Help School Forests create inspiring, accessible, healthy and safe outdoor learning areas.
The School Forest Program received a grant from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) to complete projects at 60 School Forests to give schools the boost needed to improve their outdoor classrooms to be better environments for outdoor learning. The ENRTF grant covers the costs of a crew from the Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa (CCM) to do the "heavy lifting" on projects that your School Forest has not been able to do. This includes all of the tools and equipment necessary to get the job done.
This project will also:
We will review and rank applications and select projects based on how well they meet the following criteria and CCM's ability to do the work.
If you don't meet the required criteria, or are unsure, please contact Barb Spears to see what steps can be taken to meet them.
There are many different types of projects CCM can do at your School Forest. They can be small (e.g. building a few benches) or large (e.g. buckthorn removal on multiple acres). Check out projects CCM can complete. You are not limited to ideas from this list. Each school should look at their School Forest stewardship/management plan and see what specific needs they have. Your DNR forester should be able to help. Discuss your ideas with them or have them recommend some top projects.
Note: Multiple small project ideas can be included in one application. For example, you could have CCM install a few benches plus remove a few dead branches and prune some hazard trees.
Depending on your project scope, CCM will schedule 1-4 days of work at your site. Scheduling may need to be adjusted for seasonal reasons (e.g. no pruning oak from April through July due to the potential for oak wilt) or weather and site conditions (e.g. early freeze, heavy rain, or soggy ground).
To have your School Forest considered for this opportunity, you need to:
We accept applications on a rolling deadline. If you'd like to target a specific season, consider these dates:
Possible project dates
Don't hesitate to apply as soon as you have a project in mind, even if you're unsure of the details or where to start. It takes time to create a project planning committee, plan a project, or to raise funds for materials. Applying early allows time for us to help you work through the details and to get the project scheduled with CCM.
This project ends on June 30, 2019. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity while it's available!
Barb Spears, School Forest Specialist
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155
Feel free to contact Barb Spears with any questions you have regarding potential projects or the application process. Our goal is help you create successful School Forest project!
Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. DNR is an Equal Opportunity Employer.