Training: If you have 4 or more volunteers and/or teachers 4-H faculty are available to conduct trainings on-site for your school and club. Popular topics include: school garden curriculum, science inquiry, planning for sustainability, youth leadership, volunteer management and fundraising. Grants and
  • Funding Support: The 4-H staff maintain a database of grants available to 4-H clubs and groups, including grants from the State 4-H Foundation. 4-H faculty are happy to write letters of support for grants your 4-H club or school is seeking. Liability and
  • Fiscal Management: All 4-H volunteers and youth members can be covered by OSU liability and accident insurance. 4-H is a 501C3 organization. This allows chartered clubs to fundraise and manage their fiscal resources. 4-H faculty provide support and oversight to ensure your success in managing club finances.
  • 4-H Member Youth Enrichment: 4-H provides ongoing opportunities for 4-H members to get involved in 4-H programs and activities outside their club. Examples include 4-H summer resident and day camps, leadership conferences, family fun days, volunteer appreciation events and much more. Access to education/curriculum kits and supplies. All curriculum is tied to the Oregon Science Education benchmarksA quarter annual newsletter
  • Public Relations and media support for promoting your project to your school, parents, and community
  • Certification of your Habitat Education Site with OSU Extension
  • School Wildlife Habitat Signage
  • Summer 4-H Junior Wildlife Stewards Camp for students

Participating schools have found that some of the benefits include:

  • a place to learn about the environment as interconnected series of relationships;
  • an opportunity for hands-on learning in all areas of the curriculum;
  • an overall increase in the diversity of play opportunities;
  • a reduction in school ground violence among students;
  • an ecologically and aesthetically improved and chemical-free landscape; and
  • a model for environmental rehabilitation and community building.

By involving parents and community volunteers in these school projects local communities also benefit. The benefits of community naturalization - citizens working together to create healthier natural areas by planting native trees, shrubs and wildflowers on public landscapes - include:

  • enhancing environmental health by rehabilitating degraded landscapes;
  • providing habitat for native birds, butterflies and other insects;
  • increasing biodiversity by using native plant species;
  • learning first-hand about the natural world and ecological processes which support it;
  • strengthening community ties by fostering a sense of cooperation and instilling feelings of pride and stewardship; and
  • building a sense of individual empowerment - people learn that they can make a difference.

4-H Wildlife Stewards, Sunnyside Environmental School, 3421 SE Salmon 1209,
Portland, OR 97214 - 503-916-6074, e-mail: wildifestewards@oregonstate.edu
Copyright 2002-2009. All Rights Reserved.