To become a School Forest, your application must include a copy of the School Board Resolution designating the site as a School Forest. Writing and submitting a proposal to the School Board is an important and necessary step. If your school is a charter or private school, submit a resolution from your governing body (parish council, board of directors, etc.) with the application.
Make sure you contact the School Forest Staff before submitting your proposal. If done incorrectly, your application may be denied.
Before you request a school board resolution you must have a description of the land approved by School Forest staff and the property must be owned by the school district, or a joint powers agreement should be in place with the land owner.
- Required resolution language
The following is a basic format to use when writing your proposal to the school board.
Resolved, the Board of Education of _______School District____ approves the establishment and maintenance of the ________Name of School Forest_________and outdoor classroom comprising: (_____legal description_____), and supports enrollment of said school forest the in Minnesota DNR School Forest Program for educational purposes.
School Board resolutions that use this format may end up looking slightly different due to the wording used by each district. The following are real resolutions that were passed using the above format. Remember to contact the School Forest Staff with a draft of your resolution before proceeding.
- Sample resolutions
Sample 1: Resolved, the Board of Education of Proctor Public School District No. 704 approves the establishment and maintenance of the Proctor High School Forest and outdoor classroom comprising 15 acres described as North One-half of the Northeast One-quarter of the Southeast One-quarter (N ½ of NE ¼of SE ¼), Section Nine (9), Township Forty-nine (49) North of Range Fifteen (15) West of the Fourth Principal Meridian, EXCEPT the East 660 feet of the South 330 feet, and supports enrollment of said school forest in Minnesota DNR School Forest Program for educational purposes.
Sample 2: Chapman motioned and Hiniker seconded to approve the establishment of Oneka School Forest and outdoor classroom comprising the 35.76 acres of land owned by ISD 624 known as the Oneka School Forest; and located at Outlot A of Water's Edge, Outlot F of Heritage Ponds, and Outlots D and C of Prairie Village, all in Washington County and supports enrollment of said school forest in the DNR School Forest Program for educational purposes.
To help your presentation be efficient and successful, keep the following items in mind.
- Consider the benefits and potential risks involved with the School Forest before you meet with the board so you can anticipate their questions and be prepared with well thought out answers.
- Have visible support with you. Ask your school administers, teachers, students, parents, or committee members to attend the meeting
- If the land is not school owned, a land partnership between the school and landowner must be created. Bring a copy of the fully executed Management or Joint Powers Agreement.
- Present a map so school board members understand where the property is and who the neighbors are.
- Take photographs so school board members can become familiar with the site and questions can be answered more succinctly.
- Prepare to attend more than one meeting. The proposal may be tabled if all questions cannot be answered or if additional time is needed for the School Board to render its decision. Don't be discouraged if this is the case.
- Consult School Forest Staff for support and information.
- Prepare a draft resolution before the meeting so school board members are not scrambling to find the proper wording.