School Forest

School Forest logoCommittee Members

It's a good idea to have a variety of people on your School Forest committee for greater collective knowledge and associations. Potential members include:

  • School administrators
  • two teachersSchool board members and other local elected officials
  • School staff
  • Parents
  • Local business owners
  • Natural resource professionals
  • Local civic and service organization members
  • Members of your school's parent teacher association (PTA, PTO)
  • Local naturalists or individuals with natural sciences backgrounds, such as Master Gardeners, Audubon Society Chapters, Woodland Advisors, or Master Naturalists
  • Scouts, 4-H, or other youth group leaders
  • School maintenance staff

Committee Structurephoto: School Forest committee meeting around a table

Before diving into the work of the committee, decide how the committee will operate. Consider the following questions.

  • Will the committee use an informal or formal structure, using positions such as President, VP, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, etc.?
  • When, where, and how often will the committee meet?
  • Who will be the School Forest Site Coordinator?

Committee Master Plan

photo: School Forest under a plastic tentWhen meeting, the School Forest Committee should identify and complete short- and long-term goals. Develop a School Forest Master Plan that includes a one-year and a three-year plan. The following are tasks that might be addressed by the committee and put into the master plan.

  • Write a mission statement
  • Community use, including forest access and security
  • Trail development and maintenance
  • Site enhancements (signs, bathrooms, benches, buildings, etc.)
  • Annual evaluation of the School Forest's educational usability
  • Site maintenance
  • Teacher workshops and curriculum development
  • School Forest history (historical use of site and the listing of original flora and fauna)
  • Fundraising
  • Creating a treasury to support the treasurer or financial officer
  • Natural resources inventory
  • Identifying and implement ways to encourage educators to use the School Forest
  • Ensuring the School Forest meets the needs of the school(s) using it
  • Public relations
  • Safety (including lockdown procedures)

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