Program Information: Stewardship Plan

What is a Stewardship Plan?

image: DNR forester with management plan in handA stewardship plan is written by a forester. The forester will visit your site, meet with your School Forest committee to learn your goals, and write a plan specific to your needs. The primary goal of a stewardship plan is to increase the use of the School Forest for education.

Be prepared to meet with your forester by having educational and land management goals in mind. Site coordinators and school forest committees manage the site for the whole school. Consider doing a school-wide assessment, asking all teachers for input, to create goals that reflect the multiple needs and uses of the forest.

Examples of School-Wide Assessments

Stewardship plans are long-term site management plans. This means that even if school staff changes, the steps and goals of the plan stay the same. The School Forest Program keeps a copy of the stewardship plan and gives another copy to you.

A stewardship plan contains a list of your school's goals, the forester's assessment of the natural resources on your site (including a map), and recommendations of how to meet your goals.

Examples of School Forest stewardship goals:

  • Increase School Forest use
  • Design trail network and natural features to promote student, teacher, and community use
  • Improve the quality of wildlife habitat and timber resources
  • Establish or enhance original vegetation
  • Maintain health of the trees
  • To use the land as an education tool through a self-guided trail
  • To demonstrate timber harvests that will generate income
  • Reduce invasive species
  • Learn from the interactions of natural and human communities
  • Protect riparian areas
  • Reduce vandalism

Stewardship plans are site-specific and are intended to be used as a guiding document.

Sample stewardship plans