WILD School Sites
WILD School Sites are considered an action extension of Project WILD and can involve any school property used by students, teachers, and the school community as a place to learn about and benefit from wildlife and the environment. The sites function within the premise that every school, regardless of size and location, can provide outdoor educational opportunities that can and should be part of any integrated education program.
The Division of Wildlife provides 4 basic forms of assistance to schools and organizations that are interested in having an outdoor classroom:
WILD School Site Consultations
The Division of Wildlife can provide assistance in helping you plan out your site. By contacting your local education specialist in your District Office, we can come to your facility and help you come up with ideas for lesson plans, habitat improvement projects, funding sources and more. This typically takes place in one visit. Visits can be coincided with outdoor club meetings, planning committee meetings, or teacher inservice days, depending on scheduling restrictions.
WILD School Sites Small Grant Program
The Division of Wildlife offers WILD School Sites grants to local schools, government agencies, non-profit organizations and other school-oriented facilities to start an outdoor classroom. Forty grants of $500 each are available every year. The grants are designed to provide funding for materials, equipment and activities that are otherwise unaffordable to the school or organization. These grants are not intended to be used as an ongoing source of funding for outdoor classroom projects. They are designed to be start-up grants for new sites or expansions of current sites. The grant packet can be downloaded and printed off from the link to the right. For more information about funding eligibility, contact the Wildlife Education Coordinator.
WILD School Site Workshops
A WILD School Site workshop is an ideal way to energize and inspire the teachers and staff of your facility towards the creation and utilization of your outdoor classroom. These workshop are typically done onsite where access to the outdoor classroom allows for brainstorming and real application of ideas and activities that occur during the workshop. Workshop length can be tailored to the needs of the facility, but it is recommended to be at least 4 hours. The Division of Wildlife also holds general WILD School Site workshops across the state every spring. For more information on upcoming workshops, click here. To request a workshop for your facility, contact the Wildlife Education Coordinator.
WILD School Site Certification
WILD School Sites that demonstrate curriculum development and habitat enhancement consistent with the goals of the WILD School Site program are eligible for certification as an official Ohio WILD School Site. Applications for certification are taken year-round. Once an application is submitted to the Wildlife Education Coordinator, an "inspection" will be scheduled, followed by a dedication ceremony for your site. For more information on certification, contact the Wildlife Education Coordinator. To receive an application for certification, click here.
If you're already working with a school that has a WILD School Site, outdoor classroom, schoolyard habitat, etc., we'd love to hear from you! Please take our survey and you could be the lucky winner of a WILD School Site Resource Kit today! This kit contains books, activity guides, field guides and other materials to inspire and encourage use of the schoolyard in your curriculum. Please take the survey today to become eligible. We want to hear from you!
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