live / 2016

Help Create Schoolyard Habitats for People and Wildlife in LA!

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by The National Wildlife Federation

Transforming LA schoolyards into critical habitat so wildlife, students and the whole community can thrive


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

Los Angeles Unified School District, Mia Lehrer + Associates

Please describe your project proposal.

Working in partnership with LAUSD and Mia Lehrer + Associates, the National Wildlife Federation’s California team will provide seed funding, expertise and curriculum to 1 school in each of the 6 LAUSD districts to transform their current grounds into a urban wildlife habitat. This space will support a healthy ecosystem for the community by increasing habitat for native animals like butterflies, bees, birds and also provide a living laboratory that enhances STEM learning for students in the city

Which of the live metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Waterways
  • Exposure to air toxins
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Local water
  • Resilient communities
  • Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences
  • Walk/bike/transit score

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • LAUSD

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to live?

Schoolyard Habitats projects will help make LA the best place to live because the Federation and our partners will provide direct, on the ground support to participating schools who are interested in expanding wildlife habitats, improving the community ecosystem and enhancing access to high quality STEM education experiences for public school teachers and students.

The National Wildlife Federation is already engaged with 200 schools in the greater Los Angeles area working to expand green spaces for the both wildlife and the community as well as help provide enhanced STEM education opportunities. In June, we hired a new staff member to complement our local team already working with the broader community as well as with educators and students in the region. As part of our planned Schoolyard Habitat program expansion for the 2016/2017 school year, we are focused on engaging 40 new schools and connecting directly with an additional 30,000 students and approximately 1,600 additional educators in the region.

The Los Angeles Unified School District is very interested in expanding their partnership with us around our goals for the Schoolyard Habitat Program in the region. We believe that awareness gained through the LA2050 campaign has the power to catalyze this effort and potential funding received will be directed to one Schoolyard Habitat project in each of the six LA Unified School Districts to ensure each district’s community reaps the benefits of enhanced ecosystem resilience and that district schools are provided with access to a demonstration habitat and accompanying curriculum customized to suit their similar needs.

All Federation Schoolyard Habitat projects are a part of the organization’s larger EcoSchools USA program. Now with over 5,000 participating schools, it is the single largest school garden program in America. This means, that in addition to the benefits provided to the community through the installation of the Schoolyard Habitat each participating school in each of the six LA Unified Districts will be provided with free access to the full Eco-Schools program. This program, in brief, provides a holistic green school approach that addresses the school buildings, the school grounds, the curriculum, and the student experience for the benefit of the entire community.

We have found that schools that participate in EcoSchools USA programming are engaged, active, and motivated, and that the students become more environmentally literate citizen contributors through hands-on, experiential, and project based learning that turns the school buildings and grounds into true learning laboratories.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Success will be defined by our ability to positively impact Los Angeles’ green spaces, wildlife and avenues for citizens to engage with nature. Success will measured by: Increased sustainable green space for wildlife and people living in Los Angeles; The number of Schoolyard Habitats installed; The number students, teachers and schools engaged in the Schoolyard Habitat installation process; The number of students, teachers and citizens each completed Schoolyard Habitat has the potential to engage annually; The number and types of urban wildlife species that benefit from increased habitat.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Advisors/board members
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles
  • Education/training
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research