Sustaining your project so that it will endure over time needs to be considered at the front end of the project – not after the garden is planted! These helpful suggestions help build sustainability for your project. The 4-H Wildlife Stewards Project Certification program helps build sustainability as well. Through the certification projects, the 4-H Wildlife Stewards Habitat Education Site becomes a place for students to observe, study, and take action to protect their environment. By following the guidelines of the Project Certification program, your project is more likely to endure, and you can provide a profound educational experience that will enrich your students’ lives and the lives of students to come.
Recruit other Volunteers: One of the keys to success for creating and sustaining a Habitat Education Site on school grounds is recognizing that you can’t do it alone. A successful project requires the collaborative efforts of students, teachers, school administrators, custodial and grounds staff, community partners and parent volunteers. Learn some tips and ideas on how to recruit volunteers for your project, volunteer roles, and rewarding and recognizing volunteers.
Promote Your Program to Others: The coordination of external support from parents, volunteers, and others is no small task. . However, it is a critical component in order to sustain a habitat project over time. Promoting your program to others is a key step in building a network of external support. This page provides tips for promoting your program and how to work with the media.
Maintain Your Habitat Garden Year-Round: On this page, ideas to include in your year round maintenance plans for your habitat garden during each of the four seasons is highlighted. Emphasis on how to involve families and community members in maintaining the garden during the summers months is included on this page.
Write Grants to Support Your Habitat: Grant writing is a task that many people fear or are reluctant to embrace. However, grant writing can be a rewarding experience and a tool that can help you plan and develop your project. this page gives simple, straightforward ideas on how to write a successful grant. Sources of funding from many donors and grant organizations who have supported 4-H Wildlife Stewards schools are included in this section, including many sources that require only a one-page application.
Project Vandalism and Your Habitat Site: Knowing that vandalism will happen in your school garden site is the first step in being prepared for it. Learn tips for how to prevent vandalism in your school garden and how to respond if vandals strike.
Celebrate Your Success: Taking the time to celebrate is an important part of project sustainability. Not only is celebration fun, but also everyone – from the students and teachers to the community volunteers, doors, and administrators – needs an opportunity to focus on the efforts and accomplishments that resulted from their involvement with the 4-H Wildlife Stewards projects at the schools. Here are some ideas for celebrating your success.