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


TIPS FOR WORKING WITH SCHOOL DISTRICT STAFF

At a recent training for Wildlife Stewards, Mark Franklin, Director of Grounds Maintenance for Portland Public Schools outlined several points of consideration when teachers, parents, students and Wildlife Stewards begin a schoolyard habitat project. Though Mark represents Portland Public Schools, many of these points of consideration apply to all school districts. It is important to contact the grounds maintenance staff of your school before you begin your project. Some important considerations before you begin your habitat project are:

Get the approval of your principal and keep them informed of your progress.
Submit your plans to the school district architect to get the approval. They will check your plans to make sure you adhere to school district guidelines.
Once your plans are approved you will be given a letter of approval from the architect.
Have a long-term plan for maintaining the habitat. The schools grounds staff will not maintain the habitat. If the habitat is not maintained, you will be asked to return the site to its original condition.
Check to see if the grounds maintenance staff can provide habitat materials such as wood chips. Many school districts do and they will even deliver the materials to your site.
The habitat must meet the American Disabilities Act guidelines and be accessible.
CALL BEFORE YOU DIG: Before you dig a hole deeper than 18 inches contact the school district grounds staff. They will contact the utility companies to get approval.
Security is a big issue. Make sure your habitat plans will not create a security risk to the school.
Put up a sign at your habitat site to inform the public that this is a schoolyard habitat project. Check with the 4-H Wildlife Stewards Office to order a 4-H Wildlife Stewards habitat sign.
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4-H Wildlife Stewards, Sunnyside Environmental School, 3421 SE Salmon 1209,
Portland, OR 97214 - 503-916-6074, e-mail: wildifestewards@oregonstate.edu
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