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
- School board members and other local elected officials
- School staff
- 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
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
When 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)
- 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)