PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS
SUSTAINING YOUR SCHOOL HABITAT: KEYS TO SUCCESS
By Sue Powers
4-H Wildlife Steward
William Walker Elementary School
The keys to success as a 4-H Wildlife Steward will depend on seven key issues:
Education and Publicity
It is important to think of these key issues as you work on your project with the students and teachers at your school. Here are a few helpful reminders for each of these issues:
- Plan with teaching staff, principal and others interested in the project.
- Don't forget maintenance staff (ask about their needs and earn their respect)
- Start with a small area and a set goal or focus; for example, start with a grade level team of teachers
- It's good to have a broad, long-term vision, but it's best to start small and build on the project each year; add new staff and teachers as the program grows. Ultimately you will have included as much of the school population as possible.
- Don't go it alone; try to involve as many people as possible and delegate tasks
- Don't just think of the school population (involve your local 4-H clubs, after school groups, garden clubs, neighborhood associations, OSU Master Gardeners, businesses, neighbors)
BECOME INFORMED AND USE AVAILABLE RESOURCES
- Use the internet - there are lots of good web sites
- Take a naturescaping class
- Take the OSU Master Gardener class
- Visit native plant nurseries
- Visit other school habitats
- Talk with 4-H Wildlife Stewards at other schools
- Visit the 4-H Wildlife Stewards website "forum"
- Plan work days, nature nights and other special events
- Include "fun" functions for students and families
- Plan for summer care and watering
EDUCATE AND PUBLICIZE
- Publicize your project through school newsletters, bulletin boards and park signage.
- Also use every opportunity you can to educate others about your project. School site base meetings, PTA meetings or newspapers are good ways to educate others
LONG TERM USE
- Your habitat is planted and certified - now what?
- Tie in activities to school benchmarks
- Check out curriculum kits from OSU Extension 4-H
- Attend additional trainings and workshops to further develop your own skills and knowledge.