The School Forest Site Coordinator is the person who keeps things running. This position will be as fun or demanding as he or she allows it to be. Some School Forest sites have co-coordinators to distribute some of the responsibilities. Remember that establishing a School Forest Committee will also help delegate tasks and can offer support to the coordinator. Also, the Minnesota School Forest Staff is available to answer questions, offer advice, and assist with issues as they arise.
If you are a new site coordinator, be sure to contact the School Forest Staff to provide the office with the correct contact information so important news, information, and materials can be sent your way.
1. Program Criteria
It is necessary for all criteria to be met for your School Forest to maintain its certification with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. If you have trouble meeting the program requirements, please contact the School Forest Staff to discuss your situation.
2. Annual Report
You are responsible for completing the School Forest Annual Report and sending it to the Minnesota School Forest Program Manager in June of every year. The report form, emailed to coordinators each spring, describes activities and happenings that took place in the School Forest.
3. School Forest Committee
The key to a successful School Forest is building it on a strong foundation with many participants and partners. Work with your School Forest Committee to manage and use your site. The School Forest Handbook provides more suggestions on working with the School Forest Committee. You will receive a copy of the School Forest Handbook when you become an official Minnesota DNR School Forest. To request a copy, contact the School Forest Staff
4. Stay on Course
Each School Forest should have a mission statement that reflects the purpose and direction of the School Forest Committee and can be referred to as a marker to help the committee stay on course.
- Maintain an awareness of School Forest happenings throughout the year
- Be the lead communications contact with the School Forest Program.
- Be in good and timely communication with the school board and principal and share appropriate information with the committee.
- Facilitate members' active participation and decision-making
- Oversee public relations and interactions with the media
- Keep the committee on track with School Forest goals and/or mission statement
- Use the committee to prevent personal burn out
- Recommend potential committee members and future leaders to the rest of the committee
- Think about your own replacement, too. Someday you will retire, leave or need to step back. Plan ahead to protect the work and resources invested in your site!