The 4-H Schoolyard Habitats Outreach program facilitates the engagement of K-12 students—and the greater school community—in hands-on wildlife conservation, citizen science, and outdoor nature-based education.
Engaging in environmental stewardship and citizen science awakens curiosity and encourages students to hypothesize, experiment, observe accurately, keep records, and think critically. In the process, students learn firsthand about the natural world and that small actions within their power can make a difference.
A core component of this program matches individual Master Gardeners and Virginia Master Naturalists,
aka Outreach Partners, with individual school communities. These dedicated outreach partners seek to carry out program objectives within a tight timeline and in sync with the Virginia Standards of Learning.
Inspire school administrators; excite and train teachers; inform and involve parents; supply outdoor classroom investigation tools; extend hands-on learning with companion resources and hallway displays; introduce citizen science opportunities; and provide onsite mentorship to teachers.
PROGRAMMING FOCUSES (To Date)
- Monarch Butterflies and Habitat Construction. At its inception in 2012, the program focused on monarch conservation and habitat. At the 12 pilot schools, students helped build or improve monarch habitat on school grounds with materials and native plants we were able to provide.
- Birds and Habitat Improvement. During the 2015-2016 school year, a new focus on migratory birds and local native wild birds was introduced.
- Project-based learning across the curriculum
Words for Learning in the Habitat
PROGRAM REACH. As of the 2015/2016 school year, our program reaches 18 public schools in York County and the City of Poquoson.
4-H Schoolyard Habitats Outreach Info. Sheet
Index to Schoolyard Nature Notes
4-H Schoolyard Nature Notes, 4th Qtr., Issue 10, 2016-2017
4-H Schoolyard Nature Notes, 3rd Qtr., Issue 9, 2016-2017
4-H Schoolyard Nature Notes, 2nd Qtr., Issue 8, 2016-2017
4-H Schoolyard Nature Notes, 4th Qtr., Issue 7, 2015-2016
4-H Schoolyard Nature Notes, 3rd Qtr., Issue 6, 2015-2016
4-H Schoolyard Nature Notes, 2nd Qtr., Issue 5, 2015-2016
4-H Schoolyard Nature Notes, 1st Qtr., Issue 4, 2015-2016
4-H Schoolyard Nature Notes, 4th Qtr., Issue 3, 2014-2015
4-H Schoolyard Nature Notes, 3rd Qtr., Issue 2, 2014-2015
4-H Schoolyard Nature Notes, 2nd Qtr., Issue 1, 2014-2015
FUNDING. Materials and resources provided to outreach partners and school communities have been funded primarily by grants and donations. We also welcome in-kind materials and volunteer labor.
Virginia Environmental Endowment
Virginia Department of Game and
Inland Fisheries (DGIF)
Project Learning Tree GreenWorks!
York Foundation for Public Education
Keep Virginia Beautiful
Individual Master Gardeners
Individual school PTA/PTSAs
Individual student clubs
|In-Kind Materials or Services
Consulting services from DGIF
County of York Recycling
Poquoson City Public Works
Ken Matthews Landscape Nursery
Brent & Becky’s Bulbs
Wild Birds Unlimited of Yorktown
New Horizons Regional Ed. Center
York County Libraries
York County Parks, Recreation, and
|Native Plant Donations
York/Poquoson Master Gardeners
Virginia Native Plant Society
Williamsburg Native Plant Rescue
Ernst Conservation Seeds
Forest Lane Botanicals
Volunteer Habitat Helpers
PROGRAM AWARDS & RECOGNITION
“Doing Big Things” 2014 award from Hampton Roads Alliance of Environmental Education (HRAEE)
“’P’ is for Pollinators,” an article by Gail Brown in the Sept./Oct. 2014 Virginia Wildlife describes the program.